Natural Hair Minute

#1. Yaay! Wash day!

Define freedom.

Freedom for me is when I release my cornrows after keeping them for three weeks. That feeling when fresh air passes through each strand of hair; the thick curls that form from doing LOC consistently; the joy that comes from holding my hair out and examining my ends and deciding dispassionately that yes, my split ends situation is getting better and yes, I will trim them anyway.

 

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And then there’s washing my afro hair that I call Ohemaa. There’s something magical about washing those thick coily tresses; soaking them in water; lathering up with my bottled alata semina shampoo of choice before deep conditioning it with my honey-infused conditioner. Then wrapping it up in a shower cap and towel for 30 minutes, rinsing out, trimming the split ends then threading my hair or braiding it whilst I figure out what next to do with it.

I love wash days……especially when I do it on Saturday when I can wash and get other things done like cook and do laundry and clean my house. (Yes, I’m a feminist who’s a domestic goddess. If this offends you, take matches and start burning the sea)

And in Accra I’m spoilt for choice when it comes to products because, as one of my friends pointed out to me, the natural hair movement is strong here.

A lesson I picked up from washing my hair on Wednesday was this : I am waay more patient with my hair than I am with any other aspect with my life. I tried perm rod curls which ruined my ends and left them weak and so damaged that I didn’t just trim them – I had to chop off at least an inch. In fact, it was a very sad distin. 😦

But its been almost a month since that event and I’m gradually seeing my hair get back to its previous large halo style. I don’t stress myself out when my hair doesn’t grow quickly because I know that it doesn’t grow long, but it does grow thick.

I don’t compare my hair to other textures because Ohemaa and I have come to the understanding that we’re not in competition with anyone for any reason. Natural hair is a marathon not a sprint.

I don’t suffer bouts of hair envy although I am surrounded by women with beautiful afro tresses – my sister Tricia number 1. Her hair reaches middle of her back after a two inch trim. Somehow Ohemaa and I have reached that point were we don’t project our hair insecurities on the people around us.

After a minute of reflection, I realised it won’t kill me to apply some of these principles to my life – don’t envy, be patient, love regardless, focus on what’s important and don’t be that woman who projects her issues onto others and then plays the victim card. (That’s not a cute look)

It’s been 24 hours since I made this decision and to be honest, it’s been tough, but so far, so very very good.

xoxox

 

Random Thoughts

#6. Miss Jaye gets her nails done…..and she likes it

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Let me get this out of the way, I love my cousin Chief. He is soft-spoken, sarcastic and quick on the uptake. He also tied the knot recently and his only clause to me was to pack my natural hair away before showing up.

And for him, I wore a silky weave and threw in acrylic nails to boot.

See how much I love him?

Well, it’s been two weeks since I went to Salon Services to have them hook me up with acrylic nails and its time for me to assess my performance with them. Wait – did I mention this is the first time I’ve ever worn acrylic nails? In my long-legged life?

Deep breath in and out……

I thought they would be a pain but they weren’t.

PROS:

  • My hands look prettier and more feminine J
  • The nails make a lovely noise when tapping on desks, car doors and kitchen counters.
  • They look great with whatever outfit I wear.
  • I can handwash my clothes without fuss.
  • I can prepare my favourite meal with them
  • I can wash dishes without hassle.

 

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CONS:

  • I can’t eat fufu and soup, banku and stew, waakye…..hell, I can’t eat any of my favourite meals that I can normally eat with my hands. Bummer.
  • Its hard to type with acrylics; they hurt when you press the nails, it’s uncomfortable when you use your fingerpads. It’s not been an easy ride this past week :/
  • I can’t open a can of Coke easily.
  • I can’t close shirt buttons.
  • I struggle with earring bolts.
  • I have to be careful how I use my fingers because the nails are tough but are surprisingly sensitive to pressure and can break and rip off my real nails.
  • Erm….that’s it, I guess.

So, will I do it again? Most definitely….I’ll just have to figure out how to alter some aspects of my life to accommodate them. Or, I can fix them every three or four months.

Or I can just enjoy them until I get sick of them.

Either way, good times 🙂