Life Lessons from My Hair
My hair is a full time job. Literally every day, I contemplate how I want to style it, if I want to grow it out or cut it. Should I rock a weave, get some braids, test out a wig, or search for a stylist who can make these tough decisions for me? I love my hair. But lately the job of thinking about what to do with it, weighs on me, particularly now, living in a rural area without a local stylist. I want my hair to represent the #carefreeblackgirl lifestyle, but instead, it’s become a burden, slowing me down to question, “Girl, what are you going to do with your hair today?”
To help me consider hair and its related life lessons, I recently chopped it up with Nikki Binion, licensed cosmetologist and owner of B. Lauren Beauty in Dallas, TX, and one of my favorite Insta hair mavens. I’m sharing what I learned with you here.
The salon is a healing place.
Going to the salon isn’t just about hair, but about building community. Chatting with Nikki made me realize how much I miss having a regular stylist and salon. The salon is a healing place, where you can let your hair down (literally) and tell your stylist all your business. It's a space of renewal where your stylist affirms you, y'all chitchat about celebrity gossip, and share life updates. Not having that dedicated girlfriend time in the salon every two weeks does free up my Saturdays (‘cause we all know, you can end up in the salon AWL day), but it definitely has me longing for some kiki time over the shampoo bowl with my stylist.
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Don’t use your hair to hide.
Nikki specializes in short hair. She is easily the queen of pixie cuts. When asked why she loves short hair, she said, “It definitely lets your personality shine through; short hair doesn’t allow you to hide.” With so many hair options from lace fronts to locs, you can easily hide behind big hair and bundles, and at the same time, come across like a copycat of the latest beach wave bombshell on IG. Whether you’re rocking a weave or not, it’s important to ensure your personality is shining through. Your hair tells a story; make sure the one yours is telling is a true representation of you.
First in, first out.
During a recent visit to the salon, my stylist noticed some breakage at the crown of my head. As she inspected the health of the rest of my hair, she quipped, “What lil’ boy you letting stress you out?” I sat there thinking, how does she know all my business? what did I let leak on IG? Then I realized she could tell from looking at my hair. Signs of stress, malnutrition, dehydration, and more, show up in your hair. Nikki expressed a similar sentiment explaining that shine, body, and fullness can all be affected by our diet. There are a lot of reasons to stay away from greasy, over-processed foods, but you’ll do a better job keeping your tresses on fleek by eating your leafy greens. Otherwise, you might find yourself having to answer to your stylist.
Foundation is key.
A good haircut, mold, and some finger combing can solve a world full of problems. Nikki preps her clients for the days between appointments by making sure they know good, maintenance basics. These keys to avoiding hair challenges are relevant in life too, and important reminders to mind the little details that make up your foundation. Cutting corners on the basics can leave you building your empire on shaky ground.
Life constantly comes at us from all directions and our hair is the best life accessory we already own! Let it build you up every day; not hold you down. Chatting with Nikki reminded me that all I need to get over my slump is a dope cut, some styling paste, and some self-confidence, even if I have to borrow it from our favorite short-hair sister, Halle Berry. And if all else fails, throw on a “girlfriend” (what Nikki calls her wigs) because nobody needs to be held back by their hair.