1. Waking up to the horror of your headscarf having slipped off in the middle of the night.
2. Trying to sleep with a fresh head of braids.
3. Or trying to tie your hair up within the first week of getting your braids done and wincing in agony.
4. Feeling a strange amount of anxiety every time you have to book a hair appointment, even though you’ve been booking hair appointments for several years.
5. Relentlessly scratching your scalp all week and then realising your mistake as soon as you get your hair relaxed.
6. Going to the toilet half way through getting your extensions done and finding hair in the most random crevices of your body.
7. Being given the painstaking task of having to pass your stylist the hair.
8. Being convinced to get a trim you definitely don’t want.
9. And then having your trust betrayed when your stylist takes three inches off and gives you a CUT instead.
10. Never being quite sure if the prices in your salon are set or entirely made up every time.
11. Being forced to cancel a plan because your stylist can only do your hair on Saturday at 11am.
12. Fake scratching the back of your hair to check the kind of progress you’re making.
13. And touching the little tuft of hair at the top of your head after six long hours and thinking you only have two braids left when you actually have 20.
14. Forgetting to bring enough food to the salon and having to mask the sound of your stomach rumbling.
15. Or eating all of your provisions in the first two hours and realising you’ve been a fool.
16. Having your phone die halfway through your hair appointment.
17. When your stylist takes a break from your head every 15 minutes to have a conversation with their mate.
18. Or to chat on the phone.
19. Or to tend to their kids.
20. Or to do all three, while eating a plate of food.
21. Being told to come to the salon at 1pm and seeing two people in front of you when you arrive.
22. Being told to come to the salon at 9am and they haven’t even opened the shop yet.
23. Feeling the heat catch the oil on your scalp as your hair’s being straightened.
24. Having your weave so tight that you can’t put your eyebrows down.
25. Breaking the hairdryer pick when your hair’s only half dry.
26. Snapping a comb in half while tending to the thickest part of your head.
27. Having your wig slip back a little too far and only realising several hours into the day when you check the mirror in the toilet.
28. Or wearing your wig on a particularly windy day and praying that it doesn’t get swept off your head.
29. Feeling the ache in your muscles and actually sweating while detangling your hair.
30. Procrastinating on washing your hair and then having to start the process of washing, deep conditioning, and detangling your hair at 10pm.
31. Feeling very dubious about your new stylist and asking them a trillion questions to make sure they don’t mess up your hair.
32. Or realising they’re not quite doing your hair the way you want, but being too scared to say anything.
33. Having to do the duck and dive when someone tries to touch your hair.
34. Being asked if you cut your hair or “grew it” when you go into work with a new hairstyle.
35. Being asked if that’s your “real hair” and having to stop yourself from screaming “I BOUGHT IT, SO HELL YEAH IT’S MINE.”
36. Coming out of the salon when it’s raining and having to put a plastic bag over your head because you have no umbrella.
37. Hearing the words “hold your ear” just before the hot comb narrowly misses burning it off.
38. Trying to scratch underneath your weave discreetly with a pencil or pen.
39. Or accidentally slapping your head so hard to itch your scalp that you almost knock yourself out in the process.
40. Watching shrinkage claim the length of your hair as soon as you wash it.
41. Being asked to have a sleepover on a whim and refusing because you don’t have your headscarf.
42. Sitting under the dryer for so long that you forget what life was like before you basically lived under it.
43. And when the dryer finally cuts off, but your hairdresser tells you “ten more minutes”.
44. When you have to wash your hair in the kitchen sink and feel like your neck is gonna fall off at any minute.
45. Having extra long weave or braids and getting it caught in every zip, door or piece of velcro you come into contact with.
46. Using more ingredients to wash your hair than you do when cooking yourself an actual meal.
47. Struggling to fit a hat over your afro and wondering why you bothered trying in the first place.
48. Falling asleep without your headscarf and waking up out of your sleep to put it on.
49. Watching someone who came to the salon after you leave before you.
50. Having to reject plans on wash day.
51. Having to reject plans on “taking out my braids” day.
52. Having to reject plans when you’ve already put your satin bonnet on.
53. Showing your stylist a picture of what you want and having them completely ignore you to do their own thing.