My first trip to Atlanta was, well, not all that memorable. I stayed with my ex-fiancee (I know, weird but we were cool like that). She took me around to some spots, can’t really remember them. My friend, Lamar, took me to a couple of places as well. Nothing to write home about. Nothing to really write to you about.
What did happen? I got my hair did, that’s what. I went black. Jet black. It made my freckles and hazel eyes sparkle like no one’s business. Not only did I get my hair dyed black, but I also got some new tracks put in. Gotta love new, flowing locks that reach my booty just right. Guys love it when the tips of your hair barely graze your butt cheeks, swinging back and forth like a pendulum. It’s quite mesmerizing for them, apparently.
A few quick facts on going to just about any black hair salon:
- You’re going to be there forever, so plan on an entire day.
- You’re going to hear the best. gossip. ever. It’s still exciting, even if you don’t personally know the people they’re talking about.
- You’re going to probably see/hear/witness an argument. It’s inevitable. Salons and barber shops are notorious for conflict because it’s not only where people go to get their hair did, but it’s also where people who have nothing else to do go to shoot the shite. In other words, stir up drama.
- You’re going to experience sensory overload. The television featuring the best of afternoon soaps goes very well with the bass of hip hop music permeating the background, not to mention the 50 conversations happening at once. Plus the thrill of your hair being tugged and yanked in various directions by, not only your stylist, but neighboring stylists who all seem to have an opinion.
- You’re going to get forgotten underneath the dryer. It’s the perfect opportunity for your stylist to catch up on her soaps or grab a bite to eat. Like hot wings. Because that’s the perfect food to eat when doing people’s hair.
- You’re going to meet random vendors who will sell you anything: jewelry, clothes, shoes, purses, food…you name it. They walk right in off the street, open up a cooler, a trunk, their coat and present their wares. Just to be clear, any designer name brands presented are probably not genuine ;-).
- You’re going to end up looking like Sheneneh from Martin if you don’t speak up. Please see my entry entitled, “Life is an Endless Struggle…” , where I learned this lesson the hard way. Stylists are always looking for their next guinea pig, so if you don’t say, ‘no thanks…don’t cut anymore – or – I’m not sure purple spikes are for me – you’re going to be severely disappointed and will be spending yet another day in the salon to fix it.
This reminds me of a hair show I did in college a long, long time ago. I willingly allowed a full head of fire engine, Pippi Longstocking, Wendy’s fast food chain RED hair to be glued to my head. I mean, it was RED. With rhinestones glued in a design through the middle amid large, bouncy curls. So not me, but I figured it was for a special occasion so, why not? I wasn’t too peeved about it since it was a full weave glued to very specific areas, my hair safely braided underneath. The problem? The appointment right after the show was delayed so I had to keep this hair for an extra three days. Can you imagine going in to innocently purchase a sex toy, lingerie or some club attire and being greeted by a girl whose hair looked like it was on fire? Yeah, my sales suffered that week.
This day in my stylist’s new Atlanta salon was no different. Quite exciting, actually. Lots of beautiful people everywhere. I couldn’t believe how dolled up people got in Atlanta just to hang out. It was like a daily fashion show everywhere. I felt underdressed in my jeans, but what else was I going to wear when hair dye was involved?
Meanwhile, six hours later…
I stepped out into the afternoon sunshine…my belly was full, I had a new purse, some new hair and a coupon for 1/2 off some wing place. I felt so good I could stop traffic. I didn’t try that, though. Drivers in Atlanta seemed a little bit crazy. Everything went really well: the dye, the sew-in, the cut, the style. At first.
It wasn’t until that evening that I started to have some serious issues: itching. Perhaps that’s why I don’t remember much else about that trip because the itching was incessant. Instead of scratching, I started just squeezing my entire head with both of my hands. My scalp was severely irritated. Lotion didn’t help, massaging didn’t help, not even drinking helped. I am the first one to admit that beauty is pain, but WTF?
Once I was on the plane heading back to Tampa, I half-hoped that maybe it was the air in that city. Poisonous. Not only was my scalp itching like hell, but my eyes were burning, my throat ached and I felt like I could sleep for ten hours. I think I did at one point, actually. Yep. Had to be the air.
But once I arrived back home, I quickly learned that the air was not the culprit. My scalp irritation was bringing me to tears, literally. And then on the morning of the fourth day since getting my hair did, I woke up to discover that it was also bringing me to the ER. And that’s where I headed, immediately.