Mastering the Complicated-ness of Braided Hair

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From 2000-2005 I was one of those young lads following a trend that is now considered a defining part of the early aughts: cornrows. I’d sit in my grandmother’s chair for a few hours every week as she would watch Lifetime movies on Sundays enduring what was a painful process to a tenderheaded individual. You couldn’t tell me nothing when they were finished, though. I was stuntin’ with a fresh design in my hair, a jean outfit with the shiny finish, and some Timberlands that matched. It was always a process for my grandmother because my hair was so thick and difficult to part that she had to put a perm in it (yep, that happened).

When I found out I was having a daughter my mission was to be the best dad ever. I made a firm decision I would not back down from to participate in all girly things that would become a part of her world. I would endure the long shopping trips, if she wanted to do my nails I’d let her, and of course I was going to master doing hair.

Circumstances have made this not an option but necessary. As Cydney’s only parent I have to. I started my mission of learning to braid hair last summer. I got good at box braids, but I could not baud from the root very well. I needed to put a rubber band or a scrunchie at the root to gather the hair for me and I could run with it from there.

Eventually, ding this started to break Cydney’s hair off in the back (and she’d pull the bands out) and in my quest for greatness, I had other mountains to climb. In April I attempted conrowing for the first time. The results were okay, but I was happy that I figured it out. A friend of mine showed me how to do it once but I didn’t get it, so I just did my own thing.

The last couple of weeks I’ve been really working on it. The more I’ve done it, the better it got. I have big hands and I’m clumsy so I can’t quite pinch it from the bottom so the process doesn’t look very sexy. However, the end results are magic to me.

Finally accomplishing this has been one of the highlights of my summer. Yeah, that may sound anticlimactic but the only way to continue to be blessed is to celebrate the small victories as if they are the huge milestones. The satisfaction may be a little shorter than other moments of awesomeness but they’re enough to get you by when it seems like life is kicking you in the balls. Other facets of my life may not be panning out the way that I have planned…but my daughter’s hair looks right!

As a bonus: here is a picture of me in all my Allen Iverson-like glory in 2003.

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