For years I’ve been toying with the idea of getting box braids. A girl I knew in Brighton, once she had a baby (unnecessary minor detail but I think it makes her cooler) had white box braids done. Not only did she have a month old baby but those braids are meant to hurt like hell for the first 4 days- hats off to YOU gal 🙌🏼 They looked sick- she was one of those effortlessly cool chicks who was Belgian so her accent was sexy as fuck and was stunningly classically beautiful. She came from money so was traveling the world post-uni and was one of those wow-look-at-her-life chicks bla bla.
Anyway- this is where my inspiration came from. A couple years down the line, the bleach in my hair is half grown out, and I don’t want to cut my hair as it’s at a relatively good length. I also don’t want to bleach it anymore as it’s slightly fried (I’m seeing how I enjoy my natural colour), and if I put colour dye in the current bleach it looks a bit silly so I’m stuck in hair limbo (first world problems or woooooot).
I decided a couple weeks ago I’d do it around my birthday. I’m going to be TWENTY FIVE in 3 weeks (can’t fookin wait m8 🎉 🍹 👑) and I want a dramatic change.
SO FUCK IT.
I WILL DO IT.
I’ve been getting quotes off friends who have weave and box braids. But I’ve also been gathering their opinions on cultural appropriation simultaneously.
When I asked my friend Zoe on Facebook if she could recommend someone to do it, she saw the message instantaneously but hesitated with a response. I KNEW she was thinking about appropriation, but eventually she wrote back with a ladies number and the go ahead.
I saw her that weekend her moving house party and she voiced exactly what I was thinking about our message. But then she said, “and then I realised it was you, and you’re not doing it for the wrong reasons. You’re also questioning it which means that it’s justified. Plus it’ll look sick.”
A couple days later I was sat pondering the whole thing. I decided to type “White girl box braids” in to Google to get some other hairspiration- and was shocked by the search
My fears about the whole thing were right there, clear as day, on the computer screen in front of me. Shit. My head began to whirl, as it usually does (I’m an extremely thoughtful person, which is a blessing and a curse), but I began to doubt my choice. I voice noted various friends on Whatsapp (some of my friends who also wanted to get box braids, friends from ethnic minorieies, a friend who studied psychology) to gather their various opinions on the matter. One of my friends who has box braids responded with this.
Although I disagree slightly with the statement of if black girls can wear straight weave it’s kind of the same (it’s definitely not, for many reasons which mainly are due to suppression in society and dehumanisation for hundreds of years), it was comforting to hear from a good pal that she offered sound perspective and gave me the green light.
The last thing I would want is to offend anyone, especially over something as crazy as hair !!!. My intentions are pure. But as Trudy said, some people, especially in Peckham, may be vocal, and to be honest, they are entitled to their opinion and I also would kind of understand where they’re coming from. As long as the people I know and love around me are OK with it, then that is all that really matters to me.
It’s almost my birthday, so watch this space…….. 😏👊🏼
(Cover photo is a LAME selfie I took on Boxing Day when I was hungover as fuck but shows the relatively recent current state of my half bleached (and at the time half-ice-blue hair))