I have worked on a number of hair magazines over the years and every edition has left me feeling joyful. I always flip through the finished product and wonder what value it will bring to each reader’s life. I can’t remember a time when hair meant nothing to me; it’s always been a significant part of my life.
I grew up in a house full of women, who took pride in taking the utmost care of their crowning glory. I would watch my mom, a professional hairstylist, awed by what she managed to do with her own hair. I would also eagerly observe her practising her craft on me as well as on other family members, friends and clients, at home and in her salon. In between those moments, I would play hairdresser to my dolls in the hope of replicating some of the styles I’d seen during the course of the day.
Once I grew old enough to decide for myself what hairstyle I should have, all I wanted was bongo braids so I could look like the late kwaito diva, Lebo Mathosa. They were long, thick and heavy, but I wasn’t about to let my mom know how much I was suffering. I spent most nights in a wet doek, trying to loosen the tension and cool my throbbing scalp. Once my mom noticed this, and I couldn’t take it anymore, she ran a scissor through the braids, leaving them lying at a manageable shoulder length. I enjoyed them only because they resembled the braids worn by R&B star Brandy.
That’s just one of the many hair memories I hold dear. Since then, I have not always made the best decisions about my mane, but I have had a blast chopping, colouring, braiding, weaving, relaxing, loving, hating and falling back in love with every strand. There are few hairstyles I have not tried, and I look forward to the many looks I will surprise myself, and others, with in future.
These days, I switch between my natural crop and wearing wigs, depending on my preference. I’ve found my hair rhythm and couldn’t be happier. Here’s to you finding yours.