‘This your hair, do you comb it?,’ the woman sneered as she dug painfully through my afro puff as if she was looking for gold, buried treasure, or who killed Tupac… If only my parents weren’t right in the other room, I would have the given the woman a piece of my mind.
In Nigeria, people have no qualms about invading your personal space. Your business easily becomes your next door neighbours’, and they don’t really care if you know that they know or whether you want it discussed in public. My hair is definitely something people like to talk about, i’ve had mixed reactions which I expected. The younger generation (think mid thirties and younger) generally love it, they ask me for tips and advice and I don’t hesitate to tell them all I know. People older than this however have a more conservative approach.
My Grams for instance, after digging deep into my hair she exclaimed as though surprised. ‘Ah, Simi! This your hair is hard. Why don’t you just relax it so that it will be soft like mine?’ She’s older than 70, so there is no way I’m getting into a hair debate with her. That type of thinking is too ingrained in her blood so it would never end. Other people ask how I comb it and I reply that I use a :D.
Some people are open minded and I explain to them my detangling methods and others I just smile sweetly and I just try and ignore.
The close minded ones often tell me that they just don’t have the time needed to be natural and that once I become a wife I won’t have time for it. The funniest part is that I spend a lot less time on my hair than ALL the relaxed people I know. My regimen as specified here is very simple, there’s not much to it. I’m lazy when it comes to my hair so I find less is more and my hair is growing nicely so I’m probably not going to change in the near future.
Other people tell me that it looks rough or unprofessional and that I’ll never get a job or find a man like this. To be honest I’ve had no problems in either of those departments, if you know what I mean hehe ;). The worst part is that it’s usually people with relaxed hair that’s short, unhealthy and uneven that give me the worst grief. I DON’T CARE WHAT Y’ALL THINK, my hair is for me and me only.
I don’t want to be dependent on someone else to do my hair, I don’t want to burn my skull with chemicals strong enough to burn through metal. I don’t want to alter the God given texture that grows from my head and I don’t want to conform to someone else’s standard of beauty. I’m not part of some black power movement and my hair is not a political statement. I want to be able to tell my children that they’re perfect the way they are and live as an example and I don’t want my hair to define me. My hair is just hair, but it’s MY hair.
Sorry for the rant but I wanted to get it off my chest. Any thoughts or comments please write below.