“I can’t beWeave it! 🙂 I can’t beWeave it! :)” is the joke that some friends and I would share back in the day, to indicate that we didn’t believe that a female in the vicinity was sporting her own hair.
Little did I know at the time that we were actually talking about extensions and not weaves. I didn’t actually become hip to the concept of hair additions that didn’t look fake until several years later.
I mean, I knew about wigs, but I didn’t know you could (would) actually attach them to someone’s head and have them rock it like a permanent hat.
I’m thinking about this because I finally saw Chris Rock’s film “Good Hair” yesterday, and it was way more educational than I had suspected.
I had figured it was going to be a feature-length version of the fact that African hair is different from European hair. It was actually a well-done, in-depth journey into the behind-the-scenes world of hair care products.
I learned a lot from the film.. I mean, A LOT! 😀 It seemed like every few minutes, I went “OH!” and learned something new.
Just the other day, I had asked reader “Gail” to inform me how the chicks on “Females That Basketball Players Hook Up With” could tell which one of them had a good weave and which one had a bad one. She had said that you could tell because there are different textures in the hair, but now I know what time it is.
Several of the celebrities interviewed explained proudly that they were rockin’ 100% human hair in their weaves. I had never thought about it before, because the joke back in the day was always that that ponytail came from a horse. I never considered that there might be different levels of quality and different sources for weave (and, I assume, extension) hair.
I also found out from the film that the best hair comes from India. Of course, since I hadn’t assumed it came from humans in the first place, I hadn’t assumed it came from one particular area. Remind me to compliment my Indian homegirls on their stunning $5,000 (if they felt like selling their own hair) headpiece they’re sporting next time I hang out with them. 😀
This is all very interesting to me because I grew up with broke chicks, so there wasn’t even an issue with them not being WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get).
Broke chicks simply can’t afford to drastically alter their looks, other than exercising, of course, to get into good physical shape. No nose jobs. No fake hair. No bootie-pop panties…
In fact, I’m not even used to makeup. I either thing a gal is cute or she isn’t. I like looking at her or I don’t. That’s why I find it simultaneously hilarious and sad how the makeup industry has a lot of women believing they don’t look attractive without makeup on. I know women that look exactly the same to me before and after they put on makeup, but THEY feel a million times better about themselves after they “put their face on”.
So, as far as hair, I’m used to a gal’s hairstyle either working for her or NOT working for her. Her hair could be too short and not look good with her face (or her body, depending). Her hair could be TOO LONG, to the point that it’s not stylish and just looks like Addams Family. It might be the right length and not layered properly. It might be absolutely perfect! 😀 It might be a great natural color. It might be naturally curvy or wavy in a sexy way. It might look better blown out or straightened or relaxed or left natural.
Pretty much, it is what it is. \o/ I didn’t grow up thinking “That girl with African ancestors would look better with European-looking (and, I realize after watching Chris’ movie, it’s actually INDIAN-LOOKING) hair”. I either thought “That girl with African ancestors’ hair looks nice on her” or “That girl with African ancestors’ hair looks WACK on her”. 😀
I guess that’s another reason the whole extensions/weave thing slipped by me. I wasn’t looking for it.
Hook That Line Up!
The European-Based kids (I guess we can call them white, but I’m not just talking about white kids) never did anything with their hair at all. It was just.. there… on their heads.
It looked good on them or it didn’t look good on them, but aside from brushing their hair (maybe), there wasn’t anything that they did with it.
The African-Based kids (I guess we can call them black, but I’m not just talking about black kids) were absolutely METICULOUS about their haircuts!!! 😀
I mean, if you weren’t FUNKY-FRESH, first of all, your boys would snap on you to no end, until you finally hit the barber shop or had a friend with trimmers hook you up, and second of all, you wouldn’t be getting any raps from foyine chicks! 😀
You had to have your ‘line’ sharp (the area of your haircut crossing your forehead from temple to temple. You have to have your ‘fade’ looking proper (more hair on the top of your head, tapering off to almost none near your ears). Your haircut had to have a NAME! (the most notorious to me, being the dreaded “Caesar”! :D)
That was all well & good, except I hadn’t realized at the time that my hair was completely different from the dudes that were getting these fresh cuts. Their hair is coarse and straight. Mine is light and curly.
Every. Single. Time. that I would go to the barber shop and get the prescribed haircut, later that day, mine would look WAAAAAACK and everybody else would be looking funky fresh for at least the next week and a half! :/
So.. My experience was the exact OPPOSITE, because the people that were doing interesting things with their hair *ALL* had African-type hair, and I was like “DAG!!! :/ If I had *THAT* type of hair, my haircuts would work properly! :/”
Aurora Comes In View
OTOH.. My hair doesn’t work like white hair either…
After I stopped letting barbers cut my hair short, attempting to do Afrocentric haircuts, I went into my gel & mousse phase.
This worked well in the winter, as the cold weather would assist the gel in remaining solid.
This did *NOT* work well in the summer, as I could count on my hair to remain stiff for all of 10 minutes before the first strands of my naturally curly hair said “**** THIS! :D” and got enough leverage to bend the heated mousse, so I would have mostly straight hair, other than some obvious, random and uncontrollable curls that would appear and jack up my style, completely.
The other problem with gel is that you can’t sleep on it…. I mean, you CAN, but then you get what you deserve when you wake up… which is essentially getting laughed at by chicks because of your new Flock Of Seagulls hairstyle that you didn’t have when you crashed out the night before.
