t’s graduation time again. *Cue Boyz II Men* You’ve done the hard work and now it is time to walk across that stage.
Round 1: ‘Fro vs. the Cap
I was so proud of myself for graduating from college and I wanted to experience this accomplishment looking like myself. I wanted to wear my hair in its natural state, like I did every other day of my college career, in a style that would show off my length and “hang” out of my cap.
Now that I knew what I wanted, it was time to convince my cap to comply.
I received my cap and gown a day or two before my actual graduation day, which meant that I had a small window of time to see which styles would work best. My graduation cap was not a big fan of the luxurious ‘fro that I was dreaming of so I had to re-strategize. I decided to try styles that would contain my hair as well as stretch it and give me some hangtime. I considered a bantu knot out, a flat twist out, but finally settled on a flexi-rod set.
Round 2: ‘Fro vs The School
After a late night rendezvous with friends before graduation and limited time to prep my hair, my flexi rod set did not turn out exactly as I envisioned on graduation morning, but it worked.
After an hour of struggling to make my hair look just right, I moved on to positioning my cap in a way that did not make my hair stick out like Krusty the Clown. A few minutes and bobby pins later, I was out the door and on my way to meet the rest of the class of 2013.
Upon arrival, I was greeted by my fellow graduates and school officials making sure that we each looked worthy of the $50,000 degree that we spent the past 4+ years paying for. I guess I didn’t look the part because I was stopped and asked if I knew the proper way to wear a graduation hat. Really? After I spent all this time trying to fit this thing on over my hair? I took that opportunity to educate this fine older woman on the likes of African American hair in its natural state– our hair doesn’t fit so easily under these lovely caps. To which she responded that it looked silly.
I walked away.
I learned a lot of lessons from my blooper that I hope will help you on your big day:
Do a trial run. You do not want to wake up graduation morning to a hairstyle that did not turn out the way you wanted it to. A few weeks prior to your commencement, try different hairstyles with your cap to see which one you like the best. Practice the regimen that helped you achieve your favorite style and replicate it for your big day.
Prep your hair the night before. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve given in to my laziness and neglected to prepare my hair the night before a big event. I wake up in morning attempting to do a style and, needless to say, it does not turn out cute. Take the extra time to prep, you’ll thank yourself later.
Pin your cap to your hair. Whether you’ve decided on a protective style or loose style, it is important to pin your cap to your hair. I don’t care how nicely it seems to fit, one wrong move can knock it right off. You don’t want to known as the girl who walked across the stage with hat hair.
Remember, you look BEAUTIFUL. You look beautiful! Don’t let anybody tell you differently. Just because your hair or style isn’t what someone else is used to doesn’t mean you look any less stunning. Remember that!