Today I had my second facial. This is significant because I am a lazy groomer. I’ve coasted by on occasional make-up and sporadic efforts at hair management until the ripe old age of 30, when it appears my complexion decided to completely change on me. Black don’ t crack but I’m not willing to push the envelope any more.
On grooming though – let me swiftly add that there are two important exemptions to my lackadaisical approach: my tresses and my skin as a whole, in line with two basic rules:
1. Black women take hair seriously. Whether it’s natural, straightened, somewhere in between, braided, twisted, dreadlocked – for the most part it’s not a laughing matter. (this being me, however, I also adhere to a cycle of growing long, strong hair and then, roughly about every two years, ruining it with a bad haircut, strange colour, mullet in various combinations or all at once)
2. Once you’ve had extreme eczema from your neck to your toes, every day that you wake up and your skin is working with you and not against you is a win.
But back to the facial. My first facial was in Australia last year with a friend and bride-to-be, whose wedding I’d flown out to attend. I admit, I was sceptical …until I felt the softness and wonder (and relaxation) that is a deep Oxygen facial and massage. I’ve been dreaming of it ever since.
Which brings me to getting punched in the leg somewhere in Regent’s Park. Armed only with a childish sense of enthusiasm and a discount voucher for a facial and back massage I went along to the spa.
The massage was firm and soothing…right up until the end, when she started punching my leg like it had looked at her funny. Repeatedly. When I felt that I couldn’t stand it any more, she hopped back and grunted with satisfaction. Then she left me alone for five minutes to “relax” (read: fully absorb the weirdness of the situation and figure out what colour my bruises would be) before starting on the facial, which I managed to survive without getting boxed on the ears.