A week has gone by and I haven’t died. I haven’t called my stylist for an emergency appointment. I haven’t straightened my hair. It has however, been the longest 7 days of my life.
Day 7: Am I wrong for humming “Started from the bottom now we’re here…” while untwisting my hair this morning. Last night I cut my twisting time from 35 minutes to 20 minutes. That is change we can believe in. And untwisting this morning only took 15 minutes! I’m a pro. Experiment OVER. Back to work and today no one speaks a word. My boss, a white man, who has been on vacation comes back tanned. I say “Look who got some sun!” His reply, “Oh looks like you did too!” Huh? I certainly have not. That’s the best he can do when he sees my new hair. He thinks I look blacker.
Well I had 2 more days to wear this hair this way because I didn’t have a hair appointment until Wednesday. And although I didn’t detail my notes, I can update you by saying on that last day I looked a WRECK. I was mentally back to day 1 where I was nearly in tears. But what saved me? I let go of the need for perfection….because I had no choice. I was Curly Sue in the front and Homeless Harry in the back. And no amount of tucking, fluffing, or picking would help. So I tried all I could and then left the mirror, and the house, and eventually slinked into my cube and prayed that my day would fly by until I could go to the salon. But the point is, I made it out. I bit the bullet. I had achieved, even a minimal, IDGAF. And that was enough progress for me.
When I started this project, I didn’t intend for it to unearth my opinions or insecurities about hair. I already knew what those were. I didn’t intend for my writing about it to win me any friends in the “natural” hair community or get me a free membership to the Natural Hair Mafia. I did intend however, to prove to myself that if I wanted to or needed to wear my hair in its un-pressed state that I could. And that I could still be cute while doing so. And that I accomplished.
I have learned that wearing my hair un-pressed isn’t for me. That was my hypothesis. And in the true form of the scientific method, my conclusion is the same. I am a hair snob. I need my hair to be tame and perfectly coiffed (or close to it). I also like my hair to blow in the wind. And with all the curls and product and fluffed roots, I couldn’t catch a gust of wind if He who can speak to the wind and the waves whistled on my head himself. Judge me. I like resting my head on the headboard or my car headrest without worrying that my hair will be flattened. I also suffer from the childhood disease of “Rapunzel-itis”. You know when you put a towel on your head down your back to pretend it was your hair, and you swung it from side to side and tossed it over your shoulder? Well, I still do that. I pledged Delta 15 years ago, my line name is “White Girl”, and well, do with that what you will. Whatever. I am who I am. And I love it.
I also learned that I value my time way too much to spend it on hair. I’m not spending my Sunday as “wash day” for the week. And I don’t want to make a habit of spending an extra 30 minutes in the morning and at night trying to maintain this lifestyle. Every once in a while or a few days before a salon visit in the summer, I will rock it! But I don’t have an extra 7-10 hours per week to devote to this. I am a sleep-until-the-last-minute kind of girl. I want to jump up, comb my hair in 4-8 minutes and be done. So the time commitment involved is a deterrent and I can own that. I can easily pay $60/week to get my hair done and make every one happy.
So now I know I CAN wear these styles and look good doing it. And I will do it again! I believe that hair is an accessory. I should be able to press it, curl it, wet it, weave it, and love it all. I should be able to change it like I change my silver earrings, high-heeled shoes, or Gucci handbag. And I should not be judged for my choice du jour. So if you are a card-carrying member of the NHM, heed the warning “STEP OFF”, before a band of misfits pressed girls rise up against you. And love each woman for what she wears in her heart and not what she wears in or on her head.