Guest Blogger: Lizadidall talks the Chop and Mermaid Twists

Rebounding from a massive cut made a year ago, I am in the process of growing my hair for what seems like the first time! I can only deal with exposing my hair in the nude for a short period of time. Although my naturally sprouted afro is extremely fun, the springy strands on my head can only stand so much against the elements and manipulation of combing and picking out. In order to give my hair a rest, I retrieved my hair wish list, closed my eyes and pointed my finger at a coveted hairstyle. I landed on Mermaid Twists. It had been two years since I last visited this hairstyle so I had no qualms with my blind selection.

Big Chop Big Fro
Big Chop Big Fro

Prior to my stylist beginning the arduous task, I washed my hair with Shea Moisture Retention Shampoo and conditioned it outside of the shower with the Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Hair Masque I then concealed it with a shower-cap for a few hours. I then rinsed my hair with cool water, applied a leave-in conditioner and combed my hair out so that I could lightly blow-dry it. The twisting process took about 10 hours to do, but my stylist, Cameeshe (cameeshe.domyhair@gmail.com), did an awesome job. The box parts were organized and she used a mixture of Carol's Daughter Hair MilkECOCO Eco Style Gel and Shea Butter to put on my hair so that it would be moisturized. 

After weaving in five packages of RastAfri Malibu Afro Kinky Braid with my own, I was about five solid pounds heavier. But hey, glorious crowns are heavy. I always equate the intended longevity of my hairstyle based on how long the installation takes. I get very antsy when my versatility in appearance is limited so I decided that a month would do. The twists hold up very well and the frizz that is incurred over time reinforces the natural effect of the kinky hair. Wearing my mane down and over my shoulders, I felt like a lioness, fierce and strong. Up in a ponytail during activities like tennis, it swung from side to side and I felt spunky like a cheerleader. Adventures of la boheme were inspired on sunny days in gypsy skirts and the Mermaid Twists accented my eccentric appeal. Because the extensions looked natural, strangers questioned the authenticity of what they called dreadlocks. One person sarcastically said that I joined the ranks of the exclusive society of black artists with the inception of my new hair-do.

Mermaid Twists Lioness
Mermaid Twists Lioness

A week prior to taking the twists down, I decided to cut them. A child of the 90s, I always wanted short braids that the likes of Jada Pinkett-Smith, but my hair was always longer than my shoulders. I asked my mother to give me an asymmetrical bob, the back being a little shorter than the front and it totally worked!

Mermaid Twists Set-it-Off Style
Mermaid Twists Set-it-Off Style

During the interim of cutting my twists and taking them out, I ran into a white guy at Venice Beach who had 101 questions about my hair: Are they braids or dreads? How often do you wash them? Oh, they're extensions? Why did you cut them? Why did you cut your real hair? Pretty soon I was revealing aspirations for my afro and he was asking me what my goal was for my afro’s diameter was. With the breeze at my back, I realized that the conversation had just gotten real! I had no answer for his last question but I was amazed at how he inquired about my appearance with such gusto. It was an honest exchange and I am happy that I was able to share information about my hair to an inquisitive white male.

Now it’s time to close my eyes and point once again… the possibilities are endless!