Style Throwback!

So, my mum just recently moved houses and that meant a LOT of packing, determining stuff that was important and throwing away a lot of stuff that just had to go.

I am ashamed to say that this move exposed the fact that I have some pack rat tendencies - the sheer amount of stuff I had accumulated over the years and refused to dispose of was a little.... amusing actually. I mean I had notes that my best friend in QC then had passed to me in class, invitations to parties from secondary school through University, letters, slum books, cards, knick knacks - you name it. It definitely brought back a lot of memories but a lot of them just had to go.

The one thing that for sure was going nowhere were the pictures! Lawd! I had fits of laughter just seeing some pictures - some of which will NEVER be shown anywhere for as long as I live if I can help it.  Azzz innn! My goodness!

Then of course the pictures triggered memories of other best forgotten incidents. One that easily comes to mind was once in SS1 when a group of us in class decided that we were all going to do the same hair style for the following week. The style? 2 Shukus (yep, like 1 Shuku was not bad enough)

 I remember going to the girl who normally plaited my hair and telling her what I wanted to do - the other young girls around me were like' are you sure that's what you girls wanted?' I guess because no one could understand why anyone would want to have 2 shuku's on their head!

Not wanting to chicken out from the agreement, I was adamant that I was sure and went ahead to the amusement of everyone around me to have 2 Shukus plaited on my head. Monday morning dawns bright and early and the first inkling I got of the kind of week I had set myself up for, were the raised eyebrows and tittering that greeted me when I got on the School Bus. I shrugged it all off thinking to myself that when I got to school, my other friends would have the same style and together we'd make a statement.

Needless to say, I was the only one who had taken the 'idea' and run with it - my friends tried to convince me that somehow they didn't remember the style or just forgot to to get their hair done ( y'all know yourselves and I still don't believe you!). I spent the week looking like i'd sprouted 2 horns on my head - thankfully though it wasn't something like 'koroba' or else I'd have probably feigned serious illness for the week.

That was the last time Shuku ever saw the light of day on my head.

Then came my 'colour' moments! Ah! I loved my colours. The more intense the colour, the more I longed for it - and to make it even more interesting, I'd go in search of weaves the same colour as I'd dyed my hair, and have long flowing, colored tresses.   At different points in University, I was a blonde, redhead and copper head.  (till this day, I have a friend who still calls me 'blondie' in honor of my blonde hair days)

Now my weave maintenance was limited to the odd flat ironing in the salon maybe every weekend and a rigorous brushing every morning. One day though, I'd had one of my regular weaves washed, rolled and dried under a hooded drier and the bouncy curls were to die for (this was long before Aunty Funmi, Brazilian, Peruvian, Mongolian, and all the 'ians' we have today). This gave me the confidence that should I want to have really great looking hair, I'd just swap the flat iron/tongs for a proper 'wash and set'.

So in  my 3rd year, I had dyed my hair red and fixed my matching red, 14 inch weave and thought I was the bees knees! Remembering those bouncy curls I had with my regular weave, I knew it would add an extra 'oomph' to my look and two weeks into rocking my red locks, I decide to go to the salon and get a wash, roll and dry aka wash and set.

 I strut to the salon, sit back and everything is going well till I leave the wash basin and it's time to comb out and roll the hair. They start to comb the hair but the hair in the back didn't seem to be cooperating - I knew something was terribly wrong when the lively chatter in the salon slowly turned into an uneasy silence.

Apparently my (now obviously very fake) synthetic weave, on coming into contact with water had tangled so badly in the back that the strands had literally fused into one another and turned into this huge matted red furry ball. Try as they could, the ball wasn't budging, even when they brought out their gallon sized conditioner and tried to coax the strands from what now felt like a solid ball of knitting wool.

"Aunty, the hair is not coming out o , maybe you will remove the weave on". And that is how instead of the shiny, bouncy, shoulder length, red curls I had envisaged walking out of the Salon with, I ended up walking out with my straight, colored hair which with the removal of the weave - was showing major signs of breakage and weakness. I think the best word for the hair was 'scraggy'

I have since stayed away from chemical dyes and colorants - I don't care how 'safe' and 'nourishing' they claim to be: if it's not henna it's not coming anywhere near my hair - no thank you!

*Permanent hair dyes contain significant amounts of peroxide and ammonia which are abrasive to the hair strands. These chemicals lift the hair cuticles so the colour molecules can be deposited within, leaving the hair weaker, brittle and prone to breakage*

Thankfully, these days as I have taken my hair care into my own hands and adopted better hair practices I don't expect to have any unfortunate incidents that will hold me to hair ransom - it just isn't worth the hassle. When I think of all the trauma I put my hair through - the back to back braiding, weaving, relaxing and colouring, it's a wonder my hair didn't just fall off at the roots!

Recently I went to a salon to get a 'special' style done which I'd seen on someone in a restaurant. I'd washed, conditioned, dried and combed out my hair in readiness and on getting there, the lady grabs a blade so she can take out what she thinks is an afro weave!

The look of shock on their faces when I told them it was my hair was priceless. It just makes me feel good that finally I'm doing the right things and headed in the right direction - I'm no where near my hair goals but I'm getting there and enjoying every single moment!


  1. Great post. One of the interesting things about being a woman is all the hair stories we can tell. We can look at a picture and know exactly what was going on in our lives just from the hairdo! I remember my days of sitting between a woman's thighs in Obalende for my childhood 'patewo', my 3-in-1 weave days, my curly wig days, my hair-burning-from-relaxer days. All great memories, but what I love most are my (current) curly natural days!

    1. Lollllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 3 in 1!!!! Hahahahahahahahahaha. God help you if water as much as touched the tips of your hair. It was 'sayonara'! Ahh the memories of all the 'hairxperiences' we've had!!! I'm definitely loving my curly/coily natural hair days!