If I ever shave my head completely, it will happen at 2 am, when I’m bleary eyed and have been flicking through YouTube videos and Google Images of gorgeous bald-headed women.
Every once in a while, I get the urge to drastically change my hair. This ALWAYS happens during the witching hour. I always “try something new” when I’m up late, and I have just had it with my current hairstyle.
Last night was yet another classic. In a fit of irritation, I decided to try to put in box braids myself. At 1 am. Now, I should have known this would be unsuccessful. I am not one of the hair geniuses who can sit patiently through 8 hours of movies and emerge with gloriously plaited hair. But I always *think* I am.
do you know how long i’ve wanted to do this hairstyle?!?! years. years.
I rooted through my packed hallway closet, tossing ironing boards and suitcases with anger and velocity. I knew I had the packs of hair somewhere in one of my old bags. And sure enough, I found them stuck between old handbags and a rusty hammer. Now, the fake hair no longer matched my current hair color. Would that stop me from having Solange-esque braids? Of course not. I eagerly tore into the packages.
Box braids aren’t all that difficult to put in. However, it’s a challenge when you have two packs of mismatching hair, some bobby pins, and one rattail comb. It’s worse when you’ve been working 8 hours straight and you’re exhausted, and you have only had one meal for the day.
Then the rattail comb broke. I should have stopped then, but I bravely continued. In a moment of delirium, I thought I could call my best friend to pop over to Mike’s Beauty Shop in the morning and tell him I needed 8 packs of Kankelon. This would be cool, except my homegirl is Sri Lankan and wouldn’t have a clue what 8 Kankelon 4B + duck clips meant. And even if Mike helped her out, something would go wrong. I would have to make the trip myself.
I went to sleep with 10 braids in my head. When I woke up–late, mind you, and in an apartment where everything was covered in fake hair–I decided that the challenge wasn’t worth my sanity. I cut out the braids.
have Jim Jones’ braids ever looked good?
On behalf of black women everywhere, I would like to propose the 24 hour beauty salon. In Pearl Cleage’s fictional world, there is a 24 hour beauty salon in a neighborhood protected by good gangsters. I’m all about that. Do you know how much money I would have willingly given last night to change my hair? Given another few hours, I would have tried to sew a wig myself. (Again, something I have no idea how to do.)
I am almost positive that, last night, a woman chopped off chunks of her own hair while taking out a weave she doesn’t like at 2 am.
There is a woman who gave herself a truly ATROCIOUS manicure, then ran out of nail polish remover.
And the woman who tried to dye her own hair.
And the woman who tried to wax her own eyebrows and is now trying to pencil them back in with a dark black nub of a pencil.
There are women making furtive trips to the beauty aisle in the grocery store at 7 am with headscarfs and baseball caps on to hide the utter SHAME of a “beautification night” gone awry.
I don’t know who I have to talk to to make this happen. If I was a hairdresser, I would be on call for poor women who, like me, try to “make their dreams come true” and fail.
My hair is, thank God, back to it’s normal glory this evening. But to stay on the safe side, I’m heading over to Mike’s on payday for an emergency wig. And yeah, 8 more packs of hair. And duck clips…for that next midnight transformation.
say it with me: thank God for Lacefronts. Thank God for Lacefronts.