Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Why do we go to all this trouble to tend our hair?

It is a mystery how humans go out of their way, and invest thousands on hair.

We use hair as a form of identity.
It is shocking that we tend to pity a person who is losing hair, as if they are losing anything more valuable that a bunch of dead cells. We tend to think that people who are losing hair are ill.

In Botswana, hundreds of hair salons are making a killing by selling artificial hair. People throng to buy this artificial hair when they do not even know where it originates from. We spend thousands on dead cells.

In Setswana culture, a man is supposed to keep neat and short cut hair. But the tide has changed, as many men are now seen sporting the latest perms and corn rows.

Women on the other hand sew dead hair pieces onto their heads, and sport extensions that do not look natural.

I can imagine a situation where husband and wife compete for the mirror in the morning, with the husband battling to make sure that his perm is combed just right and the woman wanting to make sure that the unnatural extensions are long enough to at least give the impression that she was born with European like long hair. Imagine the trouble that we all go to, just to make sure that the dead cells on our heads look just right.

Lately, some people have taken to sporting bald heads, shaving off the dead cells in a bid to make a fashion statement. It is surprising that the people who do so are not given a discount for shaving off the little remaining dead cells that sprout from their scalps. No, they pay the full price.

Some companies have decided to cash in on man’s love for hair, coming up with all kinds of unnatural products that are supposed to help reduce hair loss. At the same time, women with residing hair lines have found refuge in wigs.

“Hair is natural it should never be cut or tempered with,” says Ras Boiki, a Gaborone based Rastafarian. He further adds that people are sick from unexplainable diseases because they act against the will of Jah and cut their hair, while the women attach plastic hair to the natural hair. He further said that no man made cosmetics should be applied to hair, nor should hair be plaited or twisted into dreads. To Ras Boiki, hair should just be left to grow.
But Maipelo, a university student, differs with Ras Boiki, saying that hair should be pampered and treated as it is a fashion statement.

“In the event that one is running low on funds, a wig is the ultimate refuge” she says. Maipelo further revealed that she knows of women who would rather starve, as they prefer to keep their money to maintain hairstyles instead of buying food.

“But that should be expected because a girl’s beauty lies on her head. When a man looks at a woman he sees her face first, and hair usually complements the woman’s beauty” she says.

However, she prefers men who sport bald heads, as she will not have time to fight for hair products or a mirror with a boyfriend who will be competing with her to make sure that his corn row or his perm looks better.

“A clean shave is the way forward. It is easy and cheap,” says Maipelo.

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