Men plaiting their hair is still hard for me to swallow. Trying to wrap my head around the fact that a man willingly subjected himself to ‘unnecessary’ pain in a bid to achieve a ‘certain’ look beats my imagination! So, when I see that the number has increased I’m totally amazed at what I’ve missed. As a woman my perm, weave, Ghana weaving, braids and other hair styles that adorn my cranium come with a price tag..PAIN! The tugging, pulling and chemicals applied to my scalp and hair roots over the years have demonstrated that pain (albeit minimal) is part of the ritual and cannot be totally removed. Thus, every time a new style is being processed or the old maintained I pay the price again and again. Although the admiration and satisfaction I derive when I’m stunning far outweighs this undesirable consequence. As a discerning woman, I schedule these changes as few and far between as possible and ensure that the unpleasant memories from the previous appointment have faded away. I also ensure that I’m psychologically prepared for the ordeal ahead! Consequently, I’m uncertain whether the men that sport fabulous looking cornrows, chemically treated hair and the like have no pain sensors on their scalp. Maybe they’re simply immune to the pain generated during this hairy adventure, otherwise the entire thing leaves me flummoxed but also in awe… These new hair styles seem to be on the rise and whilst I understand a shaven head, afro, nice hair cut or the more elaborate cuts some guys have that fit the ‘macho’ description I certainly don’t ‘get’ this one! Maybe it could it be as a result of a rise in metrosexuals amongst the male population or an increased permission by society for men to be more ‘creative’ with their image. Again I might make bold to say that the re- definition of ‘manly’ certainly plays a major part. The age of the celebrity is upon us and more men in this category have hairdos of this type and since they’re in the spotlight I’m sure it encourages others that had been considering it to finally bite the bullet. This development has made people watching more interesting and certainly introduced a modicum of competition between the sexes in how intricate the hairstyles can become. It goes without saying that the unwanted aspects like hair loss and breakage is also something that the men will have to contend with as well. Paying more attention to maintaining their mane is another offshoot of this grand adventure. The next time you openly admire the neat cornrows on a masculine head may still elicit speculation about pain, conditioners and how they chose the current design they’re wearing. It certainly makes it more intriguing to consider all these questions in that brief incredulous, or admiring glance!