Monday, May 15, 2006

The Melancholy of Reese the Law Girl

If you don’t know, I’ve had my hair in braids for the last year and a half. And, while the braids were good and satisfied my long-term love “the lazy,” I am now ready for Something Different.

Something you may not know about me is that I can never keep the same style for too long. Even with the braids, I used to change the style of my hair every day of the week a la Haruhi Suzumiya...

Ponytails, pig tails, spikey buns, meatballs- you name it, I wore it. But, now I’m kind of done with braids. At least until I get lazy again. So, your friendly neighborhood Law Girl decided to do something that she hasn’t done in 2 years…

Get a relaxer.

Yes, a perm, hair straightener, chemical death. Whatever you want to call it, I decided to go and do it. Now, all I had to do was find a hairdresser (I think you white girls call them stylists).

Now, when a African-American woman decides to straighten her hair, she must find the right person. Relaxers are no joke. They will kill you and/or leave you brain dead when handled by the wrong person. After asking every black woman in Miami, I found a woman who had the endorsement of several people I respect. So, I confirmed the hairdresser's hours and went to get my “hair did” (that is actually the first time I have ever said “hair did”- ha!).

Now, unlike other places in the U.S., Miami does this weird thing where the white salons actually have “stylists” that do black hair. There actually aren’t that many black salons. This would usually scare me, but since I know that’s just how they do things here, I was okay with going to a white salon. But, my other rules about getting my hair done still remained in effect (you know I have rules about everything!):

1. Only a black person may do my hair.

2. Only a woman my do my hair (I don’t care if he is gay, he’s a dude! He’s not touching my head!).

3. Said hairdresser must come with at least 5 glowing references.

Now, the hairdresser I was going to see fulfilled all of these requirements. The salon she belonged to did not take appointments, so I just showed up when she said she arrived to work. Problem was, I went to the wrong salon…

Reese: “Hi, is Jackie here?”

Random Black Stylist [giving a black girl a relaxer]: “Umm, Jackie works at the salon in Hialeah. She doesn’t work here.”

Reese: “Hialeah! That’s 25 minutes away! Oh, great!”

Now, I’m in a quandary. I must get my hair done as I had taken my braids out and could not possibly show up at work with a large, untamed afro.

Don’t get me wrong, afros are cool and I would show up to work with an afro. But, I can’t rock an afro due to my unusually large head. I needed my hair straightened and I needed it done now. Thus, I had to lose one my rules…

5 glowing references went out the window.

Reese [to the Random Black Stylist]: “Hmmm? Well, can you do my hair?”

Random Black Stylist: “Actually, I’ve been here all day and after this customer I’m going on a lunch break.”

Dang! Now, I’m in a bind. I’m way too lazy to go Hialeah. And, I must get my hair done now! Thus, I had to lose another one of my rules…

Women hairdressers only went out the window…

Reese: “What about that black guy over there?”

Random Black Stylist: “He only cuts hair.”

Reese: “Dang!”

Random Black Stylist: “You do have another option…”


Random Black Stylist: “There’s another girl who does relaxers, but you have to decide if you want her to do your hair.”

Translation: “There’s another chick here who does hair, but she ain’t black. She’s Spanish. And, she ain’t Dominican. She’s that Venezuelan, Argentinean, Christina Aguilera type Spanish girl. You know, white.”

Reese: “Hmmm?”

Translation: “Hell no!”

Random Black Stylist: “Well, you could go to Hialeah…”

Translation: “Go to Hialeah you lazy bum!”

Reese: “Well, is the other girl any good?”

Translation: “Look, is my hair going to fall out, because I’m not trying to go bald!”

Random Black Stylist: “She’s good.”

Translation: “Your hair won’t fall out. That’s all I can promise you.”

Reese: “Well, then she’ll do.”

Translation: “I’m sooo lazy. I’m willing to risk my brain cells to get my hair done by the white girl.”

And, so, this was the story of how I lost all of my hair follicles.

Hahahaha, no not quite.

So, Solaris is the one whom I have “chosen” to do my hair.

Yes, all my rules did go the way of the Dodo.

Reese: “So, ummm, Solaris you know I have “virgin hair.” None of it has been touched by the chemical waste that is a relaxer.”

Solaris: “It’s okay, mami. I got you, don’t worry. It will be bonita!”

Reese: “Well, okay…”

So, Solaris started to put the relaxer in. Meantime, I said a little prayer and prepared for a larger than normal chemical burn that always pops up on my scalp after I get a relaxer.

Now, the first thing Solaris did wrong was that she did not put any of the relaxer on the roots of my hair. I can’t have straight hair, but super kinky roots!

Reese: “Uhhh, Solaris?”

Solaris: “Yea, mami?”

