I am that child whose father made sure she was on low cut almost all her life. We were only allowed to plait out hair for the first one or two years of our life, after which, the hair went off. For this reason, I wasn’t able to learn anything about making hair while growing up. The irony is that my dad was not a strict man, but he wanted his girls, including his wife, to look cute and unique. He said low cut made women look different and unique (in those days, it was very uncommon to find women or girls with low cut). Obviously, I did not like this, but my dad psyched me, telling me that I was cute and unique and my low cut made me different from other girls. My people, I chopped this line. I guess that’s where I developed the being different, non-conformist mentality.
I was so eager to grow up, get into the university and them be free to make my hair. Immediately I finished my SSCE, I relaxed it and braided it for my valedictory service. Three months later, my dad told me to cut it because I was not taking care of the hair well. I knew it was just an excuse. My mum, being the strict one, asked me to cut it since I am supposed to be obedient to my father.
A year later, I started making my hair full time. I began by blowing it out with relaxer and then started weaving. I had just one goal, I wanted hair that was long as long can be. Because of this, I weaved my hair all the time. I knew ‘all-back would be too boring, so I drew my own hair styles. I just thought of anyhing, drew it and took it to my hairdresser. I demanded that she make it appear that way on my head. There were no camera phones in those days, so I have no soft copies. I have some hard copies and will scan some of them one of these days.
I went to UNILAG, and you know how the ladies there could be. While everyone was fixing weaves and making box braids, I was just weaving my hair. I never let my hair out, apart from when I relaxed it, I never fixed my hair, I made box-braids just once a year and relaxed once in two months (not that the hair relaxed sef).
People, I was length obsessed! I guess it was because I had been on low cut all my life and wanted to prove a point that my hair could also grow. The fact that my hair was very full and my mum kept telling how long the hair in my dad’s family is did not help matters at all.
Well people, by the time I was in 300 level, I had the longest hair in class, I started letting it out from time to time and by just packing it. People started admiring the hair and giving complements. I was loving the attention my hair was getting me. I still followed my hair regime, but never fixed and my weavings reduced. I started doing box braids like twice a year.
After a while, I got bored. I had achieved my goal of having very long hair and I was tired of it. I wished I could cut my hair, but I never had the courage. I looked into the mirror and the length of the hair was not something I would ever have the liver to but a clipper on.
By the time I got to five hundred level, I met a lady who told me to flat-tong my hair. She told me that my hair was just too lovely, not to be flat-tonged. She said if I did this, the outcome would be so good that I would want to cut off my head and place my head on the table so that I and everyone will be worshipping it. People, this compliment was too much to resist. I went to bobbies, which is where she directed me to, I flat-tonged my hair and left the salon. I let it down for about three days before I packed it again. I should say at this point that letting my hair down, without packing gives me heat rash on my neck and shoulder. So that was that about the flat-tong.
When it was the next time to get my hair relaxed, I had an issue. I was very broke and couldn’t afford to buy the Dark and Lovely kit I was using to make my hair. Unlike many university girls, I never got any special allowance for making my hair all through school. Remember that I was the one who decided that I was going to make my haor, by hook or by crook. So I carried my big head to buy a cheap hair relaxer called ozone, for N100.00 because the hair stylist kept telling me that it was very good, bla bla bla.
Two weeks later, I could not believe my eyes...
To be continued