When I was little, I always enjoyed many types of arts and crafts, from drawing, painting, paper mache, to beading and scrapbooking. What I never mastered that I wanted to do was braiding hair. This seems a bit frivolous, but to me, being able to do hair seemed like an important thing because why not have some fun adding variety to one’s appearance? It seems so simple, the idea of braiding hair. It’s essentially creating decorative knots in the hair. But for some reason, I never really learned how to do the most basic braids. My “braids” always ended up looking like twisted ropes, which was clearly not correct. 

Yet as an adult in my own kitchen, I mastered braiding challah quickly and enjoyed the entire process. So today, as I was struggling with the tropical heat and humidity of Jakarta, I wasn’t sure if I should wear my hair up in a bun because that would mean I couldn’t wear a hat to protect my face from the strong sun. If I wore my hat, I’d need to tie my hair in a low ponytail, but the hair from the ponytail would constantly stick to my sticky, sweating skin. The only remedy would be to braid my hair. And I thought to myself, if I have no issues braiding challah, then how is hair any different? This was so silly! 

So, I finally attempted braiding after 30 years of staying away from it, and somehow, it actually turned out looking okay. I looked up YouTube tutorials on regular braids, Dutch braids, fish tail braids, and French braids. It’s crazy all these things that really are not that hard as long as you have a very clear visual, step-by-step guide. 

Yep, I’m 33 going on 34, finally mastering braiding hair, all because I was sick and tired of having my hair stick to my skin in this unbearable heat and stickiness. This new skill is achieving my goal of preventing my hair strands sticking all over my body. At least it’s better late than never. 

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