Come on and braid my hair

September 1, 2007

So I have been going to battle with my hair this summer. This was my first summer having my hair not braided and no perm and I won't pretend I wasn't struggling. My hair was definitely getting frustrated with me not knowing what I want. Black women have always had a love/hate relationship with out hair and I am not immune. Sometimes we never know exactly how things impact us. Do I love my curly-haired fro? Hell yeah!
Have I warn it out more than a week at any given time without straightening it? Nope.
Maybe articles like this one with a junior Glamour edit staffer saying black hair in natural state and locs are a 'Don't' have impacted me more than I realized. I had hoped this was a rumor but my girl Monica's article confirms otherwise.
Guess we'll never know, But I do know in the last two week I've felt braids were the answer. Last Friday I told everybody I was getting micros then when Saturday came I changed my mind as I wasn't sure rather it was worth my hairline or hair coming out. When J asked me at work what happened to the braids I said I had changed my mind and then asked her if braids were sorta out of style (me and my bff are notorious for saying somebody has "Moesha braids")

J's answer was the reality check I needed: "Braids out of style? African people have been wearing braids since the beginning of time and will continue to do so girl. I don't think braids can go out of style"

Made me re-evaluate my attitude on our hair and how dangerous it is to let others define what is appropriate or stylish for "our hair". This week I was definitely contemplating a perm until Sister Sonya told she was the same way and wish she hadn't gotten her perm back and if I made it this long, fall is almost here and it will cool off and press will keep longer. So Thursday at work an email goes out the editorial office has Friday off and after finding out that includes me and doing my happy dance the pot stirer, what my Desperate Houswife-ish hip hop aerobics instructor calls the cabbage patch:) Like always God opened a window and I can spend the day off getting braids, and with no perm and a healthy hair line I felt comfortable getting them without fear my hair would come out.
So I go this place I went to last summer my cousin's friend told me about on 116th that is like a braiding factory. You have 30 African ladies (mostly from the west and central countries of the continent) in traditional garb each with a chair in front of them and someone getting braids in a room the size of a classroom. the place is packed and booming and you know they didn't let me down with the entertainment. The first hour and a half I stuck to the ipod as Jerry Springer blared in the background. I took my earphones out when in the middle of Maury someone turned to the news and I thought somebody thought we should all check out the headlines. Two seconds later the midday lottery drawings came on and everyone was ssshhushed. Back to Maury.
Then their was the resident barber/outside yeller of names/eyebrow archer/hot hair dipper for all those heads that needed curly braids dipped in hot water, Mad Dog. he was comedy! This older lady had gotten jumbo flat twist in a bun and was sent to get the extra hair on her neck cut. After cutting her hell of a kitchen, he turned her around and started cutting her side burns and burst out to her "Grandma, you got some Ashanti side burns" She smiles and says, "Is that good or bad?" I am rolling at this point.
And you know in a black salon on a busy holiday weekend and all these kids with school starting Tuesday everybody and their momma was in their trying to sell something. You had the guy with the multi-colored socks, the standard dvd guys, the big box of aleve seller and my favorite the Mace guy who had his little sell slogan "Get your Mace, Don't wait till it's too late" Thinking I was laughing at him he gives me a 5 minute speech on how anything can happen and be ready. All true search but you still aren't getting any money from me.
Next were the food drop offs every so often from the local chinese spot and the scrunched up faces of me and the rest of the tender heads who ended up with the heaviest handed of the bunch. And you know the "I already paid you, No you didn't" argument burst out and I enjoyed my front row seat.
After 6 and a half hours my braids were done and I had Mad Dog dip me and do my eyebrows for $5, you cant beat that! And you know this big comedian added his ghetto twist smoothing my eyebrows with good ole Jam before hitting them with his razor. I must admit I liked getting them shaved much more than waxed. With my butt numb from all that sitting I was ready to get out of there and completed my day in the hood with some popeyes! Y'all know I love all things black. My day in the braids shop had me remembering my Soul Plane experience:)


  1. La said...:

    LMFAO @ using the Jam to shave your eyebrows!!! Girl I haven't done that since I left Decatur.

  1. jameil1922 said...:

    not the jam!! wow... just... wow...

  1. Shara D. said...:

    yo!! that sounded like my experience in ghana!! LOL!!

    and we have to be careful about the messages we accept about our natural beauty. so many of our people still view us through european eyes, which are eyes that historically didn't even see us as human.

    my hair has been its healthiest in the last year and a half i haven't had a perm. and i haven't even missed it.

    when i was in ghana, i got sooooo many compliments on my 'fro!! you should visit one day. :)

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