Many of us marvel at women who are daring enough to make complete hair makeovers. Whether the decision is made to go long or short, jet black or platinum blonde, straight or wavy, you can’t help but admire their courage. Last week I joined that allegiance of brave women. Not only did I decide to go lighter, I made the transformation with the aid of a wig!
Now before you discount my move as “less brave”, you would have to know me a little better before jumping to that conclusion. See for the past 20+ years, locks (commonly called “dreadlocks”) have adorned my crown. I denounced the perm which gave the illusion of straight hair and embraced the kink and coil of my natural hair texture. I also replaced the term ‘dreadlocks’ used to describe my hair style to “lovelocks”, because they’re nothing to dread. I could not understand for the life of me why such a beauty look was assigned such a bleak name.
Unlike the popularity of the style today, when I “locked” my hair I wasn’t accompanied by many women. Quite a few of my friends thought I was crazy for cutting my mid-length hair and letting it get “nappy”. Their concerns ranged from fear that I would hinder my ability to secure a good job, to me reducing the odds of attracting a good man. After all, men want hair they can run their fingers through right? Luckily for me, the transformation took place from the inside out so I was ready to make the commitment “come what may”. Yes, it was definitely a commitment because unlike braids that can be loosened, the only way out of the hair style is to cut the locks completely off!
I proudly wore my locks with distinction and class. I fashioned a “bang” in the front and never allowed them to be unkempt. My locks became so long that I had to move them aside before sitting. I loved my locks and it showed. Eventually, I started to experience neck cramps so I began to gradually reduce the length each year. Earlier this year, I opted for a drastic reduction in length by having my locks cut into an Inverted-Bob style. Now let’s fast-forward to my most recent adventure…
I’d seen this particular wig boutique countless times, always telling myself that I would stop in and just look around. Wigs have gained popularity lately and I’d heard they were much more comfortable than they used to be, so I was intrigued. I finally took the plunge and entered the boutique. I was initially overwhelmed by all of the styles and colors. Who knew there were so many options? I was at the mercy of the sales representative (and owner). She must have sensed it because she immediately showered me with TLC. She first commented on my hair color, telling me it was much to dark for my face. She said it made me look “stern” and I needed something to “soften my appearance”. Although caught off guard by her assessment, I decided to render control and trust her judgment. I asked her to pick out what she thought would look good on me.
Well, nothing could have prepared me for her selection. As she approached me with the auburn colored, curly wig I thought I was being punked! How did she think that the woman sitting before her with locks could possibly be a candidate for a Shirley Temple looking wig with golden highlights? Was she serious?!?!? Determined to be a good sport (and to be right), I allowed her to put the wig on me so she could quickly realize she had made a mistake. Once the wig was in place, she turned me around to face the mirror…I was speechless. I looked like a completely different person. Not only did my face seem brighter, I looked about 10 years younger! I actually wanted to transform my insides to match my outside! Like a kid in a candy store, I spent the next two hours trying on about 5 more wigs in various styles, shapes, and colors. Ironically, I found myself gravitating toward wigs with “kink” versus the ones styled with straight hair. I guess locking my hair left a permanent impression. In the end, I decided to purchase the first wig that she introduced me to.
The entire experience was almost as liberating as the day I decided to lock my hair. I’m not concerned about how other people will feel about my decision. I didn’t care if some will think I’m somehow “selling out” on the natural look. The decision is MINE and I hope to always march to the beat of my own drum with my hair selection flowing above me.
Here’s the New “Do” – Tell me what you think?