Being a dancer is hard work. It takes a toll on you mentally, emotionally and physically – having to memorize choreography quickly and accurately stretches your brain (and learning choreography for different roles in the same piece is even more annoying) and the constant search for perfection can be tiring for even the most talented dancer. Physically, I’ve come home sore more nights than I’ve come home feeling fine, and every morning I wake up to gingerly place my feet on the ground hoping that today would be the day that I won’t feel my hamstring strain.
Now, this is all sounding a lot more serious than it intended to be, which brings me to the real reason I wanted to write – which is to discuss the vanity I have in the appearance of my hair! Another body part (although it’s technically not really a part… although I do like a side part. HA. Ha. Ha… ) that has suffered physically. The constant pulling back into a bun, or tight ponytail has spurred me on to experiment with different ways of tying my hair back.
Most of these new ways involve securing my hair not-so-tightly, which doesn’t give me very good results. I know I’m lucky to have (somewhat) healthy black hair, that doesn’t show oil very often and is shiny and smooth – but I am in a constant battle with my hair. Yes, it’s straight and yes, it’s shiny – but it’s slippery and doesn’t stay back very well. Braids are a struggle. Bobby pins are ineffective.
So lately I’ve been Googling different tips and tricks on how to deal with fine, slippery hair and practicing and practicing. And, happily, I can report good results! I’ve had mishaps – I don’t like using hairnets, but when I tried to go through a high-energy-head-whipping character class with my hair in a bun sans hairnet, hairpins went flying – but there have also been victories. I’ve finally learned the direction I need to braid in order to French braid along the crown of my head – something I’ve always looked at with envious eyes on other girls as a way to dress up a simple ponytail. And after much debating I bought a boar bristle brush that supposedly pulls less on thin hair and is able to smooth out hair after ponytails. It feels weird on my head, but it helped me to part and put my hair up in a pretty French twist that actually feels tight and doesn’t have weird lumps in it.
That is, a French twist that feels nice and tight when I don’t move my head much… I wonder if it will stay in during class. Maybe not during character class. But we shall see! And so, the fight against hair issues continues!