The Epic Struggle with the Lion’s Mane

During my trip, there are two things I have struggled with: my backpack, and my hair – aptly named ‘the Lion’s Mane’ because of its resemblance to Simba. 

As most people know, I have always struggled with my hair. When I was about 11 years old (6th grade), I got so tired of the tangly mess that I came home after school and cut my mid-back-length hair to my shoulders instead of attempting to comb out the baseball-sized knot that had formed in it. All without warning anyone. (My father didn’t talk to me for a week, and my mom collected the cut hair and put it in a plastic bag. One which she still has, for some godforesaken reason. And my best friend, Kesha, hit me in the shoulder for it when I saw her the next morning.) It didn’t really work, though, because my hair just turned into a mini-afro after this. The lack of weight from the hair I cut caused the remaining hair to go out – not down. But at least as an afro it didn’t knot, so I kept my hair short for a few years.

When I was about 16 years old, I got my hair chemically straightened for the first time, and I’ve never turned back (shout out to my amazing hairstylist, Heather! I’ve been going to her ever since. She is a miracle worker!) I was finally able to have my hair be long and not worry about all the knots that used to form. Until I travel for long periods of time.

When you travel, it is really hard to take care of your hair. You can’t take a shower every day; half the time you don’t bother combing your hair every day; if you do take a shower, you often take it at night and end up sleeping with a wet head (because if you take one in the morning, you waste daylight); and if you are traveling for a long period of time, there is not hope for regular haircuts. My hair has always been fairly neglected since I am extremely lazy, but it is outrageously neglected when I’m traveling. And it retailiates. Hard.

About a week after my parents got here, the Lion’s Mane and I got into a huge argument. I argued that the tangles needed to be removed by a brush, it argued that the tangles are its friend. And it retailiated by having the brush pull out GIANT chucks of hair – which, for those with short hair who don’t know this pain, HURTS SO BAD!!! It literally gave me a headache. 

My plan of attack? Braid the hair so it can’t get tangled. 

Lion’s Mane’s plan of attack? Mini-afro the second I take it out of the braid. 

My realization – first: it is really hard to braid your hair behind your back. So I tried getting dad to do it:

That failed. Epically.

Second: throughout the day, the lion’s mane will get super frizzy so the braid looks bad. And so the hair that becomes free can become tangled… 

Ultimate decision: Dear god I need a haircut! Heather – I’m totally going to come visit you as soon as I get back state-side!

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