the white mans guide to black hair

Being married to someone of the Caucasian race, I thought I would be  subject to some level of scrutiny regarding my hair. My partner, having lived in Africa for a while, thankfully understood the complexity and sensitivity surrounding my hair. So this is all about the experience I’ve had since moving to Britain just five months ago. I’ve been lucky to meet a number of people and fortunately one of them is a very generous Ghanaian hairdresser (she offers me countless cups of tea and deep-fried crackers). However,  paying 40 pounds for my hair is affordable yeah but then not really. So I decided to wig it for a month to save some money.  Dear mr white man, by wig it I mean, placing a head of hair that came from either a poor indian lady, a horse or a chinese workshop, attached to a cap, on my head and hoping it doesn’t fall off. i’ll add pictures to illustrate. So after meeting a few white british friends, one of them, decided to come visit me after 6pm. 6pm is my bra off, wig off, pajamas on, time so I wasn’t so eager to have company but I let him in. He walked in and there I was, wig off in my pj’s. He was shocked and asked me why I had cut my hair.  When I told him that this was in fact my natural hair, he didn’t believe me so I proceeded to show him my wig and how I put it on. In a polite british manner , he said that I looked good no matter what my hair looked like.   So dear mr white man, my hair is kinky, it’s not curly, noooo, its kinky. My hair is kinky and its short. It requires  a lot of hair butter and conditioner to be soft  and its at its best when wet or heavily moisturised.                  I went to work in the wig, my workmate, a spanish lady said she was impressed at how I kept my hair so straight throughout the day. I didn’t correct her, so when I showed up in my waist length braids the next week she asked if I had added extensions to my hair (the wig). I said yes, but if she’s reading this, then honey dear, the wig with the fringe is not my natural hair and neither are the braids I’m rocking now.  Call it black girl privilege that I can wear a wig one week, have hair extensions the next and  rock a fro the next. Dear white boyfriend, husband or besty, you can touch her hair only if you see her touching it or posting selfie’s of herself in it. If she does not want you to see her natural hair then believe me you never will. If you are privileged to see it then you re a keeper.  Of course, there’s a growing trend to ‘go natural’ and I am loving it. I did the ‘big chop’ and bought shampoos, conditioners and everything I thought I could to get my hair more curly. I didn’t last because I lacked the commitment to see it through. My regret because i know lots of girls who are going natural and looking great.                                                                                                                                    So hopefully I have shed some light on the mystery that is black girls hair. Please don’t ask me if my braids are heavy, they are made from synthetic fibre which is quite light. When you offer to touch them some, like me will smile and let you but some will scowl at you, but we will both complain about it afterwards. If you offer to touch my hair extensions and I move away like your hands are on fire, it’s probably because I do not want the wig falling off or I don’t want you to feel the corn roll ‘ridges’ underneath them. The basic principle for black girl hair, dear white man , is this, if i bought it, its mine!

About amalembo

I am a Zambian living in the United Kingdom, spent nine months in romania and now living in Hampshire...my blog is about my experiences here, there and everywhere
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2 Responses to the white mans guide to black hair

  1. estell says:

    Hello Ama, i am already loving your blog and I must say we share some similarities. I learnt you once lived in Romania but now relocated to the UK. I am an African just like you and I reside in Romania with my hubby still. How is life treating you over there? I would like to have a more private chat with you to get to know each other if you don’t mind ☺Looking forward to your feedback. Here is my email address. Estellarchive@gmail.com

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