Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Changes for the Hair

After so many months of hair fatigue, I finally feel invigorated and excited again about my hair. For so long I've kept it tucked away in braids, which I wear for most of the year. In the few 1 to 2 week breaks I take in between extensions, I'd wear my hair out in an afro puff and call it a day. And I was tired of the look. But, of course I would be. This is the same me, who had a new signature look every month when I was in university. What happened to that? I suppose life gets busy and I needed a no-fuss style.

One thing I've long wanted to do is to visit a hairdresser who REALLY knows how to care for and style natural hair. Usually when they say they do - especially here in Nigeria - it means they do braids, and usually painfully I might add, tugging at the hair and hissing in impatience as they work.

I can't take bad attitude especially when I'm a paying client. And I'm bored of braids, tired of the dependence on reluctant stylists and fearful of the ever-breaking hairline (one of the results of frequent braids). So, I've decided to take a break from braids for a while.

I visited a hairdresser who does natural hair the last time I was in London and she opened my mind to new styling options. Not one to subscribe to pressing the hair, I decided to give it a go. She blow-dried my hair straight and created ringlets with a curling iron. I didn't realise that natural hair could look so straight - uncannily like relaxed hair. The ringlets looked great, but didn't last too long as rain and humidity (when I returned home) got the better of it. When I eventually combed it out, the softness of the hair encouraged me to try pinning it up in different ways. Now, that has been staple for the last 2 weeks.

I don't think I will make a habit of subjecting my hair to so much heat, as that is also very wearing on the hair. I also have experienced one of the downsides: random hair that stay straight and do not revert back to their kinky state even after being washed (picture wearing an afro with a few straggly hairs hanging limply). However, the best thing to come out of this hair experiment is that I feel inspired again and I enjoy thinking of different ways to style it.

Constancy is comforting and easy, but as with many situations in life, it can get unexciting and uninspiring. Changing things up is definitely good the mind, soul and hair as I'm re-discovering.

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