We are a full seven days into 2020 and I hope you all are still optimistic about what this year will bring! As the millennial code-switching melanin queen you have come to know and love, this week is all about the Hair Code.
I decided to bring the new year in with a throwback half-up-half-down curly combo. Stunned by the overwhelmingly positive responses, it got me to thinking about how transformative my hair is. After deciding to leave the creamy crack a.k.a relaxers in the early 2000s, I frequently exercise the use of protective styles such as units and braids. Being that my hair texture is soft and fine, braids are not a regular option which is why I primarily depend on units. "Unit" is a term used to refer to wigs. I am here to tell you that these are not your stiff, synthetic pieces of the past! Atlanta has become the hair capital of the nation with celebrities and influencers alike flocking to the city for their flawless tresses. Since I do not have the creativity or patience to truly style my natural hair like many of the YouTubers I see across the web, having "grab n' go" hairstyles is quintessential. My stylist (@_kayallure on IG) has created more than eight units to match my many moods since 2016. I was initially apprehensive and had all kinds of thoughts run through my mind of the hair flying off my head on a windy day or getting caught on a coat hook, but once I learned how to secure the wig, the worry dissipated.
My constant hair switch-up at times causes confusion with my colleagues that stare in awe of my overnight inches, but I must admit it is the best way to "dye and try" new styles without the permanent commitment. They have now learned to smile and nod instead of deciphering the changes. A few have even become savvy enough to identify a lace closure versus a real scalp when in public. With all the concerns I once had, I realize you have to have a level of confidence to rock them. At any given moment you may walk in on me with my wig tossed across a chair while I let the Cleo braids breathe. You can also guarantee that I have wig stands lined up to keep each unit in place when not in use. I own the fact that while the strands are not coming out of my scalp—I maintain each unit with care the way I do my real hair. It is also impossible to embarrass me when wearing a wig.
Once, while working a closing shift at my part-time job, I felt the subtle slide that occurs when the elastic band gets too loose. Before I knew it, I turned my head too quickly to the left to assist a customer and found my hair flying to the right. Thankfully I had my hair combed back underneath so it wasn't a complete shock as I darted to retrieve it. Instead of being mortified, I laughed and took it in stride. I say all of this to say, we all take an "L" one way or another, but no one can make you feel bad for how you own your truths. Only you know what makes you feel comfortable so don’t conform to beauty standards that you don’t see fit. Whether it’s a protective style or your real hair—OWN IT! After all, it's the confidence that captivates audiences first.
Thank you for reading this week!
xo Mia Shantel