Reese: “Ummm, could you make sure you get the roots?”

Solaris: “Oh, mami, I do the roots last. I get the long hair first and then do the roots, because doing the roots is what causes the scalp to burn. Do the roots last and it gives the long hair time to get straight. This way the relaxer stays in longer. You see, mami?”

Reese: “Wow…that’s bloody brilliant, Solaris! None of my other hairdressers have ever done that! Amazing!”

Solaris: “It’s going to be muy bonita, mami! You’ll see…”

So, even though Solaris put the relaxer in the wrong way (“roots last” and not “roots first,”), I was able to keep the relaxer in for a good 25-30 minutes. That’s the longest I have ever been able to keep a relaxer in! Also, it never burned! Amazing!

Moving on, the second thing Solaris did wrong was to rinse the relaxer out and then put the deep conditioner in…

Reese: “Uhhh, Solaris, shouldn’t you shampoo my hair now?”

Solaris: “Ay, mami, I put deep conditioner in first. Then wash, then condition again. You’ll see, it will be muy bonita!. Muy bonita!”

Reese [sighing]: “Okay…”

So, Solaris rinsed and conditioned, and then shampooed, and then conditioned again. After that, my hair was completely straight! I mean not a trace of curls.

For a second, I thought she somehow made me into a white girl.

Anyways, so the third thing Solaris did wrong was blow dry my hair before she trimmed it…

Reese: “Uhhh, Solaris…”

Solaris: “Trust me, mami.”

Reese [sighing]: “Okay…”

So, after a blow dry, trim, flat iron and curl, my hair was done. And in record time no less. Solaris finished in 2 hours flat. FYI for white people, 2 hours for a black girl is the equivalent of you getting your hair done in 30 seconds. Amazing, I know.

Yeah, so Solaris turns me around to look at the mirror and guess what…

Reese: “OH. MY. GOD.”

Solaris: “You like?”

Reese: “OH. MY. GOD.”

Solaris: “It’s good, no?”

Reese: “Solaris?”

Solaris: “Yes?”


Solaris: “You like it, mami?”


Solaris: “I told you to trust me, mami.”


Solaris: “I know.”

Reese [shaking her head]: “OH YEAH!! OH YEAH!!! OH YEAH!!!!”

Solaris: “Here’s my card. Make sure you come back in 4-6 weeks for a touch-up, mami!”

Yeah, so even though Solaris did everything wrong, she still managed to do my hair perfectly! Which leads me to add a new, overly broad, generalization to my list of Overly Broad Generalizations.

* “Lisa” is crazy.
* CC is violent.
* Reese is wonderful.
* Spanish girls do the best hair.

Go figure!

© Copyright 2006. All Rights Reserved.


Blogger jeopardygirl said...

One word: PHOTO. Where's the photo of your newly coiffed head, Reese?

7:10 PM  
Blogger Reese The Law Girl said...

Unforunately, I don't have a digital camera. I'm contemplating buying one so you can see me with the new do. We'll see. ;)

7:32 PM  
Blogger Jomama said...

That's what I was going to say. We need pictures. And video of you swinging your hair around.

I have never paid to get a perm; I always do it myself. Unfortunately, I have the occasional burn to prove it, but I'll never pay $60+ for something I am perfectly capable of doing for $5. And 4-6 weeks? Damn Reese, are you made of money?

8:27 PM  
Blogger ivieboh said...

hm, relaxers. haven't had one of those in years. anyway, glad to hear your experience went well though.

3:24 AM  
Blogger Amadeo said...

Big risk...When I go to the barbershop now, if I forgot to call ahead I pray my guy is there. I know all the barbers personally and don't want to have to reject the other two. When it comes to with who brung you!

9:23 AM  
Blogger Karla said...

Blogger hates me. It wont let me post a comment so let see if this one goes through.

Two hours is not bad. It takes me about 3 to 6 hours to get my hair done and that is with my dominican "stylist".

10:09 AM  
Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

You know, right when I started reading I was thinking "Why doesn't she just rock tha "fro? Fro's are cool. I'D have a fro if I could get away with it.", but then you reminded me.......big head.

11:09 AM  
Blogger This Girl I Used to Know said...

That is too funny.

I have no rules on who can do my hair.

But then, I have no hairstyle and only ever need a trim. I, too, am a big fan of "lazy" hair :)

11:31 AM  
Blogger Brother Kojak said...

I used to rock a fro, but I was scaring all of the little white children so I dredded up.

Hmmm....come to think of it, now I scare all of the little white men! Go figure.

12:36 PM  
Blogger prosine said...

Hey Reese, I'm here via BK. I'm a pseudo white girl, ask BK about that one.

Anyway, when my NO DOUBT ABOUT IT white daughter goes to get a perm, four to six hours. Yeah, girl do got that much hair! LOL!

