What happened to your hair (OR: Yelling at my head won’t scare the hair back out).

Three weeks ago, I shaved my head. I went to a barber, bullied him into starting his generator and told him to have his way with my dreads.  I could say I did it because I feel I’ve reached that wonderful and comfortable place in womanhood where I no longer depend on hair, books or looks to define me but I’d be lying. I’m still a kid, people; a very lucky kid because I actually look gorgeous without hair.

I’m bald. Is that why people are gawking at me as if I have a latrine in the middle of my forehead, or as if a kilo of beans just poured out of my nose?  Am I imagining that slight gasp that casual acquaintances try to swallow when they meet me in the street? And is there a name for that odd look that I saw in my EX’s eyes, a mingling of shock, horror and amusement that made him look like a lecherous grasshopper?

I’ve also encountered people who angrily demand explanations saying, “How, eh? Why did you chop? The dreadlocks were nice. You’re fake! Hair is supposed to tweak the appearance. You’re…you’re…UNTWEAKED!” And then they jeer. Goodness me. It’s my (emphasis on MY) hair, not my legs that I chopped off, people. Don’t be dramatic.

On one of the blogs that I read religiously (mbabaziannet.blogspot.com), there’s a post about a hair revolution. Apparently, a lot of women, mostly those of color are putting their stilettos down and deciding to wear their hair in more ‘natural’ styles. Many women are bravely chopping their tresses off.

What? How dare they? Just when I decide to go bald is when the world kicks off its hair revolution?  Am I now to be grouped with the yuppies? Are my peers and the people in my head going to be justified in calling me an abominable follower of fashion? Argh! This is exactly what happened when I went wild about blue hair in my second year. Two months later, blue braids were all the rage. To birds and passengers in planes, Makerere must have looked as if cheeky aliens had tipped a bucket of blue paint on all the campusers’ heads.

It also happened when I got obsessed with ribbons. When I’d just twisted my wild afro into dreadlocks, I was deathly afraid of looking too ‘rough’. I felt I needed something pretty to somehow soften  the look, which is when I stumbled upon the prettiest little clip-on ribbons in Harvey’s, an accessory shop on top of Quality supermarket in Ntinda. I bought six of them in different colors and was quite proud of the look I achieved. Whenever my girlfriends would demand to be taken to my accessory shop, I’d yell, “No! Feel the nugu. Feel it!” Despite all my efforts, ribbons became widely owned and extremely popular 5 months later.

To my complete and total dismay, every dress, shoe, bag, hair accessory, name it, had a ribbon. What makes the whole world obsess over one thing at the same time? Is it aliens? Whenever I try to direct my obsessions at ‘different’ things, the world starts wearing the same stuff. Is it the moon? Are aliens controlling us, beaming tastes and preferences out at the world? Not cool, Aliens.

So back to hair matters. Dear people who gasp all the air out of the atmosphere and into your noses and gesticulate as if you’re are having terrible fits when you see me, I’m tired of flashing a nice-girl smile and saying, “Long story” when you ask me what happened to my hair. Don’t mention my head, hair or lack thereof unless you’re going to tell me how gorgeous I look. Deal?

12 thoughts on “What happened to your hair (OR: Yelling at my head won’t scare the hair back out).

  1. I think I love your new look. You really look fabulous in it. True, there are those who shouldn’t shave at all. Why? Coz their bodies, heads, faces just does not match up to the bald.

    For your case, I think you changed for the better. There are few of your kind of women who actually look good bald.

  2. just shaved my hair off as well (not bald though) and reading this article was like…. I can relate to you! It’s MY HAIR!! I can do with it whatever i damn well please! Pheew, feels good 2 let that off my chest. Thanx! 🙂

  3. Then you went and made me a celeb. Anyway enjoy your bald head…im sure its pweetty.
    @tipsy… kitengi. i started making bu accessories from kitengi. If you don’t tell anyone we can keep the trend between us.

  4. “…Is that why people are gawking at me as if I have a latrine in the middle of my forehead, or as if a kilo of beans just poured out of my nose? …”

    Tehehehe, your descriptions are just too flippin awesome!!!

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s