Posts Tagged ‘ hair today ’

Locks and Life

I haven’t put up a non-book-promo post in a while (shock and horror!). Even when an idea pops into my head, I find that I don’t have the motivation to follow it through. But I’ve had a really strong yearning to blog about something totally random this week. After standing for twenty minutes on the tube last night, trying to avoid some girl’s dodgy looking (okay, it was outright unclean) Brazilian weave touching my hand, I decided to bite the bullet and just say it. I love my afro hair! No, I am not a natural hair warrior princess who will advocate nothing but the afro look, but the more comfortable I have become with my tiny curls and scanty nappy edges, the more confident I feel about other seemingly trivial but empowering things like wearing no makeup on the weekend (unless I have an event to attend – let’s not scare people too much) and not plucking my eyebrows (which I haven’t done in at least four years but always felt self-conscious about until recently).

I won’t lie, I still occasionally daydream of straightening my hair because, deep down inside, I think I look more approachable and chic with long straight hair. It kind of makes sense that I’d feel that way because I lived with chemically straightened hair for about thirty years of my life. But all it takes is one or two memories of all the little horrors I went through (relaxer burn, anyone?) for my head to snap back to the present. I suffered from dry scalp for years and couldn’t understand why oiling my scalp to death wasn’t helping. Constantly applying any form of complex hydroxide to your roots to get your hair to grow out straight will have its side effects, and this was mine. Weaves didn’t help much either because my hair is so soft, it falls off if you tug at it even a little bit. Everyone told me African hair was difficult to keep but they didn’t tell me that this didn’t apply to everyone. I never even heard of hair types 4A, B or C until I went natural. I know it sounds naïve to say this but, trust me, a ton of women out there have no clue that they might actually not need to be tied to their six weekly torture routine of hair relaxing. Don’t get me started on the insane fear of getting chemically straightened hair wet. Continue reading


Hair Today…

After eleven months of carrying shoulder length braids (and pretending my hair was much longer than it actually was), I decided it was time to take them out and do something different for a change. I’ve always been a little adventurous with my hair – bleach and dye were once my very good friends – and so it wasn’t much of a surprise that I wanted to do something interesting now that I had my real hair to play with again. But what? My main worry was that I am getting a little too old to have silly hair cuts with splashes of vibrant colours (although judging from my recent black, red and bronze hair, this rule clearly does not apply to braids). I’m already paranoid about looking younger than my age and not being taken seriously. I was concerned that attempting to jazz up my hair could make this worse. But I also figured that if I’m ever going to get away with hair silliness again, this is the time. I don’t want to be in my late thirties, looking back on 2012 and wondering “why oh why didn’t I live a little?” So I went to my hairdresser on Saturday and had the sides of my nape length hair shaved off, leaving only the top/middle section (yes, very girl with the dragon tattoo-esque). Result? One satisfied customer. Reactions? Completely unexpected. Most have been positive but I’ve received a few funny/odd one. The notable one so far are:

  • “(gasp) You are so brave! I could never do that to my hair!” (What do you say to that? Thanks?)
  • “You remind me of Gina Yashere.” (Great, I remind you of a black woman with short hair. Let’s forget that we look nothing alike!)
  • “Did we go back to the 1960s?” (What the hell?)
  • “You look like a South London gang member.” (This was from the same person who made the 1960s comment so he clearly went away to think about it and came back with what he assumed was a more acceptable comment. Not!) Continue reading