My hair’s at the point where I just want to shave it off! It looks terrible and it’s because I don’t get excited at the thought of styling my hair: washing, weekly deep conditioning, and occasionally using a curling iron is all I can commit to. The rest of the time it looks really bad, as if I was raised without knowledge of what a comb or brush is. I wear a “satin” sleeping cap to bed and that keeps me from waking up with severe “bedhead”, and I use that as an excuse to do no more than take off the cap and head to work, often without even combing my hair. Really, I’m a mess…see for yourself:
I increased the time between relaxers to make my hair healthier (I used to relax it every 8-9 weeks, now I’m going 12-13 weeks between relaxers) and around the 10-week mark my hair looks pretty atrocious, with the new growth and old growth vying for supremacy. Obviously my laziness doesn’t help: I’m still waiting for a miracle where I can wake up and have hair that’s good to go. When my financial blessings increase (by God’s grace), I’ll commit funds to regular hair appointments for sure. I dream of having weekly hair appointments, where someone else washes my hair, deep-conditions it, and styles itâ€”does anyone have a husband who’s taken on the task of personal hair stylist so I can dream of all that awaits me in married life? :)
My hair’s been relaxed since I was 17 years old and the reason I initially went the relaxed route is because I naively thought my hair would behave in that “wash and wear” style that my hair did not: I thought I’d be able to wash my relaxed hair, have it air dry, and have it move when I moved, so when I’d nod for example, I’d feel the gentle weight of my hair at the back of my neck. Hah! That illusion was shattered pretty early in my relaxed hair journey. I discovered that many of the Black women I had seen on television and in magazines with what I thought was swishy relaxed hair that moved were actually wearing weaves or wigs, or their ancestry included other groups of people whose hair was a different texture from mine. Oh the disappointment! Oh my naiveté!
So here I am, 16 years later, and with the exception of the braids I get done when I visit Nigeria, I’ve been rocking relaxed hair. I always love my braids, and I wear them for months here until they start looking really awful. My excuse for not getting my hair braided here is the expense: it’s crazy to pay $120 (or much more) for a head of braids when the cost for braids in Nigeria would be a fraction of that and in many cases the styles that would be done would be much more complex and so well done! Even though I know Canada and Nigeria are different, it still galls me to think of paying so much for a head of braids. But then I have to consider how long the braids would last. If that $120 gives me braids I can wear for three months, a style that would literally be wash and go, then it’s worth it. My hair will look perfect every day. I won’t have to think about how unkempt I look and for me that’s about as good as it gets. I wish I could be like my mom, sister, and other women who care about their appearance to the level of making an effort but alas, I think I was born without that gene.
My sister and I didn’t learn to braid hair, which is a shame because we could be helping each other now, and we’d also be ready for our future daughters. I’m starting to think I’m too old to learn but that’s just an excuse: when I have a little girl (or when I’m expecting one!) I’ll be more motivated to learn.
If I were to succumb to the desire to chop most of my hair off, I’d have other hair management issues (because I secretlyâ€”and perhaps erroneouslyâ€”think unrelaxed hair requires more maintenance than relaxed hair). And what if I turn out to be one of those women who looks hideous (or mannish) with short hair (unlike women who look pixieish, feminine, delicate, and adorable with short hair)? The horror!
So where does this leave me? Searching for a stylish headband to mask the growth, one that doesn’t leave me looking like I forgot to take off my headband after washing my face or exercising. I’m also left twitching to get my hair relaxed while trying to see if I can wait until the first weekend of April to do it. I’m also contemplating braiding my hair, but I think I’d need to relax it first anyway. I almost asked a woman I saw on the bus yesterday if she could refer me to whoever braided her hair but I didn’t, so I’ll research that as well.
How are you currently wearing your hair?