Imagine us with fair all over our body? Huh? How would we have looked I am sure we would be beautiful, ha-ha.
In the old days as in Oom Kruger days our mothers and sisters they had to something that they COLD-STRAIGHT whatever it is whereas some had a use stone and Vaseline to get their hair straight. Ever since that we have suffered in the name of beauty. The would smear their head with Vaseline whilst the chosen rock in the fire getting. Once it is hot enough then they would use the rock to comb their hair until it soft enough to lay back and straight. Because was never measured correctly it will end scalding the scalp.
Then came era of wigs. My mom had wigs for different occasions each one on its stand. There was a wig to wear with a head scarf that one was for everyday use and then we would have wigs for special occasions. This we shampoo and combed nicely. The had hairspray for them. I remember hers was a perm.
Then came the overall houses with saloons in the backrooms. That’s when permed hair was in the in thing, no perm then you were left out in the cold, an outcast. This where we were introduced to hair dryer where you will sit nearly the whole day just to get the right perm. We had 1st use step 1 huh which will burn the scalp to hard scab, then shampoo would be next followed by curls with some neutralizer which only had salt to the wounds already acquired from step 1. Then they would put in the dryer for whatever period before removing the curls which will have huge chunks of your hairs. The would comb out softly using a toothpick. Gel and spray would be poured into your head to make your look curly, wet and soft. Those days we hectic. It was also a time when Afro was something to bounce about.
Oh after that came an era where women felt that at least they would be in the league cos with perms men used to do it as well, sometimes you would find that your boyfriend’s perm was far more beautiful than yours. This era was the relaxer era. Another scalp burning exercise. One would endure the foul-smelling relaxer cream that would not only smell foul but also burn your forehead if it fell on it. We had curling tongs to curl our hair. Nice ribbons to tie our pony tails. Some of us hair would fall leaving a ground on the head enough for 22 soccer players to play a whole 90 minutes match without any stress. The relaxer came with s-curls for both male and female. This era I still love it cos women would shave their heads and walk around without any shame. Don’t get me wrong women have always had their heads shaved however would hide it under wigs, hats or headscarf. Here we became bold enough to display our big or small heads however shape it is.
Finally came the dreadlocks era. People took to dreadlocks eagerly without fear of being associated with marijuana (ganja) or even Rastafarian. It became the salvation for most of us who had burnt scalps. New hairstyles were now order of the day using only your dreads. Those of us who never had hopes or dreams of long hair we were given an anticipation of long dreadlocks you know the Bobby Marley type. Again it became a painful exercise to twist and style your locks. At least with dreads people would visit the saloon once a month whereas with relaxed hair you needed to visit the saloon on a weekly basis just shampoo your hair. In this era we saw the booming of weaves and wigs again. There is now Brazilian hair which is one of the most expensive pieces of hair, Indian or Ugandan being the most comfortable hair to have on your head. I always wondered how do they keep the hair in tip-top condition until it lands on your head. Then there is a this weaves that need not get wet at all others your head will rot. Here again your own hair falls your head like they are in competition to reach the floor faster than your feet.
In all of this eras entrepreneurs emerged using the gaps identified to establish and create their own loyal clientele. It really came with advantages for the bold and brave. With every market there is always gaps for new players. Currently foreign saloons are now the most convenient to use even though language is a barrier but business is business.
Sisters why do we have to suffer like this just to be beautiful and attractive to the opposite sex?