A is for Afro

picture by Kirsten Kendrick

My Hair Is Not Who I think It Is. It never has been. Most mornings we have to have harsh words with each other about how we are going to behave today. In general, she always wins. I can twist and tussle, pull and squeeze but my hair pretty much always goes her own way. It took me a long time to realise this but it does make life easier. I have of course tried various perms and straighteners to try to get it to be flowing and moveable like mum’s, but I must acknowledge that I also have African roots, and predominantly that means AFRO hair.

I am in no way complaining. I grew it, I love it. The last time I had relaxed hair I wound up feeling pretty dull and boring. I missed my morning battles and the thrill of seeing what she was going to do. She was weak and flat, and looked like everyone else in the office, so to speak. And as Jill Scott says, Everything ain’t for Everybody.

So we outgrew that and got back to enjoying ourselves. We love plaits and twists. And the interesting texture you get when you take them out. We can comb out for a bit of frizz, and some 70s style, or we can wash and go to keep the ringlety fuzz. And you don’t get no Afro puffs with straight hair. Occasionally we experiment with extensions – mostly during winter to keep our ears warm. We love a bit a colour, especially a flash of blonde. We know it’s not good for us but where’s the fun in that?!

But there is one reeeeeallly frustrating thing. My hair will not grow up. Or down. Or out. I swear, apart from trims, I haven’t cut my hair since I was about 13. Where are the long flowing Neneh Cherry locks I always thought I would one day wake up to? (Not that I’m wishing away what I’ve got, as I said, I love it. We’ve been through a lot together.) I don’t know if it just gets curlier, or, more likely, breaks of and flies away… But I don’t even bleach it all… anymore.

So I’ve decided to go the other way.  We are getting a chop. Simply because The Afro and I have hair envy. We were both enjoying a nice day out in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, frizzing out in the sunshine, when along came a group of young, showoffy dance kids. One of them started prancing about in front of us, and while pretending not to notice her we secretly could not take our eyes off her floppy, curly, short-back-and-sides-but-long-curly-on-top-and-front hair do.

Now I know my hair does not have the same loose curl youthfulesque flop texture of that young lady, but there must be something we can do. So I am currently compiling a collection of hair do’s for inspiration. Please feel free to assist me. (Comment a link to a pic, facebook me, recommend me a magical hairdresser…)

Here’s what I have so far…

And then me and The Afro had a little mess around yesterday and came up with this:

Which we quite like too. But it only works if we’re both on the same vibe.

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