If you were to select a motto or make a statement that is truer to the heart. This must be it; I will stay true to myself. Recently I thought it was about time to have hair again. I spent 5 hours getting the most beautiful crochet twist braids done. I loved it but my body rejected it. My body reminded me that i needed to stay true to myself. For this reason I chose to share this story!
Since 2016 I have enjoyed my many hair transformations. Annoying many, thrilling a few and of course I shone on the spotlight for being ‘crazy and reckless’
Poor me i never knew a personal decision could stir so much.
As a girl i hated the pressures of doing hair, from sitting still to absorbing the vapours of a grown woman to the idle gossip that went unfiltered from their mouth. Getting my mama to braid my hair was the best bet. Alas we couldn’t make it a ritual; it was a war that we both avoided to create harmony in the home.
There was a time i cut my hair with scissors – it was the coolest haircut but hell was let loose for I faced the wrath of my mama. I had cut of my crowning glory; i had such lovely hair and so on and so forth.
Trust me my hair grew back quickly and I was once again sentenced to the hair rituals!
I was delighted when i was ‘allowed’ to wear my hair short for most of my junior and senior high school years. Those days were the best!
I would stay under the shower and daydream. I could sleep without braiding/ wrapping hair. I could venture into the wilds without fear of ruining any delicate hair style/ design. I could be me! Freedom at last…
Fast forward to late teens, all i wanted was the ‘ dark and lovely look’. I rocked my bob elegantly and got hooked on the fortnightly trip to the hair salon. After all I was grown up, had hair and enjoyed it. Amazing how one could change from loathing an experience to idolizing it. My hair was my number one investment and it blossomed!
I couldn’t say i missed those no hair days at all, well until early 2016. My hair became my enemy and my head a tool for constant migraines. On some days i felt like the only solution was to ‘cut off my head’- well, literally.
At this point though i was no longer unattached and young, i could remember the stigma attached to wearing my hair short as a teen. Young girls who cut their hair were assumed to be reckless, carefree well with ‘Kolonko’ tendencies (that is the other word for being a prostitute in my local dialect Krio’ tendencies).
As the proprietress of a small business which is looking after families, married with a child, playing a respectable role in my church and my community. I knew that whatever my reasoning was, my tribe and environment might not be ready for it.
It was a risk I was ready to take to revive me, to restore my health and my sanity and so I decided to live my truth and face the music!
After all I had been working on myself in terms self-awareness and assertiveness. I couldn’t chicken out now, could I?
On the day I went bald, I told only my son. I was only accountable to him. He said mama does that mean you are going to be a girl – boy. (Don’t ask me how I managed to explain that I was still a girl with or without hair, but hey we made it through)
My husband faced criticism from all angles, he fought his battles, I had my freedom. There was an instance in which he got a long distance call from back home. The caller asked if he was still alive and married to me. He said yes! The ‘kongosa’ said and you allowed her to go bald? (I bet that person is still trying to understand the meaning of marriage.)
To my biggest surprise and elation the children at the centre were my biggest supporters, they loved the initial bald look and all the different colours that have ensued after. I am sure that I am sowing great ideas of creativity in each one of them with my expressive colour tones.
Behold my expectations were cut off instead of been called horrible names, i was hailed as been BOLD! Don’t say I didn’t tell you, to say you can please the hearts of men is to say you will be destroyed.
Colouring/dyeing the hair is the icing to the cake; i love the look of surprise when I switch colours and the constant feeling of metamorphosis.
I tell people every day that I have not gone natural, which appears to be trendy, I have just stayed true to owning myself, my time and my space.
My darlings let’s cling to what would keep you staying true to you!