A study says that women will change their hair more than 100 times during their lifetime. I haven’t been on earth more than three decades, and I’m sure I’m past 101. My hair has been long, short, curly and straight. Fiery red, orangey, jet black, brownish, and burgundy are all the colors of my hair history’s rainbow. I probably had 100 different hair disasters too thanks to those college days when I forgot I even had hair, but I remembered that I didn’t have money.
Black women spend billions of dollars on our hair (or someone else’s) each year. Our hair is our glory (and sometimes an inconvenience). One summer during an unpaid internship, I got tired of the salon trips. The price of getting your hair done ranges from $25 to more than $200. Multiply that by X amount of trips and the long waiting hours and you will have a sum that, like me, many women cannot afford and time that we’d rather not “waste” each month. Therefore, I listened when a friend introduced me to Do-it-Yourself websites and black women hair care forums. I invested in a bonnet dryer and hair straighter to add to my hair curlers then did my DIY bank head bounce.
My biggest challenge was relaxing my own hair. Cue the song that should have been made for Madame C. J. Walker. Let’s just say not everything was straight. There is also a time I tried to color my hair. And yep, I’ll leave that alone, too. Whether your hair is relaxed or straight, adding chemicals to your hair, getting braids or re-twists, shape-ups, and trims can all be a hassle when you’re solo.
Relaxing and coloring your hair are the most expensive services, but also the most important. If you get nervous when you see too many hairs after a wash and set, you should definitely invest in letting the experts work their magic. Go ahead and wash your own hair once or twice a week. Get a girlfriend to trim your ends. Apply a deep conditioner and sit under the bonnet dryer you invested in. However, leave the chemicals to the stylist and when you need a specific style or can’t master the look you want.
Not sure if you should DIY? Ask yourself these questions:
If I do this can I guarantee that my hair won’t fall out?
If I do this can I guarantee it will look better than before ______it?
Will this help hinder my goal to having healthy hair?
Remember, practice makes perfect. But if you answered no to any of the questions above, feel free to proceed to your nearest hair salon.
So ladies, when should you DIY and when should you call up your stylist?
– Shavon Donnell