Monday, 12 November 2007

Afro Hair In India

Since I have been asked by a lot of people out there how I get my hair done in India, I have decided to dedicate an entire post to this subject.

On arriving in India, the first question I asked the Nigerian men in my office (the married ones) “How does your wife get her hair done?” My hope was that through some kind of divine intervention, the god of Afro-Hairdressers would have designated/convinced one of the numerous hair dressers in Nigeria/Africa to come and open shop in Mumbai, India. Well, the answer I got was quite disappointing. The guys basically replied along the lines of “Mr A’s wife does my wife’s hair and Mr C’s wife also helps out at times” Me I didn’t want to get into this circle of doing people’s wife’s hair for a variety of reasons ( choose whichever one you think is suitable/applicable but remember I am a single babe here in India and I don’t want anybody’s wahala)

But all hope was not lost. I remember my good old boarding school days. I was one of those junior girls whom seniors would not punish on Saturday afternoons when the whole junior class was serving punishment under the hot sun of Owinni Hills. For those of you who don’t understand where I am coming from, I will have to publish a post about my days in boarding school so that you can get the background. The reason behind not being punished was so that I could plait these wicked seniors hair. This was a Saturday ritual right from my first year in Secondary school and it became an unwelcome habit. Every Saturday, I would weave no less than 10 people’s hair while my mates were cutting grass or being flogged under the sun. Initially it was cool but after the first year, it became a burden. I could not run my Saturday errands as I was busy playing the “Village Hairdresser” and all these for nothing.

But as my people will say.. “Blessings do come in disguises” All those years of finessing my plaiting skills ultimately paid off after I left Naija (Nigeria) for Jand (UK) and ultimately India. When I was in Jand, I almost never went to the saloon. I could braid, weave, plait, Ghana weave on my own head (to God be the glory) So when I was hearing all these things about Mr A and Mr B’s wives.. I was like “bust that side… aint no way I am getting involved in this shit”. I am very well capable of grooming my own head without outside interference. But since my hair is now natural, I tend to go with natural twists at the back and little plaits at the front. I am seriously rocking them afro styles here and sometimes, I even have to lie and tell people that my friend helped me to do my hair as I don’t want to freak them out.

I also need to mention that whenever I go to the Spa for facials or massages, come and see as people run their hands through my head and start gushing…”ohh.. your hair is so special”.. “ohh… your hair is so different”.. “oohh.. your hair is so this” Man.. I sometimes vex proper when this happens.. awon aye (People) They wanna use their hands to uproot my fragile hair. I am still looking for how to dodge this type of unwarranted attention.

So I hope this post has answered your questions about how a sister gets her hair done in a place like Mumbai.

PS: The webcam pics I posted in Ups and Downs is an example of one of the numerous hairstyles I bestow upon myself.

3 comments:

Bitchy said...

Tolantino, Hi! Just been reading your blog - I don't think I've ever been here before. Well done on settling in this place - I don't know if I'd be able to survive and work here all on my own without my family. It'd be like a stranger/ expat trying to survive solo in Lagos! Pele oh. I'm in Jaipur at the moment (which is why I was able to encounter the MIRACLE of wireless) and I won't be in Mumbai for another TWO weeks! Xxx

BeautyinBaltimore said...

Hello,
I found your blog by way of another Naija blogger(can't remember who). I like your blog a lot, your blog is the first that I have come across of a black person living in INDIA. I hope you don't mind that I've added you to my blogroll of "blacks who travel, study and live abroad".

Off to read your archives.

sandra said...

hi tola,if i didnt know how expensive it is to make our african hair outside nigeria,i would have said you were exaggerating.i live in nigeria and i make my hair every weekend cos its so cheap.but i envy the fact you can make ur own hair yourself.maybe i should come and set up a salon for afro hair,will i make a profit?