Having grown up as one of the youngest in a family of women, I never wanted for a hairstylist. There was always someone around who could do my hair better than I could, so learning how to do it myself wasn’t a huge priority.
My mom taught me that good hair grease and a scarf at night could keep a French braid or cornrows looking fresh for days or even a week. And when I was older, I looked for low-maintenance hairstyles, too. In high school, I’d take $10 of my allowance to get a wash and set at the Dominican hair salon, and the stylist always wrapped my hair when it was done in order to keep it straight. When I was ready, I’d fluff it out for the day, re-wrap it at night, and cover with a scarf. There was no flat-ironing, curling, brushing, or braiding in my routine, and I loved that. I pretty much knew what my hair would look like on a daily basis. Even now, my locs are extremely low-maintenance, leaving me more time to focus on what I’ll wear on a given day.
In my world, a banging outfit is more important than fabulous hair! That’s not to say I’ll go outside with my head looking any ol’ way. I’ve always loved a good hat and have enjoyed wearing turbans in the last year or so. But to me, a hat, turban, or scarf are part of my outfit not hair on a bad hair day.
I pretty much thought that most women felt this way until I visited an old friend in D.C. She was my homegirl from college, who majored in fashion design and merchandising. I hadn’t seen her in a few years and was quite surprised when she met me wearing an over-sized T-shirt, cutoff shorts, and rubber flip-flops. As I looked her over from bottom to top, I was shocked she also had on a fabulous lace-front wig. I wondered what was the point of putting on a great wig if the rest of her wore something simple. It was funny because as all these thoughts went through my head, she was telling me that I was over-dressed. I only had on a jersey jumpsuit, vintage leather and metal belt, and high-heel sandals. And, my locs were in a simple ponytail. Clearly, we had a different way of thinking about getting dressed and primped. She told me that in D.C. it didn’t matter what women wore to just run around on a weekend or when they’d be in their cars … but hair was a completely different thing … And I could see the appeal in this way of thinking.
This whole scenario came back to me as I’ve been in the suburbs of Atlanta, where women seem to have the same thinking as my D.C. friend. And I have begun to place less emphasis on what I wear while I’m here, but I make sure to have my hair looking cute or covered with some sort of head wear. I know all of that will change once I’m back in NYC, but when in Rome …
So, which is more important to you, a fabulous hairstyle or a banging outfit? Which do you spend more time on–your hair or your outfit? Tell us why in the comments.