So day 4 was upon me and I was beginning to look a wreck. That pineapple was cool and all but my curls had transformed into thick chunky pieces that had turned me from homeless chic to sideshow Bob. So since it is my official day off (spring break) I’ll try this Wash & Go. Because that is really the reason I want to wear my hair curly. So I can just wet it and go. I figure, I’m from Florida. I have to have SOME kind of Indian in my family that will make my hair curl up right? Because I think at its core, for other bourgeois black girls like me, we like the idea of wearing our hair “natural” because we want it to be easy and convenient. But what folks don’t tell us is that unless you have enough diversity in your genes to make that H20 magically transform your tresses into spiral bits of wonder, it takes work. It’s not as easy as it seems. And in fact, it may be unachievable! The beauty I found though is in figuring it out! I learned that I have 3-4 different textures in my head. No I didn’t look it up to see if I was a 3B, 4C or an XYZ. Because THAT is work. And I don’t want to do work.
Day 4: I’ve never strategically attempted the wash and go. Usually just tried the wet it, put some Kinky Curly in it with my hands and then scrunch. Because that’s what my sister Kisha told me to do when I asked her for a miniature sized gladware container of her product. And it made her hair curly so it should do mine too. WRONG. So this time I had a plan. Thought if I got in the shower and washed straight from the Sideshow Bob madness my hair would mat. So I spent the last half hour of Wendy Williams Show combing out my hair to detangle it. Washed. I will not get out to look at my curls. I will not get out to look at my curls. Condition. Back section of hair sure is lathering more than the top. Guess this Pantene really works chile! I watch my hand in slow motion reach for the Conditioner bottle again only to notice that I have been using shampoo to condition and detangle my hair. EPIC FAIL. Start over. Condition. Detangle. Rinse. Now the Kinky Curly jar says for people with loose wavy curls, slightly towel dry and put product in and scrunch. For tight coiled curls, keep hair dripping wet and comb product through each section to allow curls to spring. WELL THAT WAS THE PROBLEM. Kisha had me acting like my curls were loose and wavy. NOT. This is what I get for asking for product in a Tupperware container. So I get out, soak the bathroom rug with water dripping from my saturated head and proceed to comb the product into my hair. I already know the pieces in the front are the straightest so I do them first. Hmmm…..not a curl in sight…..and I’m staring…HARD. Let me twist because I can’t look a fool. Twist the front into 3 plats. Ok now lets use this scrub brush and make these curls pop! Back row of head, super curls! YES this is gonna be great! 3rd row….these curls….look like my daddy’s afro. Soft. Tight. Daddy naps. Well no stopping now. 2nd row. OK these are kind of Shirley Temple-ish. But they are lying on top of these Daddy naps! Grrr. Top of my head. Well….maybe when it dries it will look like something. By the time I’m done, my twist in the front are set and pretty dry. How long have I been here?! I look at the clock after I get dressed and take my twists out. A WASH AND GO?! That’s a damn lie. I washed at 10:30 and didn’t GO until NOON! And after all that, I really had nowhere to go. So I drove to Atlantic Station, down Peachtree aimlessly, then walked around Publix. Sigh.
Nightfall. Time to call in reinforcements. Royce is coming to flat twist my hair. Royce is my “natural” hair idol and on the Hair 911 Team for me. She comes and co-washes me. Who comes up with these words? Co-wash. Conditioner wash as opposed to shampoo wash. Eh. She twists me up. All the while I banish the boyfriend from that part of the house (as I have usurped our Date Night for this mess), because he still cannot see me in this vulnerable state. Sitting in on the floor on a pillow in between Royce’s legs like I’m 6 years old. 3 hours later (included gab/eat/Beyonce documentary viewing time) I’m done and off to bed. Again praying for morning hair. Jesus has heard a lot from me this week.
Day 5: Last time I tried to flat twist, I couldn’t wear it without a scarf. I was nervous. I wasn’t ready. Today I went in with confidence. Untwisted and BAM! Wet at the top. Oh I’ll just put this blow dryer on these damp twist and it will fix it. NOPE. Cute from the front, CRAZY in the back (top). Can I just cut the center out of my hair. It is the problem child here! Stop and put your clothes on. Beat your face. WHERE ARE YOUR BIG EARRINGS?! Just press on. Get your IDGAF on. Chin up. Whip hair back and forth. Done. Whew!
Night comes much quicker with “natural” hair. I have NO clue how to recreate this. Text Royce. No answer. YouTube. Is this GERMAN? I can’t flat twist. What am I going to do?! Panic ensues. Too cute today to fail now. I mist my hair to make damp and do the only thing I know how. 2 strand twist and pray. And now these rollers that Royce made me buy…..ugh. Off all the things I hate about life, hair rollers are at the top of the list.
Day 6: HALLELUJAH! How appropriate it’s a Sunday. My plan to save the hair worked! And now I’m a hair genius because it only took 15 minutes to untwist and go! Curl cream shout! (Isn’t that something a naturalista would say?) Went to church, felt like I got extra smiles from the other “natural” girls. More people looked me in the eye than any Sunday before. Or maybe I just noticed them more. It’s like I fit in. Or at least to them I do. Hmph. Wave. Smile. Give holy hug. And I’m out. Because next week you may call me a fraud. Because 6 days in, Iz tied (translation: I am tired).
TBBG Lessons from Days 4,5,6:
1) Everyone can’t wear a Wash & Go! Black women are so diverse. We have lots of culture and ethnicity running through our blood and hair strands. But not all of them have the ability to wear those curly or cute afro’d looks! So if that’s what you want, I think its best you cut it all off. Get your TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro)(natural lingo) and go from there and figure out what happens and how to keep it at a length where it does what you want it to. But don’t think that water and product is going to make miracle swirls on your head. It won’t.
2) Make your friends read you the instructions on every scrap of product you “borrow” from them. Borrowing from friends who have tried different products is great because it saves you money and heartache from those that won’t or don’t work for you. If your friend is as good as mine, she will give you enough to try many times so you can get it right. I just threw that gladware container out yesterday. I’ve had it 3 years. Yes that’s too long.
3) A week is a long time to do this. Perhaps if you would like to follow suit, try a 5 day challenge.
See how it all ends in the final installment of this series! Thanks for all of the feedback so far.