Most travelers prepare for their trips by planning itineraries, budgets, packing lists months in advance of their departure date. I pretty much figure that such things will work themselves out in time once I have a
ticket and a visa.
No for me, Vanity Smurf, the major concern that I need to address before I left was what on earth was I going to do with my HAIR while I spent a year in Shanghai, Florence and Paris. The question haunted me for months. Would I be able to maintain a weave in China? China is the hair capital of the world but do they know anything about installing all that hair they make and export? Would I even be able to get a relaxer? The pictures of the work of the one black hair salon I found online in China didn't inspire me with confidence (hint: they used drugstore relaxer not professional brands).
Would I have to do my hair *gasp* myself??!!
I can confidently say that any DIY hair experiments I embark upon will be in equal parts hilarious and catastrophic. In my head I will be as adept at doing my own hair as my YouTube hair video idols. However, in reality, I will just be grateful to return with some hair still attached to my scalp.
I spent the better part of the last 2 years being a bit of a hair chameleon changing my hair every 6-8 weeks. In the hands of my genius hairdresser, Melissa, I've had funky short cuts, long mohawks and cascading weaves in shades from blonde to black. How would I deal with 3 months looking...the same?? So how would I satisfy my love for versatility and still have something that I could easily maintain considering I may not have a hair styling genius at my disposal?
Enter the clip ins. I ended up spending the majority of my last two days in Trinidad in my hairdresser's chair while she cut my hair into a highlighted bob and created for me a full head of made to order clip-in hair extensions that I could use for fancy occasions, or bad hair days. As she clipped in each track I began to wonder why anyone did sew-in weaves at all.
Clip-ins look way more natural because they attached as close to the scalp as possible, and blend with your hair. They don't cause that week-long tightness you get from your weave cane/cornrows. I used less hair which was easier on the pocket, and added to the natural-ness of the look, and talk about versatility! I could do a centre or side part, or use the clip ins on half my head and braid the front for a trendy boho style (see above. Do you see my knowing, "Girl you better get u some clipins" facial expression??). And the best part was I can take them all out and start all over the next day in a completely different way! They can be washed off the head and therefore they last much longer than sewed in hair.
I am sold. Not saying that I won't still have my share of hilarious DIY hair nightmares (which I will of course post up here), but I feel a lot more confident knowing that my clip-ins are a safe backup plan.