“Aunty, dis your hair dey pain hand oh, why you no wan put relaxer now?” The young lady braiding my hair sounded cross. Since going natural, I had grown accustomed to such comments, so I kept quiet and paid her no mind.
When I first rocked my natural hair about a decade ago, it wasn’t because natural hair had started gaining popularity. In fact, at that time very few people I knew had natural hair, and it definitely wasn’t the big trend it has become today.
I started wearing my natural hair shortly after my dad passed. I felt I had to do something physical to cope with the pain within my soul, and cutting my hair short was very therapeutic. I immediately felt liberated and enjoyed the feeling of water running down my short ‘fro’ whenever I took a shower. It was sheer bliss!
As my hair grew, I decided to try out dreadlocks. I had always admired them on other people, and being a low maintenance girl, I felt they would be easier to maintain. At the salon, I felt my hair was too bushy for the palm-rolling method, but the loctician insisted that it would look good, so he went ahead. When he was done, some locs were fat and some were thin, and all around it was just a big fat mess! My mom saw me and told me that my hair didn’t look nice. I couldn’t help but completely agree, as I looked like a failed reggae star.
After that, I stuck to wearing my hair in two strand twists, braids or weaves. After a while though, I grew restless and decided to cut my hair à la Rihanna. And so I snipped off my hair yet again. It was daring and everyone screamed in surprise, but it was fabulous! I loved it while it lasted, but I couldn’t keep up with the frequent retouching and styling sessions at the salon, so after I while I decided to grow it out again.
Months later, when my hair had grown out reasonably, I went to the salon, and surprisingly the hairdresser refused to retouch my hair. In her words, “Aunty, your hair is like natural hair now. Kuku leave it, natural hair is good o, see wetin people dey find, you wan spoil am!” I couldn’t believe that I was hearing this in a regular hair salon. Natural hair has truly come full circle!
All trends aside, it’s good to see that people are becoming more comfortable with different hair choices. Our hair is one of many ways in which we can express ourselves – our personality, sense of style and even changing moods and circumstances. So whether it’s natural or relaxed, wigs or extensions, it’s really all about you feeling comfortable, confident and totally loving your hair.
Photo Credit: Sam74100 | Dreamstime.com