Lately, I’ve encountered a lot of tumbleweave. For those of you who don’t know, “tumbleweave” is a term coined either by me or someone like Mo’Nique or Bruce Bruce on a late ’90s episode of BET’s ComicView (another origination possibility is the Moesha spinoff show, The Parkers). No one knows for sure. Tumbleweave is just what it sounds like: a bit of weave that has tumbled from one’s head. Frequently tumbleweave occurs in braid form, but there are instances of loose strands attached to a track. These are often less frightening initially, but more frightening if you start to think about it too much.
I don’t know what’s happening this year, but I feel as though I’m seeing tumbleweave in alarming numbers. Maybe it has to do with global climate change. In any case, it’s a startling issue that we as a society seem to be ignoring, or worse, not noticing at all.
Each time I see a tumbleweave, I think it’s a snake. Every. Single. Time. God help me if snakes ever start roaming New York City. I’d have to leave immediately. But every few days, I think that’s just it, that snakes are the new rats. And I jump. And I scream. I make a minor scene. And then I realize that it’s simply synthetic hair that’s fallen from some unknowing girl’s head. Then I tip my hat to the old men playing cards outside the bodega and bid them adieu.
Now, I don’t claim to be an expert on hair care. I was probably 13 before I could put my hair in a proper ponytail, and I’m still not totally sure how often I’m supposed to be washing it. I only had a weave in my head once, when I rocked a fresh set of micro-braids in 10th grade (the white girls were like “your hair grew so long this summer!”), but I feel as though someone needs to address this issue. And as someone with really boring hair who frequently admires the cool hairstyles I see around me, I’m probably the best person to set the guidelines.
1. If you are prone to confrontation, maybe don’t get hair that is easy to pull out. I’m not saying that the hair I’m seeing is the aftermath of fight, but it sure was in middle school. If you have aggression issues, try a short cut.
2. Count your braids each night before bedtime. Just in the way that blond girls in movies brush their hair 100 strokes, you might want to make sure all 100 braids are on your head each and every day. You’ll want your hairdresser to tell you how many you’re starting out with, and that’ll annoy her. But you’ll be glad you did when all you have to do after that is count them all one by one before bed each night. They’ll feel exactly the same, and you’ll lose count when you get a text, but it’ll be worth it. Oh, and if you only count 99, you should retrace your step to find the tumbled weave.
3. Invent a machine, similar to the dollar-bill-counter at the bank, that will do step 2 for you. Just cock your head to the side and let the machine do all the work.
4. Wear bold, exaggerated collars. You’ll appear fashion forward, and you’ll have all your loosies on you when you get home. Just flip the collar down and they’ll roll right now. Tape them back on, I guess. I don’t know.
5. Figure out who does Beyonce’s weave, and call her right away, because that got stuck in a fan and didn’t even come out.
I’m not saying that these steps will be the end of tumbleweave, but maybe they’ll at least be the beginning of the end. I see a lot of really great hairstyles everyday, and I’d hate to see any of those women lose a chunk of their ‘do. Because that can’t feel good.
So keep your eyes open (unless you’re in Martha’s Vineyard or something, in which case I probably lost you a long time), and if you see something, say something. And to everyone looking real cute in their weaves, be careful. In the wise words of Bubba Sparxx, “Get it right. Get it right, get it tight.”