Wednesday, November 14, 2012

last night was kind of a big deal...

for the most part, only two people in this world have ever cut/styled my hair... my mom, and my friend sophia. yesterday was monumental in that this number jumped to three. yesterday sasha lee washed, deep conditioned, and styled my hair.

for those of you that don't know... i am adopted, and my family is white... and i was raised in vermont. not a lot of opportunity there to really learn how to take care of my hair. my mom did a good job... she kept me in a cute, little afro that has forever been my signature style... i am thankful she kept it natural... but i never really learned how to take care of my hair.

additionally, perhaps because of years and years of strangers lunging at me asking to touch my hair and then proceeding to do so before i can even answer, i really, really, REALLY don't like people touching my head. i don't like things touching my head either... hoods, hats, my own arms (think yoga)... it's ridiculous really, but most fears are, i guess. needless to say, i haven't let any strangers, at any salons, near my head... with hot water, scissors, or otherwise. so, while my hair sometimes looks cute, it is really a stubborn sea of coarse, dry, tangles.

last month i finally lost my patience (and broke a comb) and googled "best place in nyc for natural, black hair." i did my research and chose sasha lee, quickly scheduling a consultation... i will admit, i was a little insulted and considered cancelling my appointment when the receptionist laughed at me as i explained that i had never had anyone else do my hair, and that's why i didn't know what i wanted... ("HOW old are you? WHAT?! and you have NEVER been to a SALON?! GIRRLLLL...")
when i got to the salon, sasha was the only one there... she didn't laugh at me, and she was so sweetly complimentary about my obviously neglected hair, that i couldn't help but trust her to investigate further. she sat me down in her chair, and with-in minutes, using just her fingers, she had separated my hair into a much more organized, appealing mess of curls. she pulled my hair this way and that, explaining how the true texture and color of my hair was lost under years of mis-care... and showing me new ways to wear it.. she made me feel more beautiful in those ten minutes than i have most days in my life.

i promised her i would come back... last night i did. i had no idea what i was in for... i flinched as she massaged and scrubbed my hair tingly clean, though it felt good... i sat in fear under all the space agey hot things put over my head... and finally, i watched in awe while loose, defined curls jumped out all over, as if by magic. as she moved moisturizer over my scalp, only 'good hair' was left behind. i told her if i were a weeper, i would be crying. it was just... so... beautiful. "this is the natural texture of your hair," she said. i couldn't believe it. it was so soft and so... beautiful!

when i finally tore myself away from the mirror, i asked her how i could maintain the lion's main of awesomness. she told me it was simple. i told her that what she was doing was akin to releasing a domesticated animal into the wild to fend for itself. i have NO IDEA what i am doing when it comes to properly caring for my hair. she's like... oh no, just get it moist, put some moisturizer in it, twist it up, put on a silk cap, take it off in the morning... and i'm like, wait... what, what... WHAT? what kind of moisturizer? how often should i wash my hair? where can i get this cap? i don't know how to twist? wait... i sleep in it??!!??

anyway, i thanked her profusely, made her promise she would let me back and make me pretty again... and then i set off into the world with my new hair, imagining people falling at my feet, stunned by my jungle-gorgeous curls... they didn't, but i felt good anyway.

i went to several different places looking for this elusive cap... i didn't find one and borrowed a silk scarf from a friend instead.

when i woke up this morning, it was as if it was all a dream. my hair, though noticeably softer, and looser, had pretty much gone back to its old self.

but i am not disheartened. no. i can do this. i can figure out how to care for my own hair. and if i can't... sasha lee will be there to pick up the pieces. 


Cass said...

I seem to recall that I used to style your hair! There was one time in particular that I remember giving you a rather fetching center part...

Red, white, et bleu said...

Keep 'em comin', beautiful.