"haha cuz you know I don't do no weaves. How about braids?"
"mba! (no) no braids. with love :-)"
The "with love" was meant to appease me.
That was the conversation I had with my dear cousin a couple of months ago. I was going to be in her bridal train and she wanted all her bridesmaids to have long and wavy hair. That requirement would've meant nothing to me in 2010 when my natural hair was long and wavy. But thanks to an overzealous and careless hairdresser, my hair is now half of what it used to be.
Even though my now 2 year project to grow my hair back is well underway, it still hasn't gotten back to "long and wavy". *sigh* So, in the meantime, I have appeased myself with my second love-long braids. I had fallen in love with the watermelon braids and continuously ignored the adamant tease of my friends who accused of me of never changing hairstyles.
"at least try a short braids style"
"maybe corn rows will look good, for a change"
"I DON'T CARE!" I'd scream back at them. I loved my braids and wasn't going to change it for nobody. Anybody. (or so I thought).
Fast forward to one month before the wedding. Dismissing my cousin's "requirement" and hoping she'd be too busy wedding planning to remember, I took the liberty of putting in new braids. In fact, I was even attempting to step out of my comfort zone when I opted for Box Braids. Braids, I wore to her bachellerotte. To make this story short, let's just say, my beloved cousin wasn't having it for the wedding- "I really wonder why you wanted to put yourself through punishment by putting in those braids" She said in her usual nonchalant 'boss' way.
"You're just lucky I love you." I said rolling my eyes.
So yea, I decided I loved her just enough to tear down my new braids and embark on a new journey.
|My beloved braids|
By this time, you're wondering what exactly the fuss was about putting a weave on. Well, believe it or not, in my twenty-something years of living, I'd only put a weave on once- when I was 13 and had only a 2 week break from boarding school; a break too short to put in braids. I'd never thought much of it so I never sought to re-experience it. Besides, none of my 4 sisters ever used a weave. My best friend blames our collective weave disinterest on good hair. Perhaps.
Brazilian. Indian, Peruvian. I had heard about them in passing. I'd even watched Chris Rock's movie Good Hair, yet I knew nothing about the difference. I'd heard they were costly. My best friend had once mentioned that she thinks half her allowance was drowned in drawers upon drawers of assorted Virgin hair. I had laughed it off because I didn't really understand.
Finding good hair was still at the back of my mind (and more so, trying to figure out a way to convince my cuz otherwise) when I stumbled on a comedic video on YouTube, during my lunch break at work, about how to 'catch' a white man. I was busy stifling my laughter and trying to look like I was doing work when I noticed on the right hand corner another video tagged "Sway Hair". Thinking it was another funny video, I clicked on it only to find a review of a brazilian weave. I only watched for less than a minute when I decided to explore the hair distributor's website.
"Maybe I could educate myself on different types of hair so I don't make a fool of myself at the hair store", I said to myself as I browsed the site.
Then I saw the hair distributor was twenty minutes from me. Then I called the number on the website and talked to Mercy who set up an appointment to meet me in a couple of hours, after work.
"I'm buying hair tonight!" I pinged at my best friend with half excitement and half anxiety.
Then, that evening I found myself in a room surrounded by hair. In packs. It was hair in bundles. Everywhere.
"What are you looking for?" Mercy asked.
"What do you mean?"
"What kind of hair do you want?"
"What kinds are there?"
"Brazilian, Peruvian, Indian"
"Let me go with Brazilian" (just because I'd heard it was the best. Now don't ask me to speak to the veracity of that information)
"Curly, wavy or straight"
"How many packs?"
"How many inches per pack"
"Would you do wefting?"
"You mean, like weaving my hair?"
"Would you like closure?"
"What's that?" I mutter as I find the nearest chair and slump into it.
What I was feeling, many of you won't understand. I was literally a weave-virgin about to be disvirgined. Where had I been living? Under a rock?
"Please, just give me what you recommend. Its for my cousin's wedding and I'll tear it down before the reception is even over"
I was at Mercy's mercy because I couldn't wait to get out of there. So, I bought what she recommended. The fact that the terrified look of "take my money and give me hair so I can be out" on my face probably scared her isn't worth mentioning.
The next step of the journey was finding a good hair dresser to sew it in.
"Hey Carmen, how much do you charge for a sew in?"
"does it come with the hair?"
"hahaha No Ral"
Oh no! she wasn't making fun of me!
That's how the conversation with my hairdresser went. I wasn't going to spend that amount of money, especially, after buying all this expensive hair, for something I planned to carry for a day or two.
And that was the beginning of my frenzy. Every minute of the day, I wanted to strangle my cuz. "Like really? why?!" "When its time for my wedding, I'll ask her to go to the moon and back" I muttered over and over again.
Luck finally shone on me a couple of days later when a young youtube-video-making college graduate called me back and finally offered me a reasonable price to "install" my hair. My hair was beginning to sound like a home improvement project.
Appointment. A couple of hours and tadaaaaa. My hair was a hit. I put a picture on my BlackBerry and my phone went crazy. Here are just a few reactions.
And yes my friends have successfully convinced me to keep it for a couple of weeks AND maybe, just maybe, I have come to peace with it, just enough to let it be my summer hair *covers face*. If I got a dollar for every time a friend said, "I told you so", I'd be rich.....I mean, Who knew?
|First look...I could hardly recognize myself|
|My brother and I at the wedding|
But yea yea yea...it was worth it.
P.S.- I'm sure by now you've figured I told you this long story to encourage you to step out of your comfort zone once in a while. it may just be worth it :-)
And yea, I very well know 'disvirginment' is not a word. But it fits...