Au Natural

On a good day I don’t really stand out, although others might beg to differ. Being above average height sometimes makes me distinct but I’m still less than six feet (sob!) and don’t think it’s a big deal. Once I decided to go the natural hair route it changed the game remarkably. Now whether I like it or not it calls immediate attention to me.

The hair gets admired everywhere I go! The right kind of attention certainly perks you up and does wonders for the ego. If you’re feeling less than attractive, or something happened, or maybe someoneย ย  passed a nasty comment, being complimented about your hair (in this case) takes the edge off. I’ve received more pleasant surprises in out-of-the-way places and also got the very first negative review recently. I’ll share more on that in the course of this piece.

Only three years old and I’m still amazed at just how fast its sprouted. Reaching my nose and tumbling towards my shoulders my locks have demonstrated how successful this experiment has turned out. I now feel the actual weight and have been able to pack it into one without undue strain to individual locks. The salon visits have also become few and far between…

ย Initially, I despaired the hair would grow and the rough look was a permanent feature. The only time my mom made a comment about how awful it looked I came out fighting! The worst part was that she was accurate about her assessment and there was no way I was going to let her know. If I’d only garnered information about the process I’d have been saved a lot of heartache. When I eventually got round to reading I learned I was on the right track.

It’s pretty interesting how certain cycles are more prominent especially in fashion e.g. maxis, minis, iro and buba, jellies etc make a comeback every few years on a more upscale level. Natural hair is not exempt either as we’ve seen. It’s made a triumphant return and now there are so many amazing things and styles women can do to the ‘kinky hair’. It’s no longer restricted to weaving or threading, now dreadlocks reign supreme along with more interesting takes on twisting, rolling, bonding and then some.

Traditional weaving (didi) has acquired modern innovation, colours are all the rage and no matter how really ugly or unfinished a hairdo, once it looks ‘African’ it’s immediately excused and accepted. There are some hideous styles out there and any time I spot one, I chuckle at the many faces fashion sports. After all beauty is in the eye of the beholder…in this case the one that suffered many hours to create the authentic look that will be envied by all and sundry. For some the more ‘unique’ a style the better they prefer.

I like your dreads. Your locks are so full. I recognise your hair from church. How long have you had your locks? Is this your hair? The last question is my all time favourite and I’ll tell you why. Not once (ever) with my chemically straightened hair was I ever asked because it was obvious. The hair loss along the delicate hairline, undergrowth, over processing that resulted in scalp burns etc was clearly recorded for everyone that knew the signs.

The new hair extensions possess a texture really similar to that of the natural locks it’s sometimes difficult to tell them apart. Furthermore, the length of my hair also made it more so for those interested in such details. Yes I’m really proud about this riddle and glad to help solve it whenever asked. Only three years and people can’t recall me with anything else apart from my natural state.

A woman’s hair is her crowning glory and I believe if you’re not going to congratulate her on how good it looks then keep your opinion. This is really important because the stress involved in getting it just the way she likes is enormous sacrifice. So on Sunday when another woman advised me to revert to chemically treated hair because in her opinion that best suited me I took it in stride. This was after she narrated how she’d started on the dreadlocks journey but decided against it because, ‘she saw she looked like a mad person’.

The preceding quote is exactly what she said folks and I’m not making it up! Yes, indirectly I’ve been told I look insane with my current hairstyle. Already late for a meeting I didn’t tell her how rude I thought she was but I certainly let her know the weight I gave her opinion. As long as I don’t dress like an escapee from the asylum I’ll be fine. If you have nothing good to say…keep quiet. Don’t y’all agree?

 

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  1. lol!!!!!!

    people can be so rude.

    if you werent late you should have laughed in her face and said @ i hink you still look insane’ or ‘though you dont lok it, u r definitely mad’!

    Just kidding!

    As usual, fantastic post.

  2. Abimbola Abifarin

    Lollzz I must say I do agree with you and the lady friend you earlier mentioned used to think the dreads made you look like mad person my dear I don’t personally like the dread look but it’s evolved over the years and its staying put have seen people color their locks and it does look funky and very African , and I must say its way better than the Brazilian ,Peruvian and all manner of weavon women put on their heads this days.

    • @Abimbola Abifarin: Hmmm, so you think I look insane? Well I forgive you for this misguided view. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyway, you should try the natural look and leave behiind all the Indian, Peruvian, Brazilian and antediluvian hair for others. What say you Bims?

  3. Hello you, I am also with you on the journey, and have presently grown mine for 3yrs, to the horror and consternation of my dear beloved mum who cries to everyone who bothers to ask about her dear beloved son ” ahhh tope ti di Rasta” I tried to explain that what I carried wasn’t dreadlocks and a simple all back weave, but to her “dreadlocks ni gbo gbo eh”
    I initially named my hair Jehovah Jireh, because I was told that being in the corporate world I would get no job coz I would seem to be unserious and not weighty and all the major jobs would go to my sterner looking shaven colleagues, but I responded that the Almighty God whom I serve would not only provide for me but ensure that I wasn’t ridiculed in the market place of my telecoms profession. It worked and I never didnt get a job coz of my hair,(or well maybe I didn’t know if I did or didn’t). I did get a lot of questions like are you a musician or ‘u are definitely in entertainment right?’ but since I was running a poetry group FreedomHall that didn’t seem soo far fetched.
    I am about to embark on another journey called shave it all off, where I defy the current status quo and just like ” indie Arie” sing I am. Not my Hair!

    So let’s see how it goes, and will revert with the name I shall be calling my new bald plate!

    Much love and peace

    • @Torpedo: Thank you so much for sharing about your journey. It really cracked me up and also gave me a window into what it’s like for a guy brave enough to do this. I know another guy that re-located with dreads and cut it off because of what you just described. I never saw him though but I could get where he was especially since he’s not in entertainment.

      Interesting that you’re going to shave it off when it’s time…thinking if I get weary I’ll crop mine too but right now I’m still loving my locks.

      Thank you Tope really appreciate this and be sure to come back too for more! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. YES! I totally agree and the locks fit u too. Nice write up.

  5. I do agree jare, Lacasoro is best for her opinion if you ask me.

  6. Vintage Shay-yi! U cool, no be small. I love the dready look and contemplated going that route, but my daughters voted against it. My sweetheart too! Yeye democracy when it places u between a rock and a hard place. For those who dare, go on soun. It’s a cool look.

    • @Florence: pity about the nay vote for you! Thank you for the compliment babe;) appreciate that you read the piece and also shared your thoughts! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Hey girl, nice post!!!! and you look really look good O, na dis style fit u pass! *sigh* how I miss my loc’d days, one definitely gets more complementing compliments…
    I’m au naturel myself again but haven’t taken the loc route yet (still don’t know if its accepted in the choir I attend now, they are pretty straight laced ๐Ÿ™
    Much love

    • @Debimpe: Thanks a bunch! You still have so many things you can do with the natural hair without going the lock route, so do your research girl and have fun with different looks ๐Ÿ˜‰

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