Hair-xploitation

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I’m currently not in my best of hair states. My hairline, like the global economy, is in recession.  It’s not quite Naomi Campbell by any means.  I blame it on years of braids + Ghana weaving and that youth feeling where you think you are invincible and nothing can touch you.  I knew right from the get-go that I was at a disadvantage seeing as I inherited hair from my father’s side of the family.  Only if fetuses get the option to choose the dominant genes they want (*big sigh*), but I digress.

I recently watched Chris Rock’s documentary film ‘Good Hair’ and it cracked me up.  Apparently, looking good is good huge business; a billion dollar industry.  I think I might be in the very wrong profession o.

But unlike Chris Rock who doesn’t get it, I completely embrace my relaxers and my weaves. I don’t need to understand or analyse what drives the industry. What I don’t embrace is the exploitation of my desire to have the kind of hair I want.

If I could get a gold coin for every piece of advice I have gotten for my hair and for every treatment I have undergone, I’d be a billionaire by now. I have heard it all; use only the kiddy-perm, cut it all off, go natural, stay off the creamy crack, wash your hair once  a week (as if?! Who has that kind of time?), do didi, fix weaves, do not fix weaves, let your hair breathe, cover it up. I have even added the spiritual dimension, “God please let my hair grow out” is now a standing prayer point.

Arghhh! But as long as it comes from someone who seems to know a bit about hair, I’m jumping right on it. I am hoping to be the Christopher Columbus of hair; first to discover that elusive land of good hair we know must be out there.

While I’d really like for my hair to grow out and be luxurious, I’m not getting my knickers in a twist. The weave was made for me, it is my friend. But it turns out that I’m also being exploited on that front too. Apparently, Indian women still practice tonsure where they freely give out their hair as sacrifice at the Hindu temple. And that is the same hair I’ll spend > $400 for?!

Still, it’s a necessary evil. Imagine Lagos without weaves whether Indian, Brazilian or Peruvian? I shudder at the thought.

Or imagine going back to the times when the weaves about town were those synthetic, shiny, ever immobile hair. Thank God for better days.

At the end of the day, “good hair” is relative. You’ve just got to work with what u have, and weave in what u don’t got.

Miss K

Miss K

An engineer by day, writer by night. I’m a bunch of contradictions. Both the liberal and the conservative; the silly child and the prim & proper lady. Welcome to the reflections of my cynical mind and open heart as I ponder living the gidi life, my adopted city. Viva la Las Gidi!!!

10 comments

  1. Miss K, good writing, fresh and i enjoyed it. Maybe cos youve written whats on my mind. I am going natural too, maybe it will work for me, who knows. LOL
    Meanwhile, talking about Indian weaves, gave out my 14″ after watching a documentary in Italy on where Indian and Brazilian weaves come from, and one of the makers said they av scouts at the Indian shrines who pick up the donated hair during the cleansing ritual and her company sends back a percentage of sales they make to the shrine. Suddenly it occured to me that my money is going to gods, kai! ‘Thou shall have no other gods before me’ Number 1 commandment.

  2. I am sorry but this article is just ignorant!!!!…Black women have got to be kidding me…after watching chris rocks movie all it did was make you laugh?…you didn’t think?…wow…you are the typical Nigerian…you don’t care that for hundreds of years your hair has been has been a case study…and you have never wondered why?…out of all the women in the world why it is only black women who have to go through monthly painful process to change our natural hair…and you say you embrace Chemical relaxers with all the side effects?…hmmm….my dear the only reason why your hair is not growing is because of relaxers and the fact that you are always manipulating it…please pick up an educative book on black hair history…Nigerians never fail to amaze me and we wonder why our country is fucked up….colonial mentality

    1. Errr, Lola. I watched Chris Rock’s “Good hair” too and found it quite educative. It also made me laugh! The fact that a black woman uses relaxers and buys human hair shows “colonial mentality”? I don’t quite get that. How about ladies who have been using relaxers since birth but still have long flowing locks that keep growing? What would you say about that? Abeg o! Black hair is tough to maintain and for that reason, i will find different ways to make mine more presentable and make myself happy.

  3. @lola: sweetie, its my hairline I av a problem with. Otherwise, my hair is fine. So u choose to go natural, good for u. Bt don’t impose ur views on others. Its like saying people are vegetarians out there, so I must give up eating meat!
    Live and let live. Like I said “work with the hair you’ve got…” And like u said “your opinion is your opinion”

  4. looking good is good huge business; a billion dollar industry….i love that one…Lola yes i agree…your opinion is your opinion but i guess you should have come out milder in your “opinion”..it sounded more like criticising…good one Miss k, some other folks watch the same programme and gained nothing and some dont even have the access to it!

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