I think every woman should have a daughter. Take my daughter, for instance. Some might say that when she was a tot, she was a mini-me. But as children do when they grow older, she came into her own. And now the tables have turned. Wherein I used to advise her about fashions and hairstyles, now she encourages me to become more contemporary. That’s difficult to do when you are comfortable being old-school and not much for fakery.
Mind you; I’ve worn my hair in a short afro for what seems like a hundred years; except for a few weeks last year when I deviated from my natural and decided to try something different. Recently, I stepped out of my zone again and accompanied my daughter to her favorite weave salon. After we left there, she jokingly told me that I would probably not be allowed back in that shop, because of the way I “coached” the hairdresser working on my head.
“No, that’s too much hair.” “Uh-uh. That’s too long, cut it down.” “Twist it more to the left.” “I need a style with a bang to cover my high brow.” And those were just some of my well-meaning directives.
Undoubtedly, the thought of grabbing some clippers, shearing off every strand on my head and then saying, “How do you like it now?” occurred to the stylist more than once. But, during the two hours that I sat in her chair while she cornrowed and weaved until I was satisfied (or so she thought), she was professional and patient. And I’m sure the tip I handed her afterward made enduring my complaining worth it.
Need I say that I finally yielded to the suggestion of the stylist and left the shop with a style that I believed had me looking more like Whoopi Goldberg than myself? I had no problem with the cornrows in the back. That’s what I asked for. However, the stylist could not get the front of my hair to look the way it did in a photo that I showed her. In fairness, she tried, but whenever she thought she was done and said, “Nice.” I shook my head and replied, “Ugh. Not so.”
Finally, after growing tired of her snipping and clipping, I relented. The stylist seemed pleased (or relieved). My daughter said it was a nice do. And I felt … well, let’s say that the hairdo is not me. To add insult to injury, my daughter snapped a photo of Whoopi-Me while we were on the way home.
Afterthought: Years ago, after I left the workforce, I freed myself from being a slave to facial makeup. Just like my daily commute, the every morning application of face paint has become another thing gladly left in my past. Now, I only wear makeup on rare occasions. However, while sitting at my dining room table grumbling over dissatisfaction with my hairdo, even with it swept to one side, and contemplating what to do with it, I had a lightbulb moment.
I decided to see if makeup would make me feel better about my hairstyle, so I applied some. Low and behold, as it often does for most women, the makeup transformed me from I hate it – to – I can live with it. As you can see from the before photos (Numbers 1 and 2) and the three subsequent photos, I look like I feel better about the hairdo. And I do. Nevertheless, I am certain that sometime sooner more so than later, I will wake up one morning and decide that I’ve had enough. I’ll want the real me back, and my ultra ego will stop humming the song from the musical Hair. “Darlin’, give me a head with hair, long beautiful hair.”