Also, my hair is straight as a board. It's funny how people who have curls always want straight and vice versa. My hair won't hold a perm for more than two weeks. After that it just looks like someone stuck one of those nasty little dogs with the wirey hair on top of my head. Consequently, I stick to covering the gray with highlights now :)

3:03 PM  
Blogger Desiree said...

yeah, what she said, a pic would be nice!

5:34 PM  
Blogger Reese The Law Girl said...

First of all, I see two newbies who have been sucked into my universe.

Thanx for stopping by Ivieboh and Prosine. ;)

Funny thing about reading these comments. In some manner, we've all had the same experience when getting our hair styled. Whether it be long waits or unreliable "stylists," it would appear we're more alike than we are different. ;)

8:02 PM  
Blogger Jessica R. said...

3 words - YOU ARE CRAZY!!!!

I have a question though. Call me stupid asking this but I've been wondering what this means.

Here in NY - i see almost on a daily basis - a black woman with straight hair wrapped around her head - secured by bobby pins.
i KNOW it's not a style - so why is it like that - what was just done and what's the next step?

12:34 PM  
Blogger Reese The Law Girl said...

Jessica are you trying to get my black card taken away from me by asking me hair questions that I don't have answers to?

I thought you and I were cool, man. That ain't right!


I'm just guessing that maybe what you saw was a woman who got a "wrap" done at the salon, but didn't stay for the hairdresser to finish it.

A "wrap" is just something they do to your hair so that at night you can just wrap your hair around your head, put on a scarf, and go to bed. When you wake up, you unwrap your hair and you're good to go.

Although, I'm not sure if they use bobby pins to secure wraps when you're first getting it done. I haven't had one in years, so I don't remember.

And now I'm going to get my black card taken away for giving away all of our secrets. ;)

1:03 PM  
Blogger Karla said...


in D.R. they do a "wrap" with bobby pins called a "tubi dubi" which is done to mantaine your hair flat and straight after spending hours getting it done.

3:39 PM  
Blogger ivieboh said...

in response to your comment: the staring sucks. and i guess you do get used to it. i find myself giving people a mean ass nasty look and then they look away. hehe

8:36 PM  
Blogger prosine said...

WTF? You all can just wrap your hair aroung your head, sleep on it, take it down in the AM and it's "Good to Go"?

Man, that's some crap!

Plus, even pseudo white girls have to wash daily! It blows...


10:17 PM  
Blogger Jessica R. said...

REESE - please 4 give me!!

I was just curious - but I think Karla answered it - it seems they had just gotttend their hair straightened - possibly a weave and then go home...but how long do you have to keep it like that?

It's just crazy to see these women with their hair like that.

Thanks Karla and Sorry Reese =(

7:54 AM  
Blogger Reese The Law Girl said...

Prosine: And yet, I find that to be too much work. That's how spoiled some of us are. ;)

Jessica: It's okay. I forgive you! :D

I think Karla and I were referring to the same thing. But, I've never seen that used for a weave. That's too much work for a weave (usually you just walk out of the salon as is with a weave). If you saw a woman with her hair wrapped like that, it's all her's. I would think anyways.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Jessica R. said...

Just had to update since i've verified what the heck i'm talking about/asking about.

I went out to lunch with some girls at work and asked what the heck that's called - Karla was right - DUBI - they have to keep their hair like that until the next day so it stays straight.

So now i'm hooked up with my knowledge for the day - I'm sorry but I'm glad I was born with straight hair - I couldn't imagine the hassle - I know my boyfriends mother goes and gets her hair chemically straightened and she said it takes hours!! But it'll never frizz in the summer.

So REESE - pics lady??
I better see some pics in the next couple days on myspace.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Juicy77 said...

*ignoring the fact that you put that poison in your hair*

Reese, you daredevil! You let a White woman do your hair?!


Okay, okay, there is one white girl I would go to, but she is the only one...and she has black children so it's different. lol You're lucky you're not bald now! Post a picture. I have to see this to believe it. You're bald now aren't you? Tell the truth. ;o)

One of my friends has a very strict policy about hairdressers - they have to be Dominican. Period. No exceptions. If she/he isn't Dominican, she will not allow them to touch her hair. They can't be African-American [she is btw], Puerto Rican, Panamanian, Jamaican. No exceptions. *sigh* Black haircare is so complex.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Reese The Law Girl said...

Juicy: Lol! I'm not surprised about your friend only letting Dominican hairdressers near her head. I'm pretty sure that Dominican hairdressers have it on lock as being the best. From what I hear anyways.


I AM NOT BALD!!! The white girl did a good job, I'm telling you! Hopefully, I can get my hands on a digital camera soon and post a picture. :D

1:36 PM  

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