Today, I had to go to the NYSC office urgently. Before moving on, let me tell you that the previous night I applied a leave in conditioner, braided my hair and woke up the next morning with a cute puffy, braid- out. Unfortunately, before getting to the office my hair was a mess. The humid weather had turned my stretched out fro into a shrunken, frizzy fro.
I looked in the mirror of a car and dressed it up into a Macy gray fro.
I liked the results and my permed friend was such a darling-she stayed by me without uttering a word :)
As I walked into the group of Corpers every one turned to stare…Crazy has come to town. Typical of me, I walked with my head up, daring anyone to voice their reservations.
With a stiff back, I walked into an office, found I was in the wrong one, excused myself, and walked out. As I walked on I heard some one shout: CORPER!!. I turned around and was beckoned back into the office by an official. She looked at my hair and the exchange below followed:
Woman: What happened to your hair?
Me: (straight faced) Nothing
Woman: I hate it
Me: Ma, this is how African hair grows. I’m sorry there is nothing I can do.
Woman: Why don’t you perm it?
Me: I won’t perm my hair. I love it this way (stroking my crazy hair and smiling. Her expression was priceless)
Woman: Braid it, now
Me: I do that but today I wanted a different style and typical of “our” hair it revolted.
Man: Why don’t you do it like other girls?
Me: How? (Pretending not to have a clue about what he meant)
Man: You know…put those long…what do you call it?
Me: I’m sorry but I don’t really like wigs or weave-on’s
Man: It’s real?
Woman: That’s your hair? It’s a lie!
Me: Yes, it’s all mine (touching my hair and still smiling) you can touch it if you want?
They see its mine and the lady still disapproves.
Man: Don’t you comb it?
Me: I do but like I said it revolted against me and turned out looking this way.
I look at the ladies disapproving face and decide to pull the religious card because I had noticed earlier on that she is Muslim.
Me: Ma, this is how God created me. What do you want me to do? I love my hair this way and will not change it for anything.
Woman: I know...but...Please let’s not go there…I don’t like it (getting obviously uncomfortable with the turn of the discussion)
Not wanting the exchange to last longer I decide to concede.
Me: so you want me to cover it? (Still smiling politely)
Like a good girl, I take out my scarf and tie my hair.
Unknown to me, our exchange had not gone unnoticed.
I was sent on an errand and when I got back, a group made up of 3 beautiful Ladies and 2 cute Brother Corpers- who were sitting by the office where the exchange had taken place- walked up to me with different comments “I like your hair... I love your hair…you are so cute….your hair fits your face...why did she ask you to cover it….why did you cover it?” (good question)
All the while I’m looking at their faces; searching for malice and listening to their voices trying to pick up notes of sarcasm. (Yes, I sometimes have difficultly receiving hair complements from a group of strangers. Am I alone? )
I smile and voice my appreciation. They invite me for a Corpers party and give some more frolove to a sister who totally appreciated it ^_^...So my day ended on a good note with me getting both complements and disapproval on a bad hair day.
Although I had fun shocking people, I must confess that I was a little put out by the woman’s blunt ‘I hate it’. Come on people we are in Africa; fro’s should be the norm and not a statement. Hopefully with more awareness, all this type of talk will sound silly in the years to come.
Stay strong Naturals; be curl ambassadors and never let people’s opinion shake your decision. Try to be polite and remember to wear your manes with a smile and pride:). Peace!
Have you had bad hair day comments? Please share the positive and negative.