15 years it has been since I got my first perm. It is every African woman’s dream to have straight hair and that is why we are spend thousands of shillings every year at hair salons. The hair business has to be the biggest industry after the beer industry in Kenya. Just take a look at all the supermarket shelves filled with hair sprays .gels, conditioners the list is endless and all the beauty shops at every corner hair business at least for the women is big business.
Now I was talking about my first perm. I faithfully retouched my hair every eight weeks and treated it every two weeks and I must say I was something to behold once I got out of the saloon. I even tried human hair and I would toss my head this way and that way often…that was the idea behind the human hair concept make you feel like you had ditched your Afro kinky hair for that straight look so favored by most women.
Anyway sometime in March this year I decided to get a nappy look(fancy word meaning going natural).I visited my hair dresser, who almost cried when I shaved my hair. I wanted an Afro kinky look and so I asked the loctician to work his magic and he did!!Now I sport about 3 inches of hair that i now work into my desired look with the help of bees wax and dread gel! And I added a bit of color into it by dyeing it copper red.
The only down side to this is that changing people’s perception is going to take a while because dreads have for long been associated with chewing khat,smoking weed,reggae-music or worse mungiki.
India Aries song “I am not my hair” says in part:
Good hair means curls and waves
Bad hair means you look like a slave
At the turn of the century
Its time for us to redefine who we be
You can shave it off
Like a South African beauty
Or get in on lock
Like Bob Marley
You can rock it straight
Like Oprah Winfrey
If its not what’s on your head
Its what’s underneath and say HEY….
Whether you have it straight, weaved,glued on or just nappy wear it with pride and keep it neat.