This month marks the fourth month since I took the Big Chop. I had to do it because after about 20 years of hair abuse which included letting any so -called ‘hair stylist’ work on (/murder!) my hair and keeping my extensions for too long, my hair became very weak, thinned out and kept on breaking off.
From a vanity point of view, the past few months have been very hard on me so much so that I never wore my actual Afro out- bare and naked, even indoors. I felt too vulnerable to do that. It was even hard for me to walk past the mirrors in my flat with my Afro out, because seeing my natural hair served as a reminder of my self-inflicted damage and to put it bluntly, it made me feel ugly. Consequently, my hair was constantly covered in headscarves and turbans.
I’ll tell you here and now that my feelings aren’t helped when I go to the M.A.C counter and I see their new celebrity endorser, Nicky Minaj in all her ‘Black Barbie, Plastic Fantastic’ glory:
Seeing images like this really makes me miss the late 90s, when we had arguably the most successful crossover black Hip-Hop artist at that time- Lauryn Hill. I found her images utterly inspiring, because she was relatively dark skinned with short hair and she looked so cool, beautiful and classy:
A few days ago, I came across these images on Pinterest:
This picture really inspired me, here was a black woman with a colour tone that was a bit similar to mine (though she is a bit lighter) with natural Afro hair that was shorter than mine and she looked beautiful and more importantly radiant. Like a Phoenix I rose from my bed (ha!) went to wash my hair (with my Organic Root Stimulator, Olive Oil Shampoo and Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner).
And then I finally used my Turbo Afro Hairdryer which I hadn’t used in a while because I had got into a routine of washing my hair, letting it dry naturally and then quickly covering it with a headscarf.
After blowdrying my hair and looking in the mirror, I literally squealed because my hair had grown. Ok so it only grew by, like 2 inches but it had grown! Up to that point I had really given up on my hair because after the chop it seemed that it wasn’t growing. But silly me, I had forgotten all about Afro Shrinkage.
That evening, for the first time in months, I wore my Natural Afro hair out with a headscarf that covered the sides as opposed to my whole hair and I felt so confident. As I walked down the streets some guy called out to me, ‘Hey I love your look, very Nina Simone’!
Ok, yes as a black girl in Berlin, I get tired of being told I look like every black famous person under the sun, but the funny thing was I had actually begun to watch Nina Simone live performances and liked the way she wore her Short Natural Afro. So his compliments put an extra skip in my step and ounce in my bounce.
You’d be hard pressed to find a black female singer wearing her hair this way these days!
And now I wear my Natural Afro in a more ‘naked fashion’, I still wear my turbans as I love them, but when I am in my flat, I don’t wear my headscarves (unless I am preparing for bed) and now I can actually pass a mirror and look at myself with my short Afro. Sometimes I add a good ol’ finger snap for good measure to show my approval!