We pluck, thread, wax, shave, tint, colour, highlight, laser, shock and just about any other word that sounds like a human torture device. Why? Well, we say it’s because we want to look good and personally I’m all for those of you who want to be natural and grow a fro down low but that’s not really my style. So I guess this post is really about me complaining about what we have to go through to just seem presentable.
I’ll give you an example:
Every month I need to wax my legs, bikini and underarms, which always ends in me spending over R500.00 just to remove the hair off my body! Honestly, Sorbet in Hyde Park is very good at what they do (ask for Palesa if you ever go there) but unfortunately; I’m still a student. What’s worse, I’m a student who has no money and who’s constantly considering going onto OLX to sell stuff just so I can look good (you may laugh but my younger sister actually suggested this when I was complaining that I didn’t have enough money to do my hair). *sigh* The struggle is real.
Now when I’m not stressing about saving money to remove my hair, I’m stressing about money to DO my hair. I’m not saying that white people don’t have hair struggles but they’re nothing compared to what black and coloured people have to go through. Sure you think we’re so “funky and cool” because we get to change our hair whenever we want but that’s not exactly how it works. Managing “ethnic” hair is a mission and a half! I swear there should be a course on it because OH MY! I CAN’T EVEN! Not even stats1000 is as difficult! This is what we stress about:
Black Girl Hair 101:
- Yes, we do not like to get our hair wet. Why? Because we’re fresh from the salon where we had to deal with people eating their lunch and talking way too loudly in our ear (in a language that we still don’t understand) while they put what could only be described as fire cream on our heads. Yes, we literally burned to get straight hair. So shut up about getting my hair wet. Don’t be a bitch! I’m a hero!
- Going natural is something many of us have done. Either our hair started breaking (from all those times we were forced to swim) or it’s started thinning as a consequence of us always having to try something new to look good. Right now, my hair is natural but natural hair isn’t easy either. You still need to have the right hair products to make sure that it doesn’t start looking like those grey scrubs you use to clean pots.
- We have a variety of hairstyles to choose from only because our heads are like blank canvases (or play dough) and don’t get me wrong, I love being able to switch it up and do something new but sitting for 6+ hours while three woman from Swaziland (because they’re the best at twists. Well, them and Kenyans) do your hair isn’t exactly how we’d prefer to spend our day. Then they charge you for the labour and the hairpiece. It’s all so complicated. Trust me, you don’t want to deal with this stress.
- Black hair is also a hassle because we fear losing our hairline. You see kids, what happens is that when we do cornrows, braids, twists, weaves etc., we’re actually pulling our hair so there’s a chance that you could look like a 75 year old balding white man and what’s worse is that our hair is so thick and stiff that we couldn’t even cover the bald patch up with a comb over (no offense).
- The day someone comes up with a hairstyle that isn’t expensive, doesn’t eat at your hairline, doesn’t last 2 seconds and still makes me look like the word “Fleek” was invented because there were no words to describe how good I look, they will have me in the palm of their hand.
What else drives me mad about my beauty routine? Well, besides having to buy the perfumes and the Nivea cream, I have to make sure that I have some kind of anti-stretchmark something that I’m using as well. Now don’t come here and say shit like, its natural, we’re all beautiful. Listen, I wasn’t going for natural beauty, I was going for perfection so excuse me while I put foundation between my thighs so that I can wear shorts ok?
Look, obviously there are different ways you can try and avoid spending all this money and stressing your way right into a hospital bed. No, I don’t mean go natural because I genuinely think that it’s untidy and I’m not interested in looking like I’ve just experienced “The Life of Pi” thanks. I’m talking about asking people to get you vouchers for your birthdays, eating the half portion salad to save that extra little bit of money (and hopefully lose that extra bit of fat) and unfortunately, getting a job (or signing up for OLX). If you want to look good, you have to put in the effort ladies and if your man says he loves you just the way you are, he’s lying! So get up, shower, dress really cute, wax off and put your game face on because we’re not in Kansas anymore lovers. This is the city. Get it? Good!