Growing up, I used to get very angry whenever my dad asked my siblings and I to go and cut our hair. This was because of the lapalapa (ringworm) on our heads. Sadly for us too, we had to make sure the barber cut it very low (we called it ‘skin’ then), else, my dad would go with us to the salon and make sure the barber cuts it the way he wanted.
As we became teenagers, we became free to make our hair. I remember that I was desperate to have long hair. At that time, I and a friend would do anything and everything we heard or read about how we could have long hair because we wanted to make our hair for festive seasons.
In fact, we visited these Fulani women with very long hairs and we bought powdery substance for long hairs from them. (The powdery substance is called Murungun in Yoruba language). As I grew, my hair grew too, and I got complements for it.
On the 10th of July, 2018, I decided to cut my hair. I was tired of it. I needed some fresh air. I just wanted to do away with the hair. So, I went to a salon and cut it. I gave out some of my wigs and didn’t wear any, until recently.
The fourth time I was going to cut my hair was on my birthday- the 2nd of January 2019. I went with my two legs to a salon and asked the barber for a low cut.
I’m still amazed by this. Isn’t the Lord good? I am so happy and proud of myself for doing this.
When I cut my hair the first time, I got a lot of questions from family, friends and some saucy people.
“Sola, why did you cut your hair? Don’t you know you look small? (Yes, I know). You’re going to look smaller” (Like I didn’t consider it before cutting my hair).
I have always looked small and my hair has been one of the things that makes me look my age. It is safe to say that I have been hiding under it to measure up to people’s expectations of beauty and how someone of my age should look. So, cutting it is allowing myself to be vulnerable and that is a big deal for me. Also, cutting my hair is helping me to know myself more and what I am capable of doing.
I would have argued if anybody told me I would tint my hair someday but on the 15th of August, 2018, I tinted my hair a wine colour and as it faded, it became gold. While some people raised eyebrows, some complemented it.
But in all of these, I have learnt some life lessons.
What did cutting my hair teach me?
1. It taught me not to judge anybody by their hair colour, their clothes, or by any physical standards. I am a Christian but any judgmental person would tag me a daughter of Belial. I used to be that judgemental person before I cut my hair.
2. My hair cut also taught me never to say never. I would never have thought that I would cut my hair voluntarily, let alone go so low but life happened and I felt that was the best thing to do.
3. It helped me discover some things about myself. I never knew I was a spontaneous person until I cut my hair. Some of my friends were and are still shocked at my hair cut. Also, by cutting my hair, I inspired some people to do the same. They got the bravery to go ahead just by seeing me.
4. There is no one way to look beautiful. I am beautiful, whether my hair is long or short or whether I am bald. Whether I am small or big, whether I look my age or not, beauty is diverse.
5. My haircut also taught me to own how I look. Most importantly that, I am more than the way I look.
After going so low, I got a lot more questions about why I went so low. Surprisingly, I feel very beautiful. Although my face looks so small, I still feel very beautiful.
And just like Adekunle Gold said in his song, “Fame”, “Everybody says don’t change but how will I grow?” Meanwhile, people don’t know that cutting my hair came with its fears. Going low was even scarier but I’m glad I overcame that fear.
This year, I hope that I overcome more fears and do them afraid. Cheers to a greater 2019!