I don’t know how to do my hair. It’s true. Sounds crazy I’m sure. I’m good and grown. But, I’ve been praying at the alter of the hair salon gods since my early 20s. Call it a form of self-care. I’ve had a standing appointment at someone’s salon for so long now, that I’ve lost all will, skill and patience necessary to successfully do anything other than wash my hair and pull it back in some sort of bun or ponytail.
The Teen Years . . .
Yes, of course I used to know how to do my hair …. But, even in junior high and high school my mom would take us to the hair salon. We got lucky (and very spoiled I might add), the big department store in our town had a budget hair salon where they trained new hairstylists. The cost for a wash, dry and curl was $6! Yes, you read that right, $6! So even on my meager allowance, or with my baby-sitting money, I could afford to take myself to the hair salon weekly. My sister, my girlfriends and all of our moms went there to a young woman named Evelyn. I think she might have been 18 when she started (so she wasn’t much older than we were!). Although she was young, Evelyn could do hair …. After a year or so, she graduated to the regular salon and her prices went up, but by then we were hooked, so we kept going.
But let me be clear, before we met Evelyn, my mom, her friends, my grandmother and my aunts were all going to the hair salon weekly. So as I got older, having a weekly hair appointment was more like a right of passage than anything. When I was still on my parent’s dime, weekly hair appointments weren’t always de rigueur, so I like all teenage girls learned to do my hair. In fact, although my memory is a bit hazy, I think I kind of enjoyed it.
I Can’t Be The Only One Who’s Outsourced Her Beauty Regime
It didn’t occur to me that there would ever be a time when I didn’t know how to do my hair, but it wasn’t something I was particularly focused on either. Fast-forward a few decades where I’ve gotten to a point that unless I can get to the hair salon, my hair just doesn’t get done. Whatever joy I experienced as a teen with the autonomy of doing my own hair has gone completely by the wayside. Anyone who knows me knows that I go to the hair salon weekly. Yes, I do, just like one of those ladies in Steel Magnolias or whatever other movie or TV show that notion conjures up for you. As a result, I gleefully gave up all notion of doing my hair on my own and handed that responsibility over to my hairdresser. Therefore, I go back to where I started. I don’t know how to do my hair.
In this day and age of Black women and natural hair, I realize I am a bit of an anomaly. Up until 10 weeks ago, I was a card carrying member of the creamy crack club also know as the relaxer or texturizer set.
I should’ve known something was up when my husband said to me at the very outset of this on March 12th or 13th,
“ What are you going to do without Alicia (my hairdresser)?”
Apparently, when it came to my grooming regime, he had a sixth sense that this quarantine was going to be much more than many of us ever realized it would be.
But, now here we are 10 weeks in to sheltering in place and I’m praying that things will open up enough in New York for me to feel comfortable to go to the hair salon to get my do did! I’m praying for a lot of other things too – a vaccine, proper PPE for our essential workers, the resilience of businesses and industries that have taken a huge hit due to COVID, the health and well-being of friends and family members – but on a personal, vanity front this is my prayer.
Call me vapid, vain and indulgent if you will . . . but, I’ve spoken to enough friends to know I’m not the only one who feels this way. Especially those of you who have hairdressers making house calls or stylists who have turned a room in their home into make shift hair salons. I admit it; I’m just a tad bit envious. And for those of you who know how to do you hair, good for you girlfriend! I see you online and in your Instagram videos and stories extolling the virtues of this technique over that one – I’ve waited too long to begin to try to start watching videos. I should have done that in week two.
Now I have at least 3 different textures of hair on my head and 3 different colors if we count the gray creeping in. Ya’ll I’m holding on, but just barely. I miss my eyelashes too, but we won’t even go there. Fortunately, a girlfriend told me about a non-toxic stick on gel manicure that’s helped to make me feel somewhat normal. Aren’t they pretty? Want some too? Just click here and get $5 off of your first order girlfriend!
In the interim, which I hope will be shorter rather than longer, I’m doing my best to: drink water to moisturize my hair and skin, daily use a hair oil/creme to make it easier to comb through my hair and keep it detangled, wearing headbands to do what I can to distract myself from my edges, and yup, it’s pulled back in a pony waiting for Alicia to work her magic.
Stylishly yours, Kalyn
P.S. I’m newly obsessed with headbands – if you’re looking for some cute styles, check out my faves by clicking here.
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It’s really comforting to know that I’m not alone in this. I have a similar history with having my hair done regularly. I’ve been natural most of my life but I never really learned how to do my own hair and now I’m paying the price. I tried to learn how to french braid but it was a disaster. So, I make do with buns and ponies until the professionals are free.
You’re in good company girlfriend! I’m a bit of a hot mess, but I’m working to keep everything together with some eyelash glue and scotch tape … hahahahah!!
I felt like I was reading my life story. I felt every word you were saying. My buns and headbands are my hairstyle now with all the grey showing. I might just embrace my grey this time. 😆 Nothing but hugs because I am struggling with you.
You are in good company Karen! Kudos to you for contemplating embracing your grey …. that’s likely not happening in my world though!! hahahahaha …. There’s solidarity in numbers girlfriend. Xo, Kalyn