I can so relate to India Arie’s song about hair. Right now I have natchy (nappy) hair and I’m lovin’ it! (Sorry, my camcorder is acting up so I can’t show any pics at the moment)
Growing up, I had so much hair! I was one of those children with big thick afro!
I remember going to a school which was full of expat children (St Saviour’s, Ikoyi). One Christmas, I acted as one of the angels in the nativity play -actually, I was the only black angel and my co-angels were not too happy to have me as an angel. Why? Well because according to one of them (in her britico accent), “you can’t be an angel, you don’t have hair like an angel, but we (referring to herself and the other oyibo’s) do”. I was really upset and went crying to my mum who had come to watch the play only to be stopped half-way by some oyinbo parents who told me how lovely my packed afro was. That gave me some confidence and I turned around, went backstage and prepared for a wonderful performance.
I have the kind of mum who always believed that you could not get your hair permed till you were in university (just kidding) actually, she didn’t allow my older sister get a perm till she was in university, with me I got a blow out in secondary school and a full perm while I was still in secondary school. I have 3 younger sisters and with each one them, the age limit for getting a perm was reduced. By the time it got to the youngest she had permed her in primary one!
When I got into uni and started doing million braids my hair had lost its shine, length and lustre and I had serious ‘mama iyabo’ so I chopped it off!
My mum literally had a fit “what happened to your beautiful hair?” she moaned “it was so lovely when I was looking after it”!
I had baby curls till it grew and then I enjoyed full, long and lovely relaxed hair for some years. In fact at a stage, people started asking if my hair was a weave and if I was mixed race and all of that, especially after I had my babies… Boy! I felt like a model!
The model feeling went to my head and then I got some reddish highlights. I knew my hair would break but I didn’t care; I enjoyed all the attention my hair was getting.
Alas! My hair did break but I rocked the highlights for almost a year so I didn’t care. I wanted to cut my hair but my husband said NO.
Unfortunately, my wonderful father passed on in May that year (boy do i miss him!). I cut my hair -not because I had too (it’s not really done anymore) but I wanted to cut my hair for a good cause not just because it wasn’t full anymore. I wanted a better reason. So after I lost my daddy, I cut my hair.
It’s growing now… I have twists and braids once in a while. My mum thinks I am crazy; my mum-in-law is sure I’m crazy, but… I’m lovin’ my hair!