Wednesday, June 2, 2010
I've been married 4 times to my hairdresser...
As if by prophetic inclination I put up this picture (from Black Art Depot) while stewing my post and on Sunday after confirming twice with my hairdresser, P, she stood me up. I was miffed by this and was ready stomp off to another salon then remembered that I was married to my hairdresser.
Now you maybe wondering how is that possible? Is she a lesbian? No I'm not but once you trust someone with your hair it is very rare to run off and have someone else handle your hair. Now ever since I could remember I was taught that your hair IS your crowning glory. So in childhood horror and rage I would be very upset when the weekend before schools opened my mother would march me and my younger sister to the nearest barbershop proclaiming that we had “mufushwa hair “(this is hair that is thick, coarse and kinky and does not grow much) .I would sit there, with tears welling up in my eyes, silently proclaiming that one day when I am old enough I will not go to a barbershop.
So I only grew my hair when my cousin was getting married and needed us to have a certain hairstyle (yes always a bridesmaid and never the bride moment). That was what I believed to be the liberating moment in my hair drama but it was only the beginning.
All through high school the best way to manage hair was to get it plaited into very thin lines which when dandruff set in would be a nightmare as you finger could not even fit in to scratch. This saw us go through high school with pokers from rollers in our heads thinking it was incredibly stylish .Being at a girls school you can forgive our ignorance . My first hairdresser was a lady called Precious, she was pretty and would do exactly what I wanted even after my mother had given her strict instructions on how to do my hair. She was faithful but being in the same saloon with your mother became not cool so I moved to another hairdresser who was equally as good and hopefully would never do my mother hair.
My next hairdresser was a man (I don’t think he was gay) called Timmy. He was excellent; he was the first to teach me about keeping appointments. He knew all the latest styles and would regal you with his escapades while telling you what style suited the shape of your face .He was very popular and it soon came to the fore that he slept with half his clientele .So Timmy would be in the middle of doing your hair but once one of his girlies walked in, you would be unceremoniously dumped .So you could very well spend at least 3 hours getting your hair done by Timmy. Patience has never been my strongest point hence after 6 months I walked away – plus rumours had begun that he was HIV- positive. So our mother banned me and my sister from getting our hair done by Timmy.
Mum promptly shipped us off to a salon owned by a popular Zimbabwean singers wife .It was top notch and they served you juice and soon as you walked it. However since we lived in a fairly small town; Kwekwe; everyone flooded the new saloon and out of the door went exclusivity. The one fascination that I had with this saloon was that all the latest scandal was heard here. Wives met up with their husbands girlfriends and beat each other up ; girlfriends who shared the same boyfriend would often fight and you would get to meet all your friends there as well . So hair appointments became a form of entertainment. Tragedy struck when the owner discovered that 2 of her employees had dated her husband. Humiliation being the biggest reason she closed shop and moved to Harare .Luckily for me this is when I moved to Bulawayo to start college.
Bulawayo was hair heaven all the guys at college where fascinated by long braids so for 2 years I braided my hair and that solved a lot of problems. A few years down the line, now working and earning a decentish salary, I met my addiction – WEAVES. How had I lived so long without them? The colours, the styles and different lengths for each month of the year I could be a different person. So yes I live in weaves from synthetic to 100% Human hair ,blonde ,cherry ,black I have tried them all .Short ,curly , wavy, straight I have had each hairstyle done. Moving to Johannesburg taught me variety and that as the customer if you I am not happy I can remove it immediately. Yes ladies and gents from the dirty streets of Hillbrow to the posh salons of Sandton I began a hunt for the perfect hairdresser. I never did attempt the street hairdresser that was an absolute no. Someone who understood my hair, my pickiness, my preferences, my difficulty at times and who understood what I meant when I said; ” I need something that will wow them “ ,would go out of her way to leave even me wowed .
Then in Randburg one afternoon I met her and she was perfect, she met all my requirements and she was Zambian. I have to hand it to her, she has the ability to wow me, handle my hair tantrums and over the years I have received some amazing discounts. When I have major events to attend she is my hair god-mother, she hooks me up and on point as well. No matter how many times she disappoints, which has only been twice including Sunday, I am in love with her talent .My hair is the longest it have ever been in its life but I don’t care much for it .So long as I have a weave I am happy .The older I have become the less I am caught up with salon stories,I go for my appointment ,get my hair done and go home. There really is no need to get to know those other ladies getting their hair done.
Men often ask why we spend so much time on our hair as ladies but you can’t blame us .It’s in our need to look beautiful and confident .Yes we sang along when India Arie declared ‘’ I am not my hair”,I even knew the lyrics but forgive me India I love weaves and I don’t’ think I’ll stop anytime soon. So I have unwillingly forgiven, P, and will need to make another appointment sometime this week but as is evident from this post she could cheat on me and I wouldn’t mind. She is the one who calls the shots and I don’t complain. Though I will not be trying the new Brazilian weave anytime soon.
So head itching, my hair screaming for a retouch I grit my teeth and patiently wait for my name to be pencilled into her appointment book. As a rule I don’t keep a weave for more than 4 weeks ,that’s just me ,so this 5 week now- disaster on my head must be evicted . It still looks good but the 4 –week principle has been violated.
Hairdressers most probably attend some initiation school that teaches them to have this hold over us. So hair itching and not as miffed as yesterday I await P’s call *sigh*
P.S. I still dread the barbershop.