Don’t see me sporting natural hair and think that I don’t have cash for a perm, ha ha. Or a weave. And who said straight hair is better kinky hair?
I started plotting to get rid of my perm in 2008. Something to do with too many instances of my scalp getting fried by relaxers. And my hair being too much like everyone else’s – kinda like a Kenyan uniform. I thought why did I perm my hair anyway? – I had forgotten why I did it in the first place.
It happened in 2001- my sis had asked me to house-sit as she and her family went to holiday at the Coast. She of course left me some house-keeping cash which I used prudently and decided to use the rest to have my hair permed.
See, my hair was becoming increasingly rebellious – refusing to cooperate when I gave it simple instructions like “lie flat!” and so on. I had also developed a healthy “respect” (more like terror) for the blow-drier during my primary school days where the ladies at Joy Hair Salon in Buruburu frequently mistook my ears for hair and made sure to run the machine over them. Not to mention over-processing my hair such that it would start falling off – traumatising my 10 year-old self who didn’t understand what was happening. –that is why I got my hair permed.
Anyway, I was now ready to make the big switch and go back to my natural hair and the first step was to let the processed hair grow out naturally. Several months in and I realised it would take too long so I chopped it. I just visited my (very) local hairdresser and told her to cut my hair. “Woi”! I was not ready for it. I suddenly looked like a boy :), could not reverse it and felt quite “unbeautiful”.
With time I got used to my new hair and when I couldn’t handle it I braided it. Then I went to lovin’ it. Soon it became an afro puff and my nephews started calling me “afro” or “manywele” (SMH). According to my nephew Kevo it was so big, it could be viewed from space and he once told me, “Auntie Buki, if you ever get lost don’t worry we’ll find you in no time. We’ll just tell the search team to look out for a huge afro…”
Last December, my two-year old niece was so impressed with my hair she kept stroking it saying “nice hairstyle” and showing her mummy, “auntie Buki hairstyle”. Coming from a two-year old it meant a lot especially since she’s an expert on princess hair 🙂 Well baby girl, I love it too & I love you. You are priceless!
So my afro is all grown up now so it’s not a puff any more but to all the people who keep asking “aren’t you going to retouch it?”, it’s here to stay.