In fact, some homegirls of mine chipped in and bought me a hairdryer with several comb attachments to help me out. Blow-dry, mousse, comb was the ticket, but loooooooots of time was wasted getting it in there before going to the parties and getting it back out afterwards.
OH…. GOD FORBID that a chick actually MESSED UP MY HAIR while I was out partying!!! :O (sounds like the weave-chicks, right? HAHA) .. That would call for an immediate retreat to the bathroom and an attempt to wet JUUUUUST the part that got messed up and hope that I could get the gel to loosen up and then reset exactly the way I needed it to, WITHOUT. MY. DRYER! :/
Of course, The Kid always had a comb on him, so in the rare cases when this happened, it was dealt with swiftly and the partying continued. 😀
However… There had to be a better solution!!!
So my hair wouldn’t stay straight if I cut it short and it wouldn’t stay straight if I essentially encased my entire dome in gelatin and then regulated the temperature.
I don’t recall how I became aware of relaxer. Most likely, my personal hairstylist, Kim (eMail me if you need the hookup in NYC, but I warn you, she’s expensive! :D) looked at my unruly ‘wig’ and said “Why don’t you relax it?”. Maybe that’s not what happened at all. Maybe I did it myself and then Kim asked “You RELAXED it??? o_O”. Anyway.. Somehow, I became aware of relaxer and I was like yeah this is worth a try, so I had Kim relax my hair for me.
Basically, what relaxer does is it beats the living **** out of your hair and then when you wash it out, it leaves your hair unresponsive so you can do whatever style you want with it afterwards.
This, in fact, was exactly what I needed at the time. I was able to use WAAAAAY less gel and if it heated up or got knocked out of place, it didn’t matter because my hair had ‘forgotten’ that it was naturally curly.
The only downside to relaxing my hair was that it gave the same effect as when someone with coarse, straight hair does the same thing. The reason this isn’t good is that chicks think you relaxed your hair because you NEEDED to instead of because you WANTED to.
Similar to how guys that see extensions or weaves imagine the gal as if she weren’t wearing them, like, we mentally photoshop the extra hair right off of their domes.. Females were imagining me with the wrong type of hair on my head.
The problem with THAT is that the brainwashing is so ingrained about “Good Hair” vs “Bad Hair” that I automatically get a genetic rap bonus for my hair being an anomaly. I’ve had girls want to kick it with me for no reason OTHER than my hair. It’s not actually a gimmick, because my hair is natural, but it’s like the difference between trying to pick up chicks in a Lamborghini vs a station wagon with wood paneling on the side.
So it’s good that it was way more manageable, but it’s bad that I had to relinquish my genetic bonus with chicks that looked for that type of thing when they were deciding who they were going to talk to.
In Chris Rock’s film, relaxer is called “Creamy Crack”. The implication being that chemical hair treatments are as addictive as drugs (if not more so). I can see that being the case, because eventually, your roots grow out. What that means for me is that I have 1 inch of curly hair and then several inches of chemically straightened hair. You only have three options at that point.. relax your hair AGAIN, so it’s all uniform, live with it and let it grow out, or cut all the relaxed hair so you go back to a shorter, curly style.
Of course, this assumes that you liked how your hair was before you relaxed it in the first place. If you didn’t, then you don’t have any choices other than to keep relaxing it = Crack.
Eventually, I found a pleasant compromise in MILD relaxer. This is like Weekend Warrior relaxer or like Nah, I Was Just Kidding relaxer. What happens is that it suppresses your hair temporarily, but after a few weeks, your hair says “**** THIS! :D” and starts returning to a curly state. I used that stuff for a while until I quit relaxing my hair altogether years ago.
Can Weave All Just Get Along?
Having said all that… I figured that chicks with African hair were using blow-dryers, gel, mousse & combs just like I was. I had no idea that they were physically attaching hair that they had bought to their pre-existing hair.
By this point, in 2010 AD, it seems like all chicks of all ethnicities are getting down with the weave & extension program. You see fake hair on the floor after catfights on Real Housewives of New Jersey and on Jersey Shore (having nothing in particular to do with New Jersey, I’m sure…). Britney Spears lost part of her ‘wig’ at the 15 second mark in this clip:
This chick on “Jerseylicious” was complaining about putting on a motorcycle helmet because she had extensions in. Kourtney Kardashian was spotted getting a weave:
I had no idea until watching that film yesterday that weaves were such big business.
They showed weaves that cost $1,000 USD, weaves that cost $3,500, weaves that were on layaway, with women kicking in ducats every so often until they paid it off. One lady hadn’t even gotten her weave attached yet and she was already paying for her next one! :O
Chris Rock asked this dude in the barber shop whether he has to kick in for his wife’s weave. He replied that he has to pay for his wife AND HIS DAUGHTER to get weaved up. I mean, a chick’s hair maintenance could add up to child support payments or more!
Fortunately for The Kid, I’m a renter, not a buyer.. but still.. I have a new appreciation for chicks that do whatever they do to look good, whether it’s natural or otherwise, WITHOUT draining a brotha’z pockets.
In fact, the less it takes her to look nice, the better. No makeup.. Sneakers & sweats.. Tousled, naturally wavy hair.. Just rolled out of bed (or didn’t quite make it out of bed).. Cute.. Nice shape.. Intelligent.. Pleasant to spend time with & I’m GOOD!
Of course, nobody would beWeave it if I said I wouldn’t kick it with Nia Long because she refuses to get her hair wet, so I’ll just end the post right here. >:D
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