We drove up slowly into the little close till we reached the last of the terraced houses where mom lived. Dan tried to find a place to park but couldn’t so instead we drove into mom’s front lawn, nearly crushing her beloved roses. While every other car was vertically aligned on both sides of the close, we were rebelliously horizontal. But as long as the two or three neighbours with cars at the end didn’t have any plans to go out anytime soon, then everything was just fine.
England welcomed us with the hallmark of the British weather- rain. So I couldnt waltz into the house like a Foreign Princess like I had hoped. Instead, I gave my brother the briefest hug ever as he opened the door for me then ran past him into the house to avoid the rain. “Where’s mom.” I enquired. “She’s upstairs.” He replied and resumed his position as a striker on the football field. I smiled. I would never understand the world of video games. Never.
Everything was exactly as I remembered it. The cosy brown leather sofa still sat with the plush green rug at its feet and its back to the dining table. I remembered the many nights I spent on that sofa. The small wooden cabinet with all my brother’s trophies was also still crouched beneath the living room window. And the gold shimmering word décor that said GLAMOUR was still there. ‘That’s surprising,’ I thought. ‘Cos I swear I broke that thing.’ Oh yeah, I remember. I did break that thing. The fine crack between the M and O was visible to the eye that sought it. I broke it into two neat halves one day when I was cleaning. Mom was watching Netflix upstairs so I had to move quickly before she figured out something was up. I found some glue and tried to stick it back together. It didn’t seem to be working so I held my breath, left it on the table and prayed the glue wouldn’t let me down. It didn’t. Mom had moved it from its previous position on the table and placed it above a painting without it falling apart. I was very pleased with myslef. Who knew I could be such a smooth criminal.
I felt like Jesus in the wilderness only that I had fasted from hair extensions and relaxers for way more than forty days and forty nights.
As I walked up the stairs, I checked myself using the mirror by the dining table. I was really excited to see mom but a little nervous too. To be honest, I was more concerned about what she would say about my hair. I put it in chunky twists again. This has become my go-to hairstyle. Plus, I didn’t feel excessive styling was necessary for the road trip. But I hoped I still looked presentable enough. I remember our conversation the day I told her I was coming.
“Ah that’s good!” She said. “It would be great to see you.”
“Yes! I’m so excited! I can’t wait to see you too!” I shrieked at her through the mobile phone.
“So what are you doing to your hair when you come? Maybe I can get them to make a wig cap for you at the hairdressers.”
“A what?” I asked, confused.
“A wiiiggg caaapppu!” She enunciated. “That’s what the girls are wearing these days. You gan sef! You don’t even know what is trending!”
“How would you make one for me?” I asked in disbelief. Then she told me of how girls would go to the salons to get their caps sewn into their desired styles rather than having the extensions woven unto their actual heads. And in my case, since we had the same head shape and size (yeahhh I’m not too sure about that mom), she would just sit in at the salon on my behalf to have it made. And voila! I would have a wig cap ready on my arrival!
The idea of wearing extensions again, looking like a diva on a daily and still being able to maintain my natural hair played on my mind for a while after our conversation. I loved my hair but it was hard work and I was tempted. I felt like Jesus in the wilderness only that I had fasted from hair extensions and relaxers for way more than forty days and forty nights. The tempter appeared to me, dancing the Flamenco. He was dressed all in black like Antonio Banderas in the Mask of Zorro. “Just think of how beautiful you would look Eh?” he said in his Spanish accent. “All heads would turn for you Señorita! All heads!” He raised an eyebrow and finished his dance in a strong pose- flicking one hand in the air, putting the other on his hip and smiling a very devilish smile.
Then, poof! He was gone.
He was gone but his charm was working on me. I wanted hair extensions so badly. “I mean, it’s an expensive lifestyle and synthetic extensions are so no-no. I would have to opt for human hair.” I thought. I was not going to be discouraged by the fact that there are no black shops where I live in Germany. The closest thing to an Afro hair and beauty shop is the little wooden shelf above the cashier’s head in the Afro and Asia food shop. The shelf is barely the length of two rulers put together. One pack of braid extensions hangs from a nail beside the shelf. It’s not even Expressions. and no human hair in sight. Then again, I could always order online…but who would fix it for me?
That’s when the Angel of the Lord appeared to me in the form of Chris Rock. He said, “Girrrrl! How can you be considering hair extensions? Have you not learned anything from my Good Hair movie? Did you not see all those woman sacrificing their hair at the temple? Do you want sacrificed human hair on your goddam head? Huh? Do you?” His eyes bulged out at me. Yikes! Well, Chris, when you put it like that, no I do not want sacrificed human hair on my head. Thank you!
The images came flooding back like a typhoon. The Indian women dancing as they shaved their hairs at the temple of Tirupathi, seeking absolution for their sins or offering their hairs as sacrifice for a special request like a male child. Well I didn’t want any god to be picking a fight with me for wearing his or her sacrifice on my head. Nah, I don’t like trouble oh. Thanks Chris, I’ll just stick to my own hair and some virgin coconut oil.
I had now reached the top of the stairs. Mom’s door was closed. I knocked then opened it without waiting for a reply. She was sitting on her bed and welcomed me in with a warm smile. I walked over and sat on her laps. It suddenly didn’t matter anymore if she was going to say anything about my hair. It just felt so nice to be in the same room with her. I hugged her tightly. I’d missed her and didn’t even realise how much until now.
This is my experience. Do your friends and family approve of your hair? I would love to hear your views on the subject of hair extensions. Please comment! 😀