I haven’t written a memoir in a while.
I’ll be the first to admit that. Well I got married (stale gist) and a lot of well meaning people were fast to point out that MizChutzpah would have to put a lid on her memoirs since no well meaning married woman should ever be caught talking about her personal life on social media!
Well I’m not sure they were referring to tales about my unruly hair oh cos if they were- biko thou judge and jury no vex, but this tale must be told!
You already know my hair is one kain, read here if you have forgotten: this my hair sef
Anyway thanks to relaxers and good weaves I had been managing my hair jejerly and a lot of people even gave me pretty nice compliments because the hair upon all its shakara cleans up real nice on good hair days! And then the advent of the natural hair journey movement changed my life!
I’ll admit that in the early days I was like lailai ti lailai, I am team relaxer for life (who doesn’t like sleek straight oyinbo looking hair?) and the way some of the girls were wearing the hair like class captain badge sef and not even packing it properly just put me off.
Then came the fights on social media, name calling and what not became the order of the day. The naturalistas trying to make everyone feel like they betrayed their forefathers simply because they put relaxer in their hair! I would just sip my tea like Kermit and buy my Dr. Miracle while enjoying the debate on Bellanaija! I couldn’t imagine having to struggle with a comb every single day for the rest of my adult life. I had it all figured out truly until I stumbled into this whole no relaxer movement pretty much by accident!
I had bought my relaxer (it’s still sitting on my drawer) but couldn’t find the time to go to the salon (not a DIY freak abeg). After I was forced to remove my weave (when hubby is almost going to kick you out of the bed because the weave is starting to smell), I contemplated what to do with the dew hair. One morning I packed it to work as best as I could, hoping I’d breeze in and breeze out before anyone really took notice though truth be told for some reason I was feeling myself that day (the hair was fine sha) and got some natural hair compliments (odd) though one babe told me to go and relax the hair sharply. Anyway I kept putting it off till it became a thing somewhat (thanks to wigs, they are the real MVP).
Fast forward a couple of months and there I was, bored on a Saturday night in March 2016 and watching youtube videos when I stumbled on a DIY big chop video (shey I told you I wasn’t a DIY person). Anyway my hands got all itchy and I knew I was about to do something stupid, I left hubby in the sitting room and like a naughty child went in to play with my toys (toys being a sharp pair of scissors, my hair being led like a sheep to the slaughter and my mirror) and chop, chop, chop I went, feeling like Edward Scissorshands and somehow deriving some morbid satisfaction from seeing my hair fall to the ground. I walked quietly to the sitting room to confess my sins and reverend father was not pleased! His first reaction was a horrified expression while he was gathering the memento to utter his first words. Feeling cocky I gave him the scissors to finish the job since the middle of my hair looked like a rat had had a field day there. Being the supportive man he is, he quietly added barber to his cv and tried not to say the words he so badly wanted to say. I wore a hair band to church the next morning and I absolutely hated my hair. I won’t lie I sat on the toilet seat after church and cried my eyes out till it was time to make lunch. Nothing eats at your self-confidence like having hair that can’t pack!
Fast forward a couple of months, a million trial and errors and endless wigs not to mention the fortune spent on hair products half of which I couldn’t or wouldn’t use and my hair and its hunger for hair products had become a standing joke in the house. The hair had grown to a point where it could be joined with plenty attachment to make a base for weaves and I was living my life almost the same way as before the big chop (team weaves and braids), to me it was not a movement, I had nothing to prove. I wanted to feel beautiful and whatever helped me achieve that was my business alone! I’d like to give a shout out at this point to closures, whoever invented them should just come and collect her award because my hair was too short and natchy to peek out from a weave so that really wasn’t an option! Anyway since I was playing for both teams, I knew one day karma would catch up with me (it kuku has and I didn’t die so I shall continue this hair bigamy unrepentantly forever)!
About the karma incidence…
It was my birthday and I needed to renew my passport. The day before, I had put my hair in twists so that it would have a nice curl by the morning (thanks to youtube I had become a natural hair stylist guru of sorts plus the hair had grown plenty oh). Unfortunately my forestry reserve of hair was having the birthday blues and refused to be tamed so I put a hair band around it and left it looking the way natural hair looks when we don’t comb it (it’s still a style) and feeling the urban chic, I waltzed on cloud 9 to the immigration office. There was a short queue for the data capture and the woman in front of me caused quite a scene with her gorimapa ‘Amber Rose’ inspired blonde hair/head and when they refused to take her pic with her head looking like that, she had to beg random strangers for their wigs till an older woman obliged. If you have never borrowed a stranger’s wig, without a mirror or comb and had your picture taken the very next second for a passport that you would have for 5 years and a pic that would contribute to your luck at the visa office, then you cannot fully understand this woman’s ill-fortune. People found it so ludicrous they could barely contain their mirth. I won’t lie, I probably chuckled a little bit because really what if the wig had lice? (Mi o wa ku). Anyway that’s how it was my turn oh and I got up feeling fly and sat at the photo booth only to hear the worst words ever said to me: “Madam hoff ya scarf, no scarf fo pazzpot”. First of all WTF, second it’s a hair band, third WTF….sigh….why me? On my birthday of all days? How would I explain this cave woman passport photo? Anyway I could see from the impatient look in the man’s eyes that he wasn’t joking and he couldn’t be bought or swayed so I jejerly ‘hoff’ the thing and allowed my wild mane go free. I couldn’t even get myself to look at the picture on the screen. I looked like ‘I woke up like this’ but not flawless like Beyonce, more like the ‘I didn’t comb my hair before bed taadaa’ kinda look. #villageheadmaster #rugged #africangeh #villagebelle. I probably died a thousand times (the kind of death that your yeye lungs continue to collect air like they cannot sense the dire situation).
Anyway please don’t ask to see my passport and if you work in a visa office and happen to come across a hair with a face , I would like to just put it out there that I wasn’t trying to make a statement, the hair just refused to behave that day…here’s a toast to the next 5 years rocking my fro in my international passport! #karmaisunkind
Have a lovely night Chutzpah fam,
And next time you think you are having a bad day, look at your well coiffed hair in your passport photograph and thank Jesus!