Dincy’s Natural Story – Pt. 3
After a few months, my go-to style was two cornrows, which (thank goodness for high school) I could do myself. Of course, there was no way I would have been able to get away with that in Kampala even though I thought they were quite cute and my caucasian workmates oohed and aahed over them. It was a tough stage though, and I very nearly gave in to getting my hair relaxed again – if I’d been in Uganda where there’s a salon every 3 feet, I probably would have.
The time investment was killing me – even boyfie knew that when I washed my hair, that was an entire day gone, because after the wash, there was the process of finger detangling almost strand by strand, twisting, then untwisting and retwisting when it was dry because that achieved the best results. Boyfie has been such a doll through this all – he has never once pretended that he isn’t with me when we’re in public, even though if I’d been in his shoes, I would have. On hair washing weekends in London, he’d come over and we would watch marathons of whatever was on while I fixed my hair. What more could a girl ask for?
A little chat group on FB with 3 other naturals (Shout out to Mrs A, Doreen and Kass) also pulled me through the dark days of the awkward stage– and I’ll tell you guys, there will be dark days. The tips and shared troubles and encouragement truly kept me going. These girls were also how I discovered things like the LOC method and that henna does a whole lot more than just colour your hair. Now I understand the concept of support groups.
I also discovered this blog which I love because, of all the blogs I’ve come across, Miss Aisha’s hair is most similar to mine and it helped me see where I could get to.
I moved back permanently to Kampala at the end of 2013 where presentation, image, hair is everything, and had to figure it out for my conservative work environment. I looked quite mad for a few weeks there. Most weeks, I tried to perm rod my hair because it kept it looking calm, but the salon people just didn’t understand the concept of treating my hair gently and not ever combing it (even while wet, I prefer to detangle with my fingers, although now that it’s getting longer, I’m finding I do need a wide toothed comb). Also, perm rods required me to sit under a hot dryer for up to an hour, which feels like having a sick child blow hot air all over your face for a week, and I’m not exaggerating.
I braided it for the 2013 year end holidays – I loved the braids but they tore apart my edges and I knew that I needed a few braid free months. Fortunately, I discovered the hair Band From Heaven (hereon referred to as BFH), and I’ve never looked back:
Even when I work out, BFH keeps my sweat-shrunken hair in place.
So where I am now is in a place of total contentment. I love my ‘’PQ’’ hair – truly, madly, deeply. I still have loads of people asking me when I plan to relax it, but we have a good thing going, my curls and I, and I can pretty easily say that I don’t miss my relaxed hair one bit. I no longer understand people who keep their hair relaxed so I am just as annoying to them as they are to me (or I try to be).
This is me recently, with the trusty BFH in. I’ve been natural for just about 2 years now and my hair is happy!
If I had to give anyone tips (I mean, if you insist) – this would be them:
- Learning your natural hair when you have hidden from it for years will take a truckload of time and patience. Avoid mirrors at this stage as much as you can. Also avoid your mother, because her reaction to your latest style creation will have the same effect as the mirror;
- Don’t ever comb your hair (your fingers do the job just fine), but if you must, comb it while it’s wet and soaked in conditioner;
- Don’t attempt a new style on a day when you actually have to go out somewhere important.
- Henna gives your hair amazing strength, and if anyone knows where I can source the good, natural, unadulterated stuff in Kampala, please hook a sister up;
- And lastly, brace yourself, and prepare your argument. Or your stoic looks. Or your knowing smile. Whatever it is that will get you through having to explain to the world why you have chosen to let your hair be the way it grows from your head.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my story and I hope that in a few years time, natural hair is seen as completely normal, as it should be and this story will be boring and redundant. I also hope that it’s not boring now 😀