A lot of women with a very tight curl pattern will understand the trials of trying to handle their hair, just in every day life. When you add travel to the mix, the struggle becomes even worse. Now, when it comes to wearing your hair natural, I am a big advocate for letting it loose and not caring about societal standards, but for my own hair, I’ve just never felt comfortable with letting it stay curly with the very short length it has consistently been the past 10 years. I want my hair to grow, but I also like using a flat iron to make it straight so I only have to deal with it once or twice a week.
Through this method, it was not going to want to grow, due to heat damage, and I wasn’t a huge fan of having to wash it every day and try to find a way to let it be short, curly and also cute enough for my standards. So I did what any person in my situation had to do to make themselves feel comfortable in their skin, as well as make it easier on myself while traveling the world; I researched African American hairstylists in Western Washington, and found a lovely shop in Everett to get my hair done at.
And the final product (as well as hundreds of dollars later), is a protective style for my hair commonly called a “weave.” A lot of people don’t actually know what a weave is, so I thought I’d walk you through the process. The first step is to get your hair cornrowed or braided into a formation on your head (as pictured below with me trying to do my most “gangsta” face)
The next step is to choose the human hair (or cheaper, synthetic hair) that you want. The hair comes on tracks (much like you’d find with normal hair extensions) and the tracks are sewn in (or “weaved”) on the cornrows and braids. So basically, the hair is connected to your hair and is almost like a wig, but one that wont fall off. The end product looks like it does on me in the photo below.
The hair looks like I grew it out of my own head, is a texture much easier to deal with on the go, and only requires maintenance every three or so months. For a traveler, it’s the perfect way to not have to worry about getting up extra early in the morning just to work on making your hair look fine. All I have to do is put all the hair into a silk cap at night to protect it and I only have to wash the weave hair, and my own hair underneath, once a week with water and conditioner to keep it moisturized and healthy.
I’m looking forward to seeing how I hold up with this hair over the next year in London, and hope it keeps me happy and stress-free when it comes to dealing with my hair. I am an advocate for anyone doing to their hair what makes them happy, and for me, having long, mermaid hair has always been a dream of mine that hadn’t happened with my natural hair. But right now I can feel beautiful and happy with myself with this hair, and hope that in a year or two, my own hair will have grown underneath and can be at a length that I admire. Getting a weave is not for everyone, but it’s what will work for me and my travels right now.