cumulonimbus forever

August 23, 2010

Believe it or not, i was a meriwether hair model. Barnfield college in Luton had a beauty school, and at nine years old i’d been put forward to model for the students. The first time there I was due to have some kind of perm done to loosen my hair texture (after three previous failed attempts). My hair at this point was down my back, and i was searching for any kind of solution to wear it loose and toss it over my shoulders like my mums and all the other girls i ever went to school with. No-one had hair like mine and I was tired of being the freak and showpiece.

As i sat waiting for my consultation, numerous people would stop as they were walking past awestruck at the monster of hair cascading outwards, like a billowing cumulonimbus cloud. It dwarfed me. It didn’t hang down, it was a mushroom triangle that was the bane of my existence.

‘Is there someone underneath that?’ some white guy joked. Little did he know his comment would scar me for life and send me on a quest to escape my natural hair for the next 12 years.

Of course, the perm didn’t ‘take’. It weighted on my hair but wasn’t enough to make it hang down. It still puffed and billowed. To my disgust.

So after Barnfield, i sought more drastic measures to tame my mane. That’s how i met no lye cream relaxer.

Indian dream

August 2, 2010

My auntie always used Johnsons baby oil on her daughter’s hair. Summer had the hair i dreamed of. Sleek black, loose ringlets that glistened (probably with the heavy oil lubrication, still…). She was born when I was 8. We looked similar, bar her Indian ‘cooley hair’ and my afro mess. I always felt hard done by. We were from the same family, so why wasn’t my hair good?