Convenience? Style? Social class? Or it’s not that deep? I remember back in 2019 when I decided to cut my hair, people had so much to say about it. “Why?”, “Sowawa!”, “You look funny with short hair” were some of the comments I got.
I wasn’t really bothered by it all because I had wanted that hair gone for the longest time! At that time, I was expecting my son and due to hormonal changes and a heightened sense of smell, the hair just ponged! I couldn’t stand it.
I couldn’t stand the smell of hair food, relaxers, or shampoos. I’d get sick to my stomach just by standing at the salon door and smelling the hair and chemicals in the air.
One day, without consulting anybody, I just got into the car and drove straight to the barbers. My barber, Likhwa, even asked if I was sure about cutting my hair. Yes, I told him. He asked again, but I wasn’t about to change my mind. I didn’t want the long hair anymore. The hair came off and I’ve never felt so liberated since then.
Finally, I could live my life without being nauseated by strands of hair. I cut my hair because I wanted to. I wasn’t broke and quite frankly, I’m pretty enough to rock any hairstyle I want.
I was recently reminded of this experience when I met a friend who said they loved my tousled hair. I’ve had my hair cut in different styles over the past two years, but when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, I grew weary of visiting the salon.
I don’t know, I just felt that if there’s anywhere I’d catch the virus from, it would be at the salon. So I stopped going. My hair grew untamed and my husband often asked what my plan with the hair was. I didn’t have a plan, to be honest. I was at home most of the time and didn’t think I needed to have a solid plan. He asked if I wanted to plait; it was an option but still, I felt the pain was an unnecessary expense for someone who’s at home most of the time.
It wasn’t until after showering one day that he said, “You know what, you could actually leave your hair the way it is.” Tousled. He had a point. It actually looked very nice with a bit of ruffling and tucking here and there.
All I needed to do was to wash it, moisturise and neaten the disorder. It was a matter of convenience more than anything else. I’ll change my hairstyle when I see it fit, but for now, ruffled is the way to go. It’s low maintenance and quite convenient.
But I know many girls out there wouldn’t be caught dead in their natural hair. For some, hairstyles somewhat show your financial muscle and consequently your social standing. If they’re going to be wearing a US$500 weave, to them, it shows they are rich and belong to a certain social class.
Someone said a lot of these women would go to the ends of the earth to maintain those standards. If they’re not gainfully employed themselves, they’ll always have someone sponsoring that lifestyle, just so they maintain their image on “the gram”.
Instagram and other social networking sites have in my view, proliferated many fallacies which sadly, make people conform in order to be accepted into certain social circles.
You might be surprised to learn that for some girls, hairstyles are not about convenience or style — they’re about fitting in. They’ll do whatever they can to remain “relevant” in certain social circles.
It’s quite heartbreaking because, for some, it goes as deep as staying in abusive relationships because of the financial benefits they stand to get from them. That shouldn’t be the case. At all.
It’s true, your hair is your crown — you should wear it whichever way you want; for convenience, style or whatever reason. Most importantly, you should be confident of who you are, make an effort to look nice and take good care of yourself.
Drink plenty of water, wash your hair regularly, moisturise it, and take care of those edges!
Until next week, flaunt your pattern and style and don’t forget to catch up with me on Twitter handle @Yoliswa or WhatsApp +263774492700.