The Nitty Gritty of Braids

The Nitty Gritty of Braids

Last week, I got cornrows unexpectedly. It has changed my life… well, kind of. While on my language route in the African Market, I ran into a friend. She called me into her booth, and we chatted for a few minutes. Next thing I know, she has me in her hair braiding chair, and she is giving me cornrows for free! After calling and apologizing profusely to my other friend (to whom I had promised the privilege of braiding my hair), I realized that this wouldn’t be easy. Currently, I have about 3 people competing over who will braid my hair next time. Ayay-yay-yay-yay!!

Besides the braiding of the hair {which by the way is painful}, there is the upkeep of the braids – I didn’t know it would be this difficult! I have to sleep with a kerchief protecting my braids {somehow this ends up around my neck by morning-time}, and when I shower, I have to use an improvised shower cap (grocery bag) to keep the braids dry {I have not perfected the skill of the improvised shower cap yet. I usually go through several bags and still end up with wet hair in the end}. Just as the pain from the tightness of the braids starts subsiding after several days, the itching begins. This drove me to a local hair store to buy Africa Pride Braid Spray {my new best friend}. But wait, there’s more! While running in a local Senegalese 5K on a sunny September day, my scalp was burned to a lobster-red crisp due to exposure, which led to more pain, more itching, and a few days later, a peeling scalp (looking just like dandruff – lovely!).

On a positive note, random strangers will stop me and tell me that I look beautiful and they like my braids [peeling skin and all]. 🙂


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