I haven’t always loved my full hair. I haven’t always loved my shinny black hair. I haven’t always loved my strong hair as well.
For the past five years I’ve heard nothing but talks about embracing natural hair from basically everyone around me -From my parent to girlfriends to boyfriends until I got sick of this same topic. But then today I’ll surely pay a thousand shillings just to appreciate anyone talking about this topic.
I remember studying at Lwak girl’s, a high school down in Asembo _ Rarieda sub- County where all students wanted good and healthy hair. Good hair according to us was nothing less than; dyed hair, straightened hair, and relaxed hair.
I wanted that good hair. It was a culture in Lwak and whenever you had bad hair, you would be that one white lily among red roses. No one wanted to be out of place. No one wanted to be a lily, even I Lily.
From relaxing my hair to dying to straightening, it became part of me, it was my routine, it became an habit and that was what made me Lily.
And during holidays I would repeat the process again and again because I was in a boarding school and as always finding a salon to treat and make your hair would be like finding an oasis in a desert or finding a missing needle in long grass.
My hair was my best asset even before my books. In the shopping list, coconut and almond oil, gel and butter cream, shampoo and hair conditioner topped the list. I was always ashamed when I had to forgo one, two or even three hair products for books or pens whenever the amount wouldn’t cater for everything.
Now, in campus, this lady in her twenties has resort to nothing but having that ‘bad hair’ she never cherished in high school. She wants not relaxed hair, not straightened hair. No. she wants nothing like dyed hair too. That is indigestible to her.
I mean she have lost her beautiful hair line, she no longer have strong hair, full Afro hair no more.
Each and every morning standing by a mirror she is sure to see a stranger. Perhaps she has never seen her or she forgot their encounter. The stranger’s gaze at her is filled with resentment and anger and regret.
Why do you think the stranger has that sort of resentment towards her? I mean towards me?
The stranger is angry with me for having taken something special away from her. Something she had had in her childhood life. This stranger is mad at me for having given her malnourished hair.
I want to set things right again for her because I’m sure she so badly want to remind me of our meeting. Truth is that I know her but the burden of guilt is weighing me down, erasing my memories. But then she knows me, she just don’t want to remind me. She is still mad at me.
Big chop is the only option and doing it isn’t a big deal like it seems. At the end of it, there is nothing to lose in losing what gives you a chance to mend your mistakes.
Everything is going to be alright again. There is light at the end of this dark tunnel, I believe.
My late aunt Eunice had had this hair, my late grandmother Elsa had had this hair, my father Thomas has this hair and I have always had this hair. I have this hair.
I want nothing else but my natural hair; I want my true signature hair. I’m not hiding its form anymore.
Because I want nothing but my true signature hair.