“African women wear the head-wrap as a queen might wear a crown.”
To say that I’m obsessed with head wraps would be a huge understatement. If you looked at my Pinterest page https://www.pinterest.com/eyeznsmiles/wrap-it-up/ for head wraps, you’d understand. While I’m not the greatest at wrapping my hair, I do enjoy finding beautiful fabrics and scarves to use.
In the African and African American community, wrapping one’s head is more than a fashion statement. It has cultural and historical significance as well. I found an informative article (see link below) that explains the origins of head wrapping, which started in sub-Saharan Africa. It is important to note that other cultures practice head wrapping as well, and this is discussed in the link as well.
Living in the mid-west where we have some of the coldest winters, it is important to protect your natural hair. This is the time of year that wrapping my hair – even if it’s in a protective style – is a must. Put your crowns on, queens!
Full disclosure: This isn’t a how-to post for wash and go’s. I haven’t done a wash and go since I big chopped four years ago. However, last week, at the very last minute, I decided to wash my hair before I went to work. Literally, I laid in bed for like a half hour debating on whether or not to wash it now or later in the evening. The chances were very slim that I’d want to wash it after dinner or before I went to bed, so finally, I decided to get up and get it over with. I hopped in the shower, cleaned my body and then commenced to washing my hair.
I towel dried my hair as best I could, detangled, did the LOC method (Leave in conditioner, oil, and a cream) and put in two flat twists – one on each side of my head. Okay, I’m gonna be honest here – my flat twists were more like struggle twists, lol! They were not pretty at all, so I wrapped my hair with a head wrap and off to work I went.
My takeaway from this experience is that wash and go’s can be done. I had so many excuses as to why I couldn’t wash my hair in the morning before going to work. “It’s too much work. I won’t have time to style. Who has time for all of that? Wash and go’s won’t work on my 4c hair.” I only thought that way because I was thinking of wash and go’s in the typical sense where you’re using various products, techniques, and lots of time to achieve the perfect coils so you can wear your hair out. That’s not the only way you can do a wash and go, but it is the most promoted way of doing a wash and go among naturalistas. I forgot that you can do a wash and go but instead of wearing your hair out, put some flat twists or braids in your hair and keep it moving.
There are no hard and fast rules for wash and go’s. You simply have to make your own version of it. Do what works for you.
Here’s a photo of me with my head wrapped wash and go last week:
So why have I been making it so hard? Or am I just lazy/content with what I’ve been doing thus far? I think it’s the latter. Lately, I’ve been seriously thinking about other ways to protective style that will not hurt my pocket book so much. (I just showed my age saying pocket book LOL!) I LOVE going to the shop and getting my hair braided, however that’s not always financially feasible. Braids are a wonderful investment that you can get two – three months out of, especially when you find a great hair braider. Crochet braids only last for a few weeks (depending on style and type of hair you use) and then you have to take them down.
In the meantime, I’ve gotten myself into the bad habit of twisting or plaiting my hair and then taking it down the next day to wear a curly fro, then retwisting or plaiting to do it all over again night after night. Well, I’m noticing split ends and extra shedding. Not good. The shedding and split ends aren’t just because of over manipulation. It’s also because I haven’t been tucking my hair away this winter. The cold, harsh winter air has my hair dry and brittle. To be more loving and gentler to my hair, I’ve set a new goal for myself, inspired by fellow Naturalista’s on Facebook. My goal is to leave my hair in a protective style for a week and to keep doing it every week until it becomes a habit. I think this is a great goal for people like myself who desperately need to leave their hair alone.
Yesterday, I had an epiphany. Not only am I going to invest in more colorful scarves so I can wrap my hair in different styles, I’m going to also invest in a WIG! And not just any ole’ wig, I want a good wig that looks like my natural hair. I’ll admit that I’ve been resistant towards wigs for quite some time. I’ve never worn one in my entire life except for a talent show. I’ve always felt that I wouldn’t look right in them. But I’ve now had a change of heart and I’m ready to rock a wig! Maybe it’s because I’m in my 40’s and I no longer care about what other people think. Regardless of the reason, I’m here for them. I’m here for wigs!
Until I get my wig and more colorful scarves, here’s what I’m rocking today to keep my plaits in my hair:
Come through, hat! 😉
Knowing our history is so important. I learned something new reading this article and I plan to dig even deeper. I love history. I love learning. Our style, adaptability, and creativeness have long roots. This article makes me proud that I made the decision to go back to my natural roots.
Today we all have a choice. We have the choice to wear our natural hair and show it’s beauty and unique qualities, or we can “cover it up” with chemicals that strip away it’s natural beauty. The choice we make is a personal choice and there should be no judgement (in a perfect world) with the decision we make. I just hope this article inspires and enlightens you the same way it has inspired and enlightened me.