"To me, my hair is my heritage. When I think of my hair, I think of Saturdays with my mother. She would sit me down in the living room, and use her wide-tooth comb and Pomade to treat my hair before spending the next four hours braiding it. I would watch ‘The Proud Family’ on the Family Channel and my mom would recount stories of her childhood in Africa. Then she would style my braids with beads or coloured elastic bands and I’d be on my way.
As I reached my adolescent age, I started to straighten and dye my natural curls which caused significant damage for years. Instead of sticking to my roots, I wanted to be like the straight-haired girls at school. My hair did not agree. My once bouncy frow became stringy and dull.
Now in my young adulthood, I’ve gone back to my origins and taken up the traditional ‘Hair Care Saturdays’ my mom used to do. I protect my hair by braiding it and allowing its ringlets to thrive. More than a protective style, it protects my ancestry. My mother taught me how to braid and when I have a daughter of my own, I’ll sit her down on Saturdays, treat/braid her hair and tell her stories of my childhood. Hopefully, she will do the same for her daughters and so on. African hair is more than a stylistic preference, it is passing on tradition and legacy."