‘That’s a pretty …fast year flew by’ – Frank Ocean, Skyline To
It’s been a mighty long while but good news, I am back! I know I went completely AWOL last year. I can’t even pretend that my neglect wasn’t noticeable so I’m stating it clearly. I went MIA and I sincerely apologise. 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 I’m gonna do my best this year to stay online and keep you all up to date with my hair shenanigans.
During my absence from the online world, a lot was happening in the real world. For starters, I moved back to England early last year. Ermm yeah, you guessed it – I had had it up to here (throat level) with the Germans digging their fingers into my hair and asking really silly questions. Of course that’s not the actual reason we as a family decided to move back to England but it was a good enough reason for me. My Nigerian self thought, ‘Ahh, me I don’t want to kill somebody oh. Abeg, let me move before I end up in a German cell!’ I was obviously thinking I would never have to deal with such troubles once I returned to England. But boy was I wrong! People still stare at my hair, stick their fingers in it, and ask silly questions like:
‘Is that crochet braids?’
‘Ah ah, how is it your hair? It’s so full!’
‘Are you sure you didn’t add anything to it?’
People, its my hair, I think I’d know if I added something to it!
‘Ooohhh don’t frustrate her, she might start pulling out her extensions.’
I’m sorry, my what??!!!
Gimme two seconds and I might be pulling out your extensions!!!
Basically, moving countries changed nothing. I still have to deal. But instead of with Germans, as London is so mixed, I’m dealing with all manner of Europeans and Africans as well. So I’ve learned to just zip it. I won’t complain anymore and just accept it’s one of those things a natural girl has to live with.
Another thing that’s happened since I moved back to England is that I’ve manipulated my hair way more than I’ve wanted to. Getting back into the swing of things, I realised I had to make an effort to look ‘on point’ for work, events, special occasions and church on Sundays. Manipulation was now occurring on a weekly basis, sometimes daily basis. A huge contrast to my previous low manipulation lifestyle in Germany where I was able to leave my hair untouched for a substantial amount of time.
Constantly touching my hair, I started to notice a decline in my hair’s health especially in the summer where I attended the most events. Seeing the onset of damaged hair from constant manipulation beginning to form, I decided it was time to go back to the old ways of leaving my hair the heck, alone. I started keeping my hair locked down in twists again and after two weeks I would wear it as a twist out for another two weeks. Only washing my hair at the end of the month when I was ready to retwist. Thank God this technique made a difference and my hair is looking healthy again.
Thing is, now that my hair has regained life, I’m feeling like I’ve come to that point in my journey where I can actually start exploring and having some fun with it. Even though I haven’t done an official length check yet, I know my hair reaches bra strap length. And what’s the point of having all this hair if I’m not going to do anything with it, right? But trying to find the perfect balance between a consistently good-looking hairstyle and a low maintenance hairstyle is not the easiest of things for a natural head. So when I discovered free-forming I was pretty excited. It seemed to offer me that balance. I could be laid back with my routine and my hair would not suffer for it. In fact, it would thrive and even add some edge to my look.
For those who are not familiar with free- forming, it’s a type of dread locking where you basically let you hair do what it wants and overtime, your hair takes on its own unique shape and identity. Free-forming appealed to me most especially because unlike other dreadlock styles, I wouldn’t need to visit the hairdressers to start it. It’s basically a DIY project. and Lord knows how much I loooove DIY-ing. With some dreadlock styles like sister-locks and palm rolled locks I would need expert hands. A good dreadlock stylist who understood what I was trying to achieve and help me minimize the risks of disastrous looking dreads. I haven’t been to any hairdressers in years and I don’t think I’m about to start going to one. But if I did go, I wouldn’t trust them with my hair. Plus, seeing a hairdresser regularly to maintain the locks would be costly and y’all know I’m on that freegle lifestyle so no can do. Thank you!
Starting the locks myself seems like a crazy and brave thing to do at the same time as I have no idea what to expect. But it doesn’t seem that crazy considering I’ve already taken a bold step and I’m far into the natural hair journey which comes with its fair share of the unexpected. So yes, free-forming would be risky but super cost effective and that works for me.
‘…the best part is that it’s all nature at work. I would be free.’
Another positive is that I don’t have to cut my hair off to start my dreadlocks. I can just twist them till they form into dreads which is a huge relief because I did not grow all of this hair only to find a pair of scissors and chop it all off again. No way Jose! Just no way! What I would need to consider though, before I start is the size I want my locks to be. Personally, I prefer chunkier locks to slimmer looking locks. If my mother was to choose for me, she would want me to go with the slimmer locks because they would look presentable for church service and work better in professional settings. Hmmm I don’t know mom, my rebellious spirit is saying go with the chunky locks. Wouldn’t life be much more interesting when I look like a gypsy witch and people start thinking I actually have juju powers?
Free-form dreads are also super low maintenance. My hair would be locked up and my major task would be to try and maintain a clean scalp in order for the locks to form as healthy as possible. So I might as well throw my comb out the window and wave bye-bye to long detangling sessions. Isn’t that what we all want? No stress maintenance? With free-form dreads there’s also the added benefit that I could wake up every single day looking almost perfect. I think dreadlocks in general add instant swag to a person’s character. I find the idea of living life as a Rastafarian queen very appealing and to not have to worry about how I am going to style my hair each morning is a huge plus. I can actually roll out of bed and be like, ‘I woke up like this.’ For real.
And the best part of free-forming is that it’s all nature at work. I would be free. Literally. Free from drama, free to be just as I am. It would take me one step closer to living in harmony with my hair and with nature. In fact it’s so tempting, I want to start it right now! But there are a few things about free-form dreads that worry me and are holding me back from taking the plunge. It’s a really huge decision to make. I mean, once my hair is locked, that’s it. There would be no going back! 😱😱😱
Just joking! I found out if I don’t want to be a dread head anymore, there are techniques I can use to take them out and still retain a good amount of hair. But there are many other concerns I have about free-forming and I will be sharing these with you in my next post.
Till then, keep well ladies!
Peace and Love xxx
Image source: Image I found ages ago on internet of model June Lejoi