I’ve been trying to get my hair coloured for a while, and I finally gave up after four tries and three thousand shillings. I didn’t want to pour more money down the sink. Plus, I was afraid my hair would fall off. Hair colour can do that sometimes.
The saga began with a mix of two colours – ultraviolet black and aubergine. This was followed by some food colour, more aubergine, and some wailing with mirrors.
The first time I dyed it, the hairdresser said it was coloured, but my baby girl said otherwise. I couldn’t see purple either.
The second time, it started out purple, but darkened with the food colouring. And the third time, they let it stay on too long, so the effect was fade to black.
After each session, the hair-people swore that my hair had turned, but I was dissatisfied. They told me to be patient, and that the colour would ‘shout’ after a few weeks.
Some days later, my baby finally admitted my hair was a little tinted. I didn’t believe her.
Even when some random dude using roller blades on the road to Kibera made a comment, I wasn’t having it. He said my hair was really pretty, and asked if I’d bathed it in Kiwi.
Well, not in those words exactly, but that was the idea.
Later, I discovered the hair looks purple in certain lights [and on certain mirrors. Specifically, flourescent light and teeny weeny bathroom glass. Also, bank-queue reflections]. There are moments when it screams violet, other times it looks a little off-black, which is a pretty good colour for me.
Yesterday, I was in Eastleigh shopping for a buibui. I walked into several stalls and had all sorts of people staring at my head – including one guy who was selling by translation. He didn’t speak a word of English or Swahili … which made bargaining rather difficult.
Maybe that was the point.
I figured the reason they were staring is that my head was exposed. Women in that neighbourhood are generally covered. I didn’t discover the problem until someone said, ‘Your hair is really purple!’ The comment was promptly followed by, ‘It really works for you.’
I’ve been thinking of growing my hair longer and turning it black, or maybe burgundy. I want to grow it so that I can style it and do things with it, now that I actually want to. I’ll mostly want to coil it up in those spirally curls and then pile it up in dread-ful version of that tousled up crumpled-sheet hairdo.
But I got so many comments on my tiny purple hair that I’m reconsidering. Plus, you can’t have long hair that’s purple … that would just be weird. And I’m not even sure I can still get aubergine at Tuskys. Oh well.
In other news, I’ve been slacking off at the gym. I decided to sleep in for one morning and somehow it stretched to a week! I didn’t think it made much difference, especially since I was sweating much more during workouts, so I figured I was doing something right. But during the post-skiving stretch session, I was screaming like a pregnant cow. Apparently a few days skipped equal a whole lot of pain. *sulk*
I was watching Dr Phil. [Yes, I occasionally watch Dr Phil. I didn’t say I was proud of it.] He was talking about weight loss and weight gain, and he said to lose weight, you have to figure out why you eat. Some people use food as a crutch, so no matter how many diets or fads they use, they stay plus-sized.
I eat to make me happy. I’m naturally depressive, so I use food as a pick-me-up. It’s the one thing that consistently makes me smile. So after a long day, or a fight, or a sad movie, or some good news, or even a bout of PMS, I grab a plate. I’ll usually pick cookies or chocolate or ugali, blue-banded rice, sweet potatoes, and thick savoury stew. Yum. And because I’m eating to be happy, the portions increase. It isn’t enough to just taste.
To help my ‘diet’ along, I need to be conscious of when I eat. I should feed when I’m hungry – and only when I’m hungry. Otherwise I’m piling on more calories than I work off, and all the gymming on the planet will do nothing for my kilo-count … or my aspiring hair.
I should drink lots of water, and when I get sad, instead of hunting for Dairy Milk or Maryland cookies, I should write a poem, dance to rock song, or find me some salsa.
Yeah. That’s gonna happen.
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Crystal Ading' is a professional author, editor, rock lover and mother. Her work is available through threeceebee.com.