1 Nov 2010

This is My Hair Story... Part 1

"I want to have locs." I said to my mother one day after another argument about my hair. I did believe in what I was saying.

"I will never let you set feet in my house if you do so..." she replied, then she gave me that look, the look that makes your soul cringe. The up and down eye roll look. Not pretty to see.

I’ve always had issues with my mother regarding my hair. She would tell me I don't behave like a girl because I don't treat my hair nicely. I didn't give too much attention to my hair that is true, but after all, hair has never been a big deal to me...

I was born natural and I don't remember making a fuss about combing my hair. However, I remember wearing t-shirt on top of my hair and wave it in the air, just imaging having it long like Diana Ross, Michael Jackson or James Brown. As a lone child – I have many brothers and sisters but I was raised mostly alone by my grandmother – my imagination was wild. I always managed to invent my own imaginary games :

I would always image having a long hair. I don’t know where I got the idea from, but I thought that when I moved to Italy I would have a long hair. Until that time people confused me for a boy – which I was quite happy to play the part, because boy didn’t like me as a girlfriend – I was quite young but even then I knew that the little rich girls with their permed hair got more attention from the little boys.

Then in 1992, when I moved to Italy from Ghana, my journey with hair relaxer began. Few weeks after my arrival, mom suggested I relax my hair. Truth to be told, I WAS HAPPY, because my dream for long hair was coming true! But, from day one I realised how much I hated the heat and the burning chemicals on my sensitive scalp. My hair was very delicate, so much that, if on the relaxer box the minimum time to relax the hair was 15 minutes the hairdresser had to wash the relaxer off 5 minutes before. I also started to hate hearing mom say:

"To be beautiful a woman have to suffer."

Plus, I hated the burnt and peeling skin of my scalp when the hairdresser was not good with my hair. And last, my hair never grew longer than my shoulder length. It was always breaking. I knew some people still have long hair after using relaxers, but I knew that my life style and my hair texture did not agree with chemicals. I did swimming classes with my school and gym.

By the time I came to this conclusion, I couldn't do anything, my hair was addicted to hair relaxer. I had to go and sit under a burning hairdryer every month. It was very difficult to stop... Especially when you have people around you were saying your hair does not suit you.

But I also went through some radical haircuts. For instance mom was very cross when I came home with my hair cut and shaved at the back. I was in love with that hair style cut. One of my friends always had hair long, I found it boring. I was into originality from the beginning.

For the remaining fifteen years, I had to go and sit under a burning hairdryer and every month I had to relax my hair. Sometimes I would refuse to go and retouch the hair but my uncle or my mother would offer me the treat. I didn’t have any where to turn to. I also changed hairdressers at the break of dawn. Then an hairdresser came to live right next to our house... I didn’t have any excuse not to go to retouch my hair.

I believe that the breaking point began on the day of my civil wedding in April 2005. On that day, I refused to go to the hairdresser and be pampered. Instead, I simply washed my hair and tie it into a ponytail with hair gel. To which my mom said "You don't take care of yourself at all... you didn't even buy a new dress for this wedding."

"This wedding is just the civil wedding, the summer one is the most important wedding. Plus, I don't think my hair is at all bad the way I have done it. Is it?"

She up into the sky and said nothing. She didn't believe her ears... On the other, I was happy because that was my day and I was going to do whatever I wanted. But never dreamt or thought about about going natural.

It was only a year later, in 2006, that I did something overly radical...

What did I do?

Come and read more tomorrow... :)

I know, I am not the only one on this journey so I would love, LOVE to read more hair stories. Please link up and share with me. The link up is open throughout the week :).


  1. I love reading about other women's hair journeys. I'm not surprised at your mother's reaction. Growing up I remember some relatives chastising me because I hate all the fuss about hair. I would have been content to be bald had it not been for the big deal other made about it. I can't wait until tomorrow's edition of this tale. I will write mine story and link up tomorrow for sure :)

  2. Following from the blog boost. I'd really appreciate a follow back? :)

    p.s. I like your style of writing.

  3. Oh my...there is so much related to hair...how we feel about ourselves, how others perceive us. I cannot wait to hear what's next!


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