As an African woman, hair is an aesthetic of identity; it connects me to my roots and it is politicised. This post isn’t about the historical, political or cultural significance of black women’s hair. It’s about my relationship with my hair.
Despite not having an emotional attachment to my hair, I do have a personal and intimate relationship with it. I love experimenting with different hairstyles. Some styles are nostalgic and purposeful while others are accidental. I find the hours I spend changing from one style to another therapeutic and I enjoy how each hairstyle makes me feel.
Here are some of the styles I’ve worn my hair this year.
Bald and Boujee
I decided to cut my hair again after 3 years of being on the Natural Hair journey.
Sleek it down or wear a wig
I bought this wig at Beauty Queens for £24.99. I wasn’t sure wigs were for me but I’m definitely going to invest in a good wig this year. It makes life so much easier! (CrownedbyFadz on Instagram makes amazing wigs. Check her out!)
High top x Yarn locs
I like to give my hair a break, so, every once in a while I let it out. I used Advanced hair gel to slick the sides and back down. Advanced hair gel apparently matched the hair’s natural Ph balance. I prefer it to eco-styler because it lays my hair down and it doesn’t flake unless you comb it through.
Yarn locs are a great protective style but they take ages to install. I did these over two days and they can last for about 6-8 weeks. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials to help you if you want to achieve this style. The trick is to not wrap too close to the scalp.
Box braids are my go-to protective style. They are versatile and easy to install. When my box braids start to look old, I just re-do the front and back. This makes life much easier, especially during busier times of the year.
I used the rubber-band method for the chunkier box braids. (Bottom right picture)
Fulani Braids x Twist outs
My hairdresser (alfantoglam on Instagram) did my fulani braids. She’s so quick and I kept them in for about a month. I kept them wrapped up when I slept and used Advanced gel to keep my curly hair tamed.
Beaded Box braids x Crotchet braids
Channeling my child-self
As a little girl, the beaded fringe was my signature hairstyle. I recreated the look but made it a tad more mature with these gold metal beads.
This hairstyle is so nostalgic. It reminds me of the days when I used to have to sit in between my hairdresser’s thighs, head bowed biting my hand to move the pain from my scalp to my hand. I’m so glad I learnt how to do my own hair. The pain was unbearable. I always loved the results but the process was torture.
This is probably one of my favourite hairstyles because it’s like having the hair I shaved off.
Kelani inspired Faux Locs aka The Chandelier
I’d been dying to imitate Kelani’s hairstyles ever since she stepped on the music scene. I trekked all over Birmingham trying to find a haberdashery to get crystal beads from and I couldn’t find any. Off I went to Dunelm Mill and bought a lampshade with crystals.
I spent £24 on a lamp I’ll never use just to create this look. (I loved how it looked but the metal rings kept getting caught on my clothes and to the rest of the hair. Never again! (Okay, I’ll probably do it again but please remind me not to do it.)
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this trip down memory lane. I look forward to spending less time on my hair and on other more meaningful activities but I’ll probably do it all over again.
I hope you all have a Happy New Year!
Peace and love.