Tuesday, March 10, 2015

More Than My Hair - 5 things I Discovered Wearing Crochet Braids


Last month I wrote about my desire to really learn how to take care of my hair and a few of the options I have available to help protect my hair, while I work towards growing it longer and maintaining overall health. While I was busy researching vitamin supplements and hair products the rest of the natural hair world had already discovered crochet braids. After doing some late night blog browsing and IG stalking, I too, had hopped on the train and was full steam ahead. I immediately text my hairstylist (and good friend) to inquire and see if she knew about them and how to install because THIS was going to be my next hairstyle! Lucky for me she's used to these random late night hair texts and let me know her sister knew how to do exactly what I wanted. Talk about goose bumps!
I quickly sent a few texts to those in my inner circle regarding my hair 'spiration and they loved it. Except my husband who was all "that's different." Umm, what does that mean? I took it as he was unsure since it's something new but since it's my hair, rock on sister! Seems right, right? Right.


So I while I was super excited about my next hair adventure, I was also super anxious. I've never really done a style like this or had BIG hair before although I love it and have always envied those who have it naturally. And let's talk texture. Usually when I get a weave it's with Indian hair that can be worn both straight and wavy/wet. But let's be honest. We all know, that that's not my hair and weave upkeep is tedious and quality hair is PRICEY. And the way my hair budget is set up.....well let's just say that the cost of crochet braids had my CFO husband like "yes. do that."
I researched all the different types of hair people were using (Marley, Kanekelon, Water Wave etc.) and then had to go about locating a beauty supply close to home that had what I was looking for and finally decided on the Marley hair because I wanted to be able to do bantu knots and twist-outs.
And then I quickly changed my mind to the Water Wave as I realized I was doing this for ease of care and knew the Marley hair would be slight work.


The night before I do anything major to my hair I have both major excitement and major anxiety. As much as I love to switch things up, a new hair style always takes some getting used to both from myself and the reactions of those who know me with limp stick straight hair. For the first time in forever, I wondered how people would react to me when they saw I now had "all this hair". Having a silky weave is one thing, people know it's longer (and perhaps a slightly different texture?) but this was more along the lines of my own natural hair texture, a texture not many generally see as I've spent the last few years pressing my hair straight. Would I be judged differently by those I was meeting for the first time? Re-assessed by those I already knew? Would I look silly and people laugh? I had  so many questions and ALL THE FEELS.  Once it was installed I had a hard time staying out of the mirror as I couldn't quite wrap my head around why this huge difference looked and felt so good.
Now that I've had the braids in for the last month I've learned a few things about myself, hair and the general public in the process.


1) If I wasn't on birth control I'd totally end up pregnant. There is legit sex appeal that comes with big carefree curls hair. Something about the wildness of it all, or the fact that 'sweating it out' wasn't an issue. I don't know if I just feel more free and less inhibited or if it really is the hair that's inspiring it but let's just say things are pretty hot and heavy around here. Hump day has taken on a whole new meaning and I'm not mad about it. For some reason the crazy curls have me feeling more like 'sexy sassy minx' rather than a frigid frazzled mama. I'll take it. My husband is thrilled.

2) It's WORK - I knew from my best friend that 'doing' her hair took a lot I just didn't realize the simple daily maintenance that comes from having your curls popping. Even though it's low maintenance for me to not have to constantly fight against the natural texture of my hair by using the flat iron everyday, I still have to wrap it nightly and untangle each morning. It's a process.

3) People will touch it. I don't think they can help it. I've caught so many people in the act of wanting to reach out and grab it that it's startling. I'm talking about total strangers too. Touching someone's hair isn't something I even think of so it's still a bit weird to me but I guess I get the appeal. Especially if you've never seen anyone with hair like this or are unfamiliar with black hair. It is fascinating and those bouncy curls are sort of begging to be played with.

4) I really feel black. This may sound odd, but with straight hair you can sort of 'blend in' with society and not really have your ethnicity on your sleeve so to speak. While I've been rocking the natural look it's out there, front and center. And it kind of makes things easier. There is no veil of hiding behind accepted societal standards to "blend" in.  My hair doesn't allow me to slip into a room unnoticed. I am unapologetic-ally black in all facets and I kind of like how that feels.

5) I have really loved this hair. It has truly been one of the best trends I have tried, hair wise. I feel more like ME. Like this was the hair I am supposed to be rocking in my everyday life. That doesn't mean I'm opposed to a sleek topknot or ponytail every now and then but I just feel.....natural....like this. It may be that all the compliments are going to my head. I've not had one person say, to my face, that they are not a fan. Every.single. person. I know has said how much they love it, and how well it suits me and unless everyone is bullshitting me, I'm inclined to agree.




Now that I've taken my hair down, it took approximately 1 day for me to quickly regret doing so. Waking up in the morning and having to "do" my hair = no bueno after weeks of simply having to arrange my curls to start my day. I loved the ease of care and how quickly it sped up my getting ready process. I'll be honest and say that I don't even want to look in the mirror right now because I miss the curls so much and I'm already looking at my calendar and plotting on the next hair appointment. Because the curls are for sure, for this girl.

Have you ever tried a new hairstyle that changed how you saw yourself?






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