Last Sunday, I had a taste of the Yoruba wickedness Africa Magic has been trying to teach us about all this time.
Now, a couple of months ago, I decided I wanted to make faux locs. This was a hairstyle I could have done in my room with the aid of a video, but because I wanted the best outcome, I carried my head to the salon. I had called my hairstylist in advance and he told me he could make it.
When he was done, it looked really good and I believed I had made the right choice. To think I had been doing fine girl all over the city. Had I known.
Then on Sunday, I decided to finally take out the locs, with plans to dye my hair but instead I spent the whole day trying to unravel knots tied with my hair. My hair was tied into actual physical knots.
It turns out my hair stylist didn’t know the proper way to install the locs and instead of admitting that, or even going to the toilet to quickly watch one or two YouTube videos, what did he do instead? He twisted and tied my natural hair into the locs. He tied my hair the way people tie ropes and shoelaces.
It felt surreal to me because this guy was supposed to be a professional. Everyone knows the struggle of finding a stable, sane stylist you can trust, so I was overjoyed when I found this guy two years ago. I have even recommended him to quite a number of people; I just hope you guys are doing fine wherever you are.
Ordinarily, there was no way I would untie the knots in my hair without losing a great chunk of hair. But because I serve a living God, and also all the anointing oil my mother applied on my head as a child, my enemies did not win. My friends took the time to painstakingly untie each knot and by the time they were done, I had lost a barely significant amount of hair. It was a miracle.
The next time your mother comes to your room in the middle of the night to apply some anointing oil on your head, I advise you to stay put, and tell her to even put some on your edges.
For a while I thought about hiring boys to waylay my hairdresser and ask him who had paid him to do that to me. Or was this Yoruba jazz at work? Was there any old woman I had refused to greet and had sent this arrow of wickedness to me?
This guy had me outside my room at 1am looking like an herbalist, trying to concoct mixtures to help my hair heal from the devastating trauma it had suffered. I looked online and finally found one that contained egg, coconut oil and some other things I had.
That experience took me back to all my traumatizing visits to the salon as a child. I never liked going to the salon because it was my head trapped between a wicked woman’s sweaty laps, who never really listened to me. I couldn’t speak up if the braiding was too tight as I feared I would get slapped. If she didn’t get the style right all I could do was smile and then go home to weep.
But all that is in the past, as after so many years of tears and disappointment, I really don’t have any shame left. All my shame is now on the cross.
Now, a visit to the salon is always a preparation for war. I have realized that if you are nice and understanding, hairstylists will not take you seriously. I make sure I don’t smile in my first thirty minutes there, so we don’t all get carried away and think I’m a nice person. We are here for serious business please. I also don’t eat much so that I can be a bit cranky. I am always at alert and ready to make a scene.
My hair is natural and has a lot of kinks, so it needs to be combed with a wide tooth comb. I remember sitting down in a salon once and watched in the mirror as a stylist approached my head with the thinnest tooth comb. Just as she was about to stick the comb in my hair, I started yelling, startling her and drawing the attention of her boss. He then scolded her while I made a show of shaking my head in disbelief. I also made sure I sighed from time to time while my hair was being made.
For this unfortunate experience with the locs, I blame myself for letting my guard down and being too trusting, as I think I was watching an episode of The Handmaids Tale on my phone instead of paying intense attention to what was going on. Perhaps if I had listened I might have heard the cries of my ancestors telling me to ask him what on earth he was doing.
So this is me reminding you, before going to the salon, to leave some home training in your drawer, so that you enough space in your purse to keep a lot of suspicion and paranoia. If you start to feel uneasy as your hair is being made, best believe that is your great-grandmother nudging you into action from the great beyond. Don’t let her down.
Remember that all hairstylists have taken a blood oath that they must never admit to not knowing how to make a style, so don’t take any chances.