To all my girls with weaves; what it’s like to get extensions


It turns out that you can buy time.

And attention.

I have lived with short, bad hair for a while now; it was supposed to be just a 2015 thing but it persisted; my photos of Coachella lob wavy hair never quite translating to stylists.

From my Lloyd Christmas “edgy” bangs I got before my birthday last year (“surprise!”), to the most recent “trying to get the angle” 4″ off chop.

I’m done.

I could grow my hair, but it would take 3 years and a ton of biotin and conditioner.

Enter hair extensions. 

Fly-girl shortcut.

Before you judge (yep, I can hear you all the way in Texas), know that girls who get weaves are badass. It’s expensive, time consuming, and PAINFUL.

Most Caucasian girls never have to deal with this. Though I am part African, my hair is pure Nordic, with a very tight cuticle. “Like Japanese hair, straight and slippery” one stylist realised.

I sat down with the extension stylist and she asked “did you bring your hair?”

It was the first time anyone ever asked me that.

Tears welled, my husband was coming home from an overseas trip and I wanted to feel sexy.

“My..my HAIR?…?..”

“It’s ok,” she said. “Just go to this place and buy your hair and come back. We can do it today.”

Things I didn’t know:

*You have to buy and bring your store-bought real human hair with you from a part of town featuring a guy in a Scooby Doo costume touting the nearby pawn shop. It must be WERF hair. Human hair sewn on a special string.

Mine was marked “European Ash 22″ ”

*And it will cost you. 2 lots of 22″ long WERF $475. Yipes!

*Its gonna hurt. Microbeads and “sewing” for God’s sake. The alternative for curlier hair is cornrow braiding then sewing.

I’m desperate. I’ve been avoiding mirrors for over a year and it needs to stop.

“Gollum…Gollum…”

The hair on the head is tightened into microbeads every 1/4″ or so in 10 circular rows around the head; tightened with pliers. 

Pliers!

WERF hair is then sewn on to the tight line that the beads create.

It was magic.

In 2 hours, I had Galadriel hair.

“Frodo Baggins…if you can’t find a way (to destroy the Lord of the Ring), no one can..”

For two nights my head ached like the too-tight braids you get in summer as a kid at the pool. “Get these rubber bands off my head!” 

Beauty hurts.

And I have to get a bead “tightening” every 3 weeks. Ow! Mother

But now, my hair is easy to style and takes less time than the short mop of hair I had. 3 curls and done. Or a few runs with the straightener and voila!

I love it.

Remember during the Oprah days when women over 30 were given chopped-hair makeovers? As a teen I thought, “oh of COURSE at 30, I’ll have sensible short hair!” And at 50, I’ll be Aunty Mame with fashionable streaks of grey.

These days, Women into their 60s are rocking long locks: Lisa Vanderpump from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for example.

Yayasss!

I tried the super long hair for about a week and realised it was about 2″ too long. I caught myself in a mirror at Kohls and thought of one of the bridge trolls from Monty Python (“What is your Quest?!”)

Now it looks great.

And I get so much attention!

People open heavy doors for me, chat me up, are super nice.

It’s weird but I love it.

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