Quarantine, that very necessary burden, has taken a lot from us. I hate to praise too much the positive things that have come of it, but it’s hard to deny that in some cases it has been beneficial to me. Though my plans for my wardrobe have remained stagnant, my beauty routine however, has entered a new renaissance. In part due to the medical crises I had earlier this year and my mission of generally having more fun while I exist on this planet I began to reevaluate how I do everything.
I believe, at least when it comes to style and image, more than make up, clothes, or shoes it’s the hair that sets the vibe. It doesn’t have to be particularly remarkable in color or cut but it says a lot by just being (or not being). If your hair is together then anything you wear will be instantly elevated. It’s the punctuation mark at the end of the sentence that is your personal style. Is your hair giving answers or is it asking questions?
To answer my own existential hair questions I looked to the private hair journal I keep and it’s obvious that for the past ten years or so my priority was health above everything else. I was afraid of sacrificing my tresses in the pursuit of image and reigniting bad habits and thinking that got me nowhere. Styling hair became a means to an end more than a vehicle for expression. The pendulum swung so far in the other direction that I missed out on one of the best ways to express myself. Wigs were my tool of choice and sure I’d try new colors here and there, but for the most part I kept it simple and as close as possible to what you’d see if it were my own natural hair.
I used to be outlandish with my choices but then I buttoned it all up. Growing up, compared to my peers, my choices were adventurous. I remember sewing rose petals into my microbraids for a high school dance, wearing gold and silver star stickers in my teased out relaxed hair in middle school, just doing whatever the hell I felt like and feeling just fine about it. If back then I had the knowledge and skills I have now I know that my hair expressions would have only been amplified to the extreme. When that realization dawned on me a few months ago I started dreaming of all the possibilities. I now know how to take care of my hair and I know how to have fun with it. If that wasn’t the goal all along then really, what was I doing?
The style that started it all. Lime green and teal Bantu knots using added braiding fiber from Bobbi Boss. This was so damn liberating but ridiculous to sleep in. I kept them in for a week.
It’s incredible how these rigid boxes can creep up on you. Or rather, you go crawling into one without even realizing it. “That’s not something I can do.” “I like it but I can never get away with it.” “It will never fly at work.” That last bit is definitely a big factor as to why I kept what I did banal; not just that it was easy to do but it was required. I never thought I’d end up in jobs and careers that would be so conservative. If you told me at nineteen that’s where I’d be at thirty-four I think I’d have fallen into a heap. I honestly don’t know how I’ve survived this long but quarantine taking away the threat of me ever having to go back into the office at my very white, very conservative Dayjob™ has got me back in my bag. I’ve become practically insatiable. I want all the colors, all the cuts, all the style and I want it yesterday, right now, tomorrow, and next week.
I sometimes wonder, because of quarantine and the ability many more lucky people have to work from home, if we’ll see them embracing their truest selves once they’re able to live freely for themselves and not for the expectations of an employer. I’m not going to go down this rabbit hole right now but white supremacy and respectability politics is the chaotically evil glitter that got dumped on the world’s macaroni art. It’s infringed on so many aspects of daily life that it’s hard to get out of even when you try your best. That said I’ve got my hair style schedule all mapped out through February. It has been positively delightful to come up with ideas especially since I plan on doing a lot of crafting to make it happen. I made a YouTube playlist of my favorite videos showing all kinds of techniques and have been building up my supplies so I can truly flourish.