Childhood Memories// Nigerian Hairdressers…

Photo credit: Tumblr

Childhood memories. Scalp tingling from sulfur 8. Market hair dresser asking Iya Sule or Mummy Tomi selling plastics and rubber slippers next door to please save her a plate of rice, whilst parting my hair with the sharpest cutting comb you ever did see.

“Darleen, keep your head still or your hair will not be fine”. After what seems like hours of feeling quick hands assemble my thick mane into ‘Suku’ or ‘Patewo’, or once, in a moment of spontaneity, ‘Police Cap’, I am done. Finally. I can sit however I want, my face no longer forced to stare into the darkness of aunty Tope’s thighs and await my mother’s arrival.

I usually hear my mum before I see her. She’s about three stalls down, pricing meat and buying spinach. Or tatase and rodo. I get my things ready – my comb, my sulfur 8, and my colouring book, say thank you again to Aunty Tope, and hope there’s hot boli and epa waiting for me in the car on the way home.

How often can one apologise for being a no show? Please say always?

Thanks. It has been a few months, and once again, I ask for forgiveness for my continued inconsistency. Life has just been well, life. All I can say (for now) is that I truly understand the saying which calls “the idle mind the devil’s workshop”, because I’ve been thinking (and believing) some mighty awful things about myself lately. I’m glad to say that I’m coming out of it, and I’m far better than I have been, but as we all know, the insecurity battle is a lifelong one filled with not so good days one must dispel aggressively through positive affirmations and prayer. Well, for me at least.

Anyhoos, I’ve been perusing the tumblr very often of late (oh the joys of micro blogging – it’s so quick, and the visuals you find on there are just amazing!), and this image sparked the mini story above. I remember those days of enduring combs and blow dryers like it was yesterday. Having really thick hair did nothing to help my already gruesome situation. My hair would break numerous combs, hairdressers would forever tell my mum to make her life easier by relaxing my hair. She ended up succumbing, thus giving rise to sleek, broken, thinning hair from the tender age of ten (not really tender I guess, I know of some people who were getting relaxers  from as young as two so… hmm).

But at least combs could go through my hair unharmed, so I guess it resulted in a positive outcome of some sort?

Glad to be back on this here space, and welcoming everyone who’s just joined! Thank you all so much for the support and kind words, it feels so good to be appreciated!



7 thoughts on “Childhood Memories// Nigerian Hairdressers…

  1. Child, I’m still traumatized by that.. Each time I visit home, I marvel at the fact that I’m not a small girl anymore and no hairdresser can force me to face her sometimes-smelly thighs… lol

    • Bahaha!! I haven’t experienced this in a while, but every time I see such pictures, I’m transported to the weekends and this routine! And that smell is apparently universal! kai!

  2. Never mind. I know how it is. Between having a new job, less time for the usual internet browsing and lack of ideas I’ve been a little less bloggy myself. And my hair took to the relaxer fairly early too (after a few spells with the iron comb), but my aunt was a hairdresser. Most of us down here have an obsession with long hair, but I’ve been over that for years.
    Thanks for the childhood memory – I can certainly relate.

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