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Monday, August 23, 2010

My Hair Story

Written By: Geraldine Amakihe—In our corner of the world, having hair, not only on one’s head, but all over their body, is seen as a sign of beauty and good luck, and I frequently also remember passersby who would stop by the hair stall, and run their hands over my legs and arms, cooing over how much hair such a small child had.

Today, I hear varying stories that discuss the perception of natural hair within African countries, and immediately, a sense of detest from African people about African textured hair of any sort begins to emerge. I cannot speak on behalf of the entire Africa, or on Nigeria for that matter, because my point of reference only accounts for my personal experience; however, I know that while growing up, the texture of my hair was never an issue of contention. I never grew up feeling inadequate about characteristics of my hair, and the only thing I remember hating so passionately when it came to dealing with my hair, was that I was a child whose last desire was to sit still for any amount of time to have my hair styled. I was the only girl my age in a compound full of rough and tumble little boys, so I was an interesting mix of tomboyish fearlessness and girlish frills. Not being able to join my mischievous and carefree cohorts because I had to have my hair braided was tantamount to torture.

When my family relocated back to the States, my first introduction that all was not right with my hair, was immediate. Read My Hair Story.

(Photo Credits: © MBBirdy / iStockPhoto) (Model Used Solely For Illustrative Purposes)