Every night, I go to bed with my hair fully prepped for tomorrow. I wake up at 5am for work and have no time to fool around with a hairstyle. So, I do it the night before.
That way, when I get up, the only thing I have to do is remove my scarf. My version of the white girl’s “shake’n go”, a term I use to describe the effortless mornings of those with low maintenance hair and a busy schedule. It takes forethought, yes, but we’ve been doing this for years! Black and Brown women have been “wrapping” their ‘Press ’n curl” since the 5th grade.
I had to explain this once to a white roommate in my college days. I’m sure many of us have had that opportunity in college or at summer camp or a sleepover where someone would innocently inquire with wide-eyed curiosity, “Why do you wear a scarf on your head at night?”.
Because in the morning they weren’t aware that their ‘bed head’ was easily resolved with a brush and pat. For us, we know the severity of going to bed with damp hair that hasn’t been sectioned or braided first. The horror! The definition of “matted hair” is projected to another level of insanity, in that case.
We hate to admit that for some, Black hair requires high maintenance but there’s no denying that when we’ve nailed our nightly routine and walk into the office the next morning looking like Olivia Pope that we’ve won! That is an example of Black Girl Magic personified.
Remember when you first started learning how to take care of your hair? That transition from sitting between your mother’s knees as she combed, brushed, and braided your hair into neat hairstyles that would withstand your playground double-dutch jumping, tether ball swinging, monkey bar climbing madness! To eventually standing in front of the bathroom mirror trying not to burn your bangs with a flat-iron*.
It’s been a hair journey that I’ve come to fully embrace. And now, as the grays start to spring forth sporadically, I’m taken into another chapter of my hair journey. Bring it on! Solange sings truth in her latest song, “Don’t Touch My Hair” and I love every lyric of course, including the part about our hair being our feelings, our truth, our crown, and our glory. I’d like to add ‘our magic’. I especially love the line,”You know this hair is my sh–, rode the ride, I gave it time”. Ain’t that the truth.