Self confidence boost

I walked into the salon a little hesitantly because it was unfamiliar territory. The smiling face of the attendant at the front counter quickly put me at ease, and I confidently asked if someone was available to braid my hair. As she posed the question to the several stylists milling around, I noticed varying looks of apprehension cross their faces until one brave soul stepped forward and took me in.

I thought nothing of it until I was asked if I would need my hair washed before the blow dry. My fingers immediately went up to protect my coils which I’ve been nurturing for the last 11 months. Was I ready to apply that kind of heat to my hair? Faced with the quick decision between a dry and wet blow dry I opted for the latter.

I then proceeded to be given the most invigorating hair wash that I’ve had in months, and during it the stylist and I struck up a conversation. I was complimented for the health of my hair, and encouraged to keep at it because not many Zambian women are courageous or knowledgeable to wear their natural hair confidently.
At this point I was undoubtedly chuffed and feeling really good about this outing. However, as the hair blower was being prepped I crouched in the chair, tightened my shoulder muscles and braced for an excruciating painful experience, coz that’s how it always happened when I was young, right? Why was I subjecting myself to this?
Alas, I barely felt a thing and didn’t even have to worry about the smell of burning hair. Surely, I was hallucinating? It was amazingly non-eventful…
When we were done, I had a few minutes to look at myself in the mirror.  In shock and awe I noticed that my hair was brushing my shoulders, and I must confess I LOVED IT. This is something many naturalistas struggle with, admitting we like the look of straightened hair. I’ve previously made the conscious decision to not straighten my hair for fear of damaging my hair and remaining addicted to the look of glossy, wavy hair. This was an exception and I wasn’t quite prepared for my reaction to it.
At this point a couple of the other stylists noticed what was happening in our little corner and expressed surprise that my little natural puff was actually disguising that much hair. My stylist in return admitted that even he had been apprehensive at having to deal with short natural hair, but he’d found my hair very manageable. Did I mention he was he? Awesome guy!
We’d bonded, and had a pleasant time for the remainder of my visit in the salon. I left with a banging hairdo, and he had the pleasure of not dealing with hair as rough and brittle as sisal. I felt validated for all the time and effort I’ve spent babying my hair and re-learning healthy hair techniques.
So, will I be straightening my hair anytime soon to replicate the results and exhilaration? Not likely, I’ll be reserving that pleasure for events such as the one recounted above. 


2 responses to “Self confidence boost

  1. Masuka, the stylist name is Moses, and the salon is Revay's at Castle Shopping Centre, off Kafue Road. Let me see if I have a number. I'd definitely go to him again because he's very knowledgeable of natural hair and has a firm but gentle hand. The fishtail braiding didn't hurt at all; it was neat, and very well done. I believe you saw it when we had our lunch. 😀


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