“Every Hair-day is wahala“
I was twisting up my hair the other day. It was the end of a wash day routine, and I randomly asked my boyfriend to help. He says yes much to my surprise meaning I’d actually have to trust him with my hair. I gulped, sectioned a portion of my hair for him.
This got me reminiscing about the time we met, I had the faux locs then. He was in love with my hair. Months later, I decided to cut my hair as it lacked lustre. I was anxious and self aware, I didn’t know how he would react. But I trusted him. Three years later, I find myself still trusting him.
I’ve also learnt quite a bit about what Europeans think about African hair;
“Braids combined with dark skin are a unique combination”
- They think it’s exotic: Braids combined with dark skin are a unique combination for the average eastern European, it’s not uncommon to get stares in public spaces, especially from the older generation. This reminds of the time, we went to a friend’s wedding, we visited the bride’s family home as well, and I introduced myself to their grandma. The look on her face was that of disbelief , it was meme worthy.
- They think it’s natural: My boyfriend also thought the faux locs was my hair hair. But after some time together, he knew the difference between hair styles. I often get a lot of questions and requests to touch. I assume I’m not the only one.
- They find the natural hair rather comedic: My german teacher confided in me once that the afro was sometime in the past known as, microphone head. I died from laughter, apparently the phrase is still used, just not as popular as before. We also went through a phase when my hair was short, where my boyfriend’ll pat it and say, “sheep”, lol, in the sweetest way possible.
- hair style change means new person: I had reintroduced myself a few times to teachers and colleagues simply because I took out a previous hair style and rocked something entirely different. This is the stressful bit, and then the questions roll in which exasperated me further.
Three years since going natural, and two big chops later, I have to say it’s been an exercising journey. There has been up ups, down downs, and safety breeches, but I’ve loved and nourished my hair (and self) through it all.
If you’re wondering why I dedicated a whole post to talking about hair, it’s just because I think that black women, and our rights as a whole have come a long way, from doing everything necessary to have our hair look like our caucasian counterpart, and consequently destroying it in the process, to just letting ourself be loved as we naturally are. I don’t know who started the natural hair movement but I’ll use this opportunity to say thank you.
Now, let us flourish!