Reasons to Shop Black Owned for Beauty Supply: A Guide for Natural Hair Women
How often have you found yourself having a special engagement and committed the ultimate no no for a natural hair sister…waiting to the last minute to plan a style? There are many benefits to natural hair. Stronger, longer hair, the building of self-esteem, money-saving, empowering, etc… the list goes on and on. There is unfortunately at least one con, and that is deciding what to do with your hair at 5pm for a 7pm engagement. There are, maybe, three options for the bulk of black women. If your hair is short, then for the most part you will wear your always-styled hair. For medium to longer lengths a bun or a wash-and-go is the answer.
Let us start with a bun. Now this is the easiest of the two. If you have been lifting weights and building biceps and triceps, you are good. First, dampen your hair. Do not soak or else the bulk of your bun hair will be in your brush, which may make styling easier in the moment, but may be disastrous after the event. Next, slather and shellack the hair, with your styler of choice, in an upward motion (think Beeker of the Muppets). Your hair must make sounds like one of the many gelatinous aliens we have come to know (the Blob, THE Alien, Jabba the Hut, etc.). Once you hear that sound, when you start brushing your hair, you have applied a sufficient amount of product. Now, here is where those aforementioned toned arms come into play. You should be able to gather all the hair neatly with one fist. As your arm trembles from the demands of this power grip, you must, with the other hand, move rapidly to put the elastic around the hair. It must be a two second motion or the grip will be lost, and you will have to make a second application of the styler. This time a full hand scoop will be needed. We will assume you have been working out and you are able to achieve the ponytailling. Take the loose ponytail and wrap it around, donut it, or bobby pin it until you have a round shape to your liking. After that, again calling on the ancestors of Jackie Joyner Kersey you must move with rapid speed to smooth the hair with your brush and tie a silk scarf around your head, to solidify the smoothing. If you allow your hair to set for 30 minutes it will be worth your, now, immobile arms, as you attend the event perfectly coiffed. Please remember to leave at midnight, as the product, like Cinderella’s stagecoach, disappears, to leave you with a pauper’s fuzzy bundle.
The second style for some (the bun is your only option if you have never mastered this hairstyle) is the often-elusive wash-and-go (if going takes 2 hours). Unlike the bun, there are several caveats to this being an option for you. First, you must have had done a lot of trial error research for the past five years. It will never…I mean never, miraculously cooperate in a two hour period, if it has never given you that courtesy before. Second, you must have one of the two $300 plus blow dryers that can dry your hair quickly to help avoid the Michael Jackson Thriller version of this style. Although, this was a great style for MJ when dancing with the zombies, it may not fare as well for you at your special event, if not fully dry. You must also, know how to strategically pull and dry at the same time to make your mass of hair take on a shape. With this style, you wash or just rinse and recondition, apply a leave-in conditioner or four, and then slather and shellack your hair with the same product for the bun, but instead of in an upward motion, now in a downward motion. It is best if you can coat every individual strand of hair, but if you are in a rush, just make sure you put in the amount to, again, achieve the gelatinous squish in the bun tutorial. You only have 20 minutes for this beginning, as every other moment of the other hour and 40 minutes will be needed for drying and stretching, including turning your heat in your car on full blast on your way to said event to continue the drying process. If it is 80 degrees plus, it does not matter, the drying process must continue to the bitter end. Once you have pulled into your parking spot and put on your event shoes (again this upside-down period with the heat in your car blowing your neck nape is necessary for fullness). You should finally have a fluff of natural goodness. Again, please leave the event before midnight or your hair will shrink to Arthur Ashe length (no matter the length of your hair–yes even you waist length. naturals).
So, what does this have to do with shopping at a black owned beauty supply you ask? Well, you will need the expertise of your brethren to help you select your perfect shellacking product or to simply help you give it all up and buy a special event wig. Only a black expert will understand the special cultural nuances of black hair and sympathize with a black woman’s need to not look like Arthur Ashe.
Author: Gena L. Miller