As a child born in the 80’s in Machakos, Kenya. The 90’s saw me in school and starting to appreciate my hair and how it looks, or at least how i thought it looked and how I thought it made people perceive me. When I say people, I mean the girls in class. Just the girls, nobody else mattered. Ok, also my boys that we used to play with, but mostly the girls.
Unfortunately my hair experiences from my childhood were mostly about not getting the hairstyles I wanted and needed to get all the cool points. I guess this might explain my lack of desire to have ‘normal’ hair now. I remember one day I was chased from school because my hair was too long for a boy (It was only half an inch at most). I went home and my mon didn't have the money to take me to a barber so she cut the hair herself, with a scissors. Guys, it was so bad. My hair had the ‘mtaro wa sweat’ and it looked like i had been shaved with a slasher. When I got back to school on the same day, my classmates started laughing soon as they saw me on the corridor before I even entered class. The bastards.
Also when I finally started going to a barber shop, something I was so grateful for. I picked my hairstyle from the Kinyozi charts on the walls. Remember them, they kinda looked like this (below) but like painted, not images.
So i pick a hairstyle and the barber doesn’t even say anything. He went on and shaved my head with a clean hairstyle. No fade. No cut. Nothing i asked for. He told me that he had instructions from my dad to never shave me anything other than that. This was my childhood hair experience. The first time in my life I shaved something other than a clean same height cut was after university, I was like 28. See my life.
So anyway, I asked people on my instagram to tell me what they love about their hair and they did. It’s not literally 1001 reasons but i think if you try, you can find 1001 reasons to love your hair. Here’s a couple of reasons I have for y’all. Let me know what reasons resonate most with you.
“It’s so soft and light. Literal cloud” - @MonicaObaga
“I love that it’s an act of resistance and an affirmation of my identity” - @RasMengesha
“That I can do whatever with it coz it’s natural” - @_Sarr.a
“How it makes a certain pattern on my scalp” - @MyrzonMars
“The endless versatility of natural hair” - @SunnyBt
“Diversity of styles, natural, braids, updos” - @Angelank02
“Its length and texture” - @StephSuzet
“Have the kinkiest hair. Hated it till I locd it. It thrives now and I can’t see myself without locs” - @Gathoni.Hoon
“The Volume” - @The_ArtisticsofLife
“The fact that I can shave it all and it’ll still grow back” - @Miss_AtienoC
“Right now - Nothing! It’s curly af. Hard to tame & every oil/moisturiser ain’t ish. It’s curled up and it’s at that untamed phase. Not too long. Not too short. Just there” - @Kenyan_Styled
“That I know how to take care of it. Being an Asian with wavy hair, I’ve been told its messy all my life” - @theAdventureOfCloud
“The sheer weirdness of it because it never stays the same. How it defies styling” - @BKimathi97
“Funny enough, I love how much maintenance it needs. Sorting through the kinks is therapeutic” - @_.c.l.a.r.a._
“Volume and Texture” - @Jiggy_Ggee
“I can do a lot of different things with it. I look at it like a canvas. I am the artist” - @Nainilankas
“It’s like a pillow” - @Alex.Bmm
“That its multicoloured” - @Unchained_Gold
“How versatile it is…plus it defies gravity” - @Melissa.Kariuki
“How it entangles making natural locs without necessarily waxing it” - @African_Bandit254
“Its natural kinkiness and coils” - @_Muriithi_vinn
“It’s long and thick but silky at the same time” - @ItsMarlyne
“The fact that it is part of our heritage. Sad that most people don’t embrace it as such” - @KeshMogire
“Currently coz its short, I enjoy it simple maintenance. Also finally got aa cut I like” - @Roam.Her
“You can play around with it, style it many different ways. You never have to worry when it rains on it” - @_Makinia_
“Its texture and the fact that has a personality that I have to learn and embrace” - @Tatyana.Nduta
“That shade of black it has when I grow it out just frames my head well” - @MischAesthete
“The kinks, curls and the fact that it doesn’t have to look the same everyday” - @Nyambura_Jn
“It defies gravity” - @Waranle_
“Its texture….it’s as tough as steel wire. But this makes my hair look thick and voluminous” - @Gimwangi
“It does not define me” - @Ek13_Photos
“Mine is super kinky and very soft. I really love that about it. It’s easy to manage” - @Wamutua_Joy
“Its versatility! It can be straight, natural or anything in between. Braids, lines etc. Options!” - @Lantaren
“My hair has tight coils/curls but it’s still soft. It also grows fast.” - @MissGitonga
“That it’s all mine” - @ShikoDaisy
“Thick Volume. Eclectic texture” - @Kangua.Ongachi
“The fact that we can style it in so many ways, is so beautiful to me” - @Wanja.Njama
“The texture and how easy it is to take care of it” - @Avatica
“It’s taught me so much about appreciating something that takes on new form constantly” - @Wangoose
“The versatility. I can do so much with it” - @Joy.Mwiti
“That I can comb it, pat it, sprinkle water, twist it to achieve different looks without requiring money” - @Nyana_K
“I can do anything with my hair. From straight, millions of hairstyles, kinky, curly. Very diverse” - @Salliebluexoxo
“Versatility. I have white people asking how I make my hair ‘stand up’. Afro hair is a gift” - @SharonLangat
“Lets me be myself. Like my own inspiration. Unique. It’s natural. Takes me back to my root” - @FaustineHope
“It’s a lot and healthy and full and versatile” - @LeoTunapika
“That it grows and also that ni nywele tu. I can do absolutely anything I want to it. If i don’t like it, nanyoa.” - @Nepurko
“Waah hair hukua imeshikilia looks nakushow 😀. My hair is part of my goals and career” - @Jay_Ricko
“Ni nguku vipoa 😂😂😂” - @_African_Giant_
“I love the fact that black hair is the most unique out of all the races hair” - @Desmond.Njenga
“Texture, thickness, the Kink” - @Tilda_Tee
“I love that it’s natural and thick” - @YouFoundNana
“Sometimes it fights back when I try to comb it 😂😂😂” - @Big_Spoon_Guy
“I love that it’s kinky and has a tint when it