We’ve all been there — you just spent four hours washing, detangling and twisting your hair. You feel so accomplished and ready to take on the week with perfect results. You throw on your bonnet and then, it happens: your boo or your best friend calls you on FaceTime. You check and pray that it’s FaceTime audio, but of course, it’s video. Your first thought? My hair!
Unfortunately, the random video call epidemic is totally unpredictable and no one is immune though it does seem to target the ladies with natural hair. It can strike at any time. It’s like bae knew the exact moment you finished your bantu knots. Or someone you’ve been trying to catch for weeks has timed their call right when you’re deep conditioning. The only prevention is turning off all your devices — which is entirely too drastic and isolating.
Although you can always awkwardly keep the camera strictly on your face, there are some better ways to deal with spontaneous FaceTimers. Here are seven quick fixes to keep your style while still looking cute for the video call. The best part: most of these can be done in less than 30 seconds, so you don’t have to miss the call and reveal what took you so long to answer.
1. The beanie
This is my personal favorite. Beanies cover up everything necessary and still make you look like your style has purpose. Slip on your bonnet so your hair stays smooth and then throw the beanie on top. This works beautifully for flatter styles (like twists or braids) because you can let the front out and just cover the back. Your FaceTime partner will be none the wiser.
2. head scarf
Grab one of your longer scarves, wrap it around your hair, and make a cute side bun. You can also use a fun scarf to wrap your hair and tie it on the side. Make a bow to add a little more decoration. Not feeling very creative? Check out some style ideas here. Warning: you might need to get in some practice before trying this while your phone is going off.
3. Classic Hoodie
Now that winter is upon us, you have the perfect excuse to wear hoodies any and everywhere, including on video calls. You can always say you need it because you are cold. Put on a cute headband just in case the hood slips back a bit. This hoodie will definitely protect your magic no matter what.
4. failproof hat
Throwing on a hat is extra fabulous because it looks like you just came from somewhere or you’re getting ready to go somewhere. The hat can be a lifesaver. It doesn’t take any pre-arranging and can make you look sophisticated in seconds. And it won’t mess up your hair. Perfect.
5. #blackout: turn off the lights
It’s late and you don’t feel like grabbing any accessories to cover your head. Just turn off the lights and answer the call. Or lay the phone on the bed so your caller can see every thread in your sheets (you’re welcome, caller). Let them know you’ve already gotten in bed and actual face time isn’t happening.
6. just decline
Sometimes you can’t find your beanie/headscarf/hat, your hoodie/twisted up hair is too unprofessional, and your caller will not let you get away with Facetiming in pitch darkness. In these cases, we just have to take the L and decline the call. It’s hard work taking care of natural hair and sometimes you can’t be bothered. Sorry, dear spontaneous callers. You’ll have to make an appointment.
7. let it go
Let your caller see your handy work! I’ve seen bantu knots that look better than half the hairstyles I’ve ever done. As the Instagram philosophers say, “if you can’t accept me at my bantu knots, then you don’t deserve me at my twist out.”
Bonus tip for video callers: if you’re calling someone with natural hair and it’s Sunday/her day off and/or she told you she was washing her hair, try starting with an audio call! Her hair is likely in a state you’re not used to and that she might not want you viewing. If you aren’t ready for that step, an audio call before a video call can give her time to prepare. It’s the considerate thing to do.