Dupe Oyebolu
by on August 1, 2016
I decided that I was going to stop relaxing my hair in the early days of 2012. My cousin, who I fondly call Auntie Kokos, had been gently preaching to me about the merits of wearing one’s hair natural for a little over a year, but it wasn’t until I was at the airport waiting for a flight to Lagos that I got it. I was with my mom, waiting in line for one airport shuttle, when I saw the Indian woman and the white woman in front of me. Then I noticed their hair. Each had a distinctively different hair texture. The Indian woman’s hair was thick, black, and long; and wavy. The white woman’s hair was much thinner and lighter; straighter and blonde. And I noticed how their hair made sense with them— it was like the first time I saw that a person’s hair could be an extension of them. And then I suddenly saw how absurd it was that my hair was this questionable imitation of someone else’s. That I was hurting my head every three months or so to mimic the hair texture that grows naturally out of another person’s head. Isn’t there something wrong with that? Abi, ki le ro?
Me With Relaxed Hair
Kia kia, I decided, while standing in that line, I wasn’t going to relax my hair again.
But not relaxing your hair, and becoming natural are not quite the same thing. I didn’t want to cut my hair low, so I decided that I was going to simply transition till my natural roots grew to a respectable length. But the hair no gree o. I would fix weave on and my head would itch to no end. I would braid and the front would just be falling out like Taylor Swift and her boyfriends. Still, I didn’t want to cut my hair right away because I was afraid that I would be ugly.
Queue trauma back story: When I was in SS.3, I cut my hair on a whim. In those days I played basketball (terribly), and my school made it to a semi-final game against Vivian Fowler. Vivian Fowler had like the meanest student population, second only to Q.C. maybe. Me with my new haircut, I was jejely running across the court, doing my best to tap the ball from players’ hands or block them from catching passes (because this was all I had the skill for) when one girl proceeded to shout from the sideline – “Eh! See this one!!! Are you a boy or a girl???” :weary: That memory ehn! It’s as if it lodged itself deep in my soul, because when I was thinking about cutting my hair some five years later I was afraid that I would be ugly. Or, in more specific terms, I was afraid that an iteration of that Vivian Fowler school girl would come along and shout in my face “Are you a boy or a girl?!!!” So I decided, no dramatic big chops would be had on this head, only a quiet transition.
A couple of months later, in June, I loosened one braids hairstyle that had been particularly wicked to my front hair. I was so sad :disappointed: For a long time I thought about abandoning my fixing and braiding cycle, and just cutting the hair.
Me With Wicked Front Hair Swallowing Braids
But that VF girl’s voice, e dey pester me dey go. So instead, I went to fix one of those overpriced curly bohemian hairs. In retrospect, I looked like a lion — lots of hair just doesn’t look right on my face.
Me With The Sketchy Bohemian Hair, Do you see the vague distress on my face?
But praise dah gods for Auntie Kokos. About six days into the sketchy hairstyle, she magically appeared in my email. She was like “I think you should watch this video” and this was the link:
It’s a video by Sistah Zina Saro-Wiwa, called Transition. Yes, I have assigned sisterhood to all of us in this natural hair business. In the video, Sistah Zina shaves off all of her hair. Like gbo gbo e, pata pata. As she was sitting in the barber’s chair, she spoke all of my heart’s fears mehn! At one point she was like “Ugh! This (her face without hair) is so unattractive”. But Sistah Zina, even though she was afraid, she did it. She cut that hair off.
After I saw the video I was like, ‘Oh my God. I have to do it. I have to cut my hair today.’ I was in such a big hurry to do it after work, that I burnt my leg on a bike on my way home. I removed my four thousand Naira hair that I had only carried for like one week, and I cut my hair; by myself. People were telling me, “wait now”, “wait!”, but the fire of Sistah Zina’s bravery was too much inside me. I had to do it right away. And I have only looked back a few times since - story for another day.
What is the moral of this story?
- If you are looking for some big chop inspiration, watch Sistah Zina’s video today.
- Don’t fly a bike when the fire of somebody’s bravery is burning inside you.
- Don’t waste your money on 4 thousand naira hair if you are only trying to use it to avoid the inevitable
- Get yourself an Auntie Kokos.
- You might look back longingly at your relaxed hair after you transition. This is okay.
Post Big Chop Happiness!
Kume Ozoro
:smiley: "there was fear" :smiley:
Lmao....... What a dramatic and interesting post! Dupe ehn.. Ya such a funny pelzin. 😀. Nice post Bae or Sistah. 😁😁
Dupe Oyebolu
LOL! Thank you Sistah Mary! :) It's the natural hair struggle that brings out the funny in me.
LOL! I curn sees..... It's all good sha
Nice post zizta. I personally find delight in cutting my hair without fears. ONE LOVE NATURALISTAS!!!
Kume Ozoro
Abolanle you're a brave one :sparkling_heart: