[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he other day during my commute home from work I noticed a girl who happened to be sitting in the front of the bus do the strangest thing. She all of a sudden began slapping the top of her head. It was the intense way she was beating herself in her head that caught my attention.
Although, I tend to automatically observe the seemingly random details of my surroundings, I briefly wondered whether I was the only one that seemed to take notice of this odd scene. After all, I was sitting all the way in the back of the bus. I began to chuckle to myself because even if someone else noticed the self- inflicted, head slapping episode, perhaps I was the only one who knew that there actually was a logical explanation.
Of course typically, as a hairstylist, practically the first thing I notice is hair. But because this was a young black woman, and she was also wearing a hair weave. I immediately started to hear that line from the popular Beyonce’s dance song “Get Me Bodied”. You know the one where she tells the ladies on the dance floor to “pat your hair weave”.
The amount of hair extensions that are added in the process of getting a hair weave or braids means you add two to three times the quantity of hair to your head than is natural all of sudden. In many cases the hair is sewn in or glued in over your own hair that has been braided down to the head in a series of braids called cornrows.
After the weave is complete the client may have achieved the beautiful hairstyle she desired but she also will experience something else she wasn’t quite expecting. Initially the scalp is reacting because it’s not accustomed to the drastic amount of hair that has been instantly added. Also, without the same amount of air circulation to the scalp body heat is trapped in with no easy way to get out.
This block of air flow to an otherwise healthy scalp usually causes an extreme and intense itching sensation. Sometimes it’s so severe people think they’re having an allergic reaction. To make things worse, when you do any kind strenuous physical activity that tends to further intensify the itching situation.
Since your own hair has been concealed beneath and intricate web of “weave”, it is basically impossible to run your fingers freely through your hair and really stimulate your scalp. You just can’t get to that itch. It’s kind of like trying to scratch that hard to reach spot that itches fiercely right in the dead center of your back. Now you might begin to understand the agony of all those girls who simply can’t scratch the hard to reach, oh- so- maddening itch under their hair weave. This is where the “pat your hair weave” was born.
Fortunately, I didn’t assume that this girl was completely off her rocker. I guarantee the next time you spot a “pat your hair weave” episode you’ll probably smile to yourself like I did and have pity for the poor girl.