About a week ago, after taking out my weave, I sat in a hair salon contemplating what style to do next. Weave? Braids? Long? Short? Colour two (which is black for those who don’t know) or colour four (brown, my natural hair colour). As the debate went on in my mind, I gazed up at the mirror and liked what I saw.
My hair was thick, dark and healthy. And in comparison to the last time I saw it – uneven, broken and half relaxed; half natural – which lead to a haircut, it had grown. Now it was an Afro, not the Solange Knowles kind of Afro but I was certain it would get there… eventually.
Anyway, I decided that I would let my hair be it’s free natural self for a week.
On Monday I walked into the office rocking my fro while “Work It Out” by Beyoncé rang in my head. I was greeted by the many surprised faces of my colleagues (some of them had never seen me in an all-natural form before… or maybe they just thought the weaves and braids, which changed like seasons, was my actual hair).
The first few days of my Afro were easy, but by day four my semi-soft hair began to toughen and I just didn’t want to deal with it. I stopped braiding my hair and covering it before I slept, combing it in the morning became a mission and before I knew it the hair that I was so proud to rock looked like a rock.
Late at night, mid-week, with no hair salon to pop into so they could fix my mess I turned to Google and YouTube. I read and watched videos on natural hair. I learned that I have 4C natural hair shrinkage (the extent which my hair will shrink when wet) and the wanders of coconut oil and protein treatments.
Now I know you may think that this is all common knowledge but I had never had to worry about all this because my hair is usually hidden in between braids or under a weave.
With a little more knowledge of proper haircare I began to have fun with my hair and as lame as it sounds I fell in love with my hair.My short hair. My semi-soft hair. My Afro.
Before I knew it the one week became two and I began to feel the strain of Afro-combing my hair everyday… that and little tiny bits of my hair were falling out. I was probably doing something wrong but I couldn’t handle it anymore.
So I went back to the hair salon, sat in the chair and once again began the famous debate. Weave? Braids?
Long? Short? Colour two? Colour four? Or maybe even blonde (no idea what colour number that is).
Once again I gazed up at the mirror and thought, “Man, I’m really going to miss this fro.” So I did something I had never done before I got an Afro weave. Still keeping it real…ish.
Back at work on Monday.
“Wow, Rutendo. Is that your real hair,” a colleague said.
“Why yes”, I responded patting my weave. Those who knew the truth gave me a “that is not your real hair girl” look.
Nonchalantly, I side eyed, sipped tea, swung my chair and got back to work.