Just as they ask you as soon as you get off the train at 125th street station in Harlem, “Hair braid miss??!” —insert african accent appropriately…..
– I obliged
Man shout out to the Africans who braided me up yesterday!!! NEVER AGAIN!!!!
Okay calling them africans may sound a bit ignorant so I will call them…….. West Africans!!!! Just to be politically correct;-)
Yeah so I’m three years removed from braids… Yup! Haven’t had extensions (braids with weave) since year 07/08… Around that time is when I finally accepted my hair and embraced it’s beauty. Yay me :-]
There’s nothing wrong with extensions but they can be damaging when worn religiously and if 21 yrs of braids back to back isn’t religious then I don’t know what is…(Moderation is the key to life people) true story
But! After the incident that I shared a few blogs back also known as the “hate crime” also known as the trim turned HAIR CUT, I grew desperate to the idea of leaving my hair alone for a while to promote growth.
Initially I was suppose to get my twin sister(yes I have one of those) to do my braids(yes she does that—-check her work out here) but she lives in dc and I was being indecisive, blah blah blah so I decided to go to W125th in harlem and get my hair braided by the west africans:-)
Sounds like a good plan especially considering I stopped by prior to inspect their work and work ethic(how many ppl to a head)…. But actually Not so much:-/
Sigh… Where do I start? This was quite an experience…
It was like a 6 hour (that’s how long it took) train ride on NY’s metro but in a small box of a salon.
First you had Jon. Jon is asian and he sells indian hair… He came in with a few packs of what he considered India’s finest… I wanted to know where Asia’s finest was but I guess he wasn’t repping that day…The west africans didn’t really engage him too much, so in and out came Jon… Ok
Moving on to the thousands of “sock mans” in and out… I’m not gone lie, they got me for $5… They had these cute toe socks that I liked….
Then their was the indian lady selling jewelry… She had mannerisms of a criminal… Never trusted an eye squint…
Can’t forget the asian lady selling dvds… I recognized her from the 3 train, some call her “ming lee” but I think some call all asian women that…
Get this… There was the african female psychic… She was trying to read the palms of the lady doing my hair!!! Are you kidding me??? She needs those lady! Smh
The african male banjo player… Ugh!
All we needed were those street performance kids who dance always calling out “showtime” to complete this experience but instead there was the “pants man”. He gave a run way view of all his product that included House of Dereon, 7 jeans, express business pants, khakis, jeggins, and more. You name it, he had it but only in the wide range of sizes 8-10. I say “yo, you holding it down for the big girls aren’t you?” He say, “naw ma… These 7’s run small… I bet you can fit these”…. I can’t!!!! Never have I ever been approached by a salesman that wanted to convince me I could wear 2 sizes bigger. Only in NY!!!
If this alone didn’t bother me, the smell, no hand soap in the bathroom, the rough gripping of my hair while constantly trying to sneak and use gel when I told her not to, loud group conversations and singing in another language, musty smell, and isolated stares from women did… Which left me asking myself, “why did I come here again?”
The only thing that kept me pushing through was my book (side note Jodi Picoult has me deeply and emotionally engaged) texting friends, and watching “dancing with the stars”, which was occasionally interrupted with a head tug. Smh
Why are my experiences so wreckless?? *falls down to knees” whhhhyyyy?
Lol I’m being dramatic but at the end of the day, I really do feel like I could’ve done my own braids… REAL TALK!
I do my own hair usually but I figure a nice break was due but I actually coached her the entire time! “Nope too big”, “nope too tight”, “nope, no gel”, “if you braid it like this, it wouldn’t hurt”…. I know she was tired of me just as I am of this rant. Lol
All I know is next time I hear “hair braid miss”, I’m breaking out in a sprint and not looking back!!
Stay wreckless yall;-)
O and here’s the final result…. Not the best job but it will do for now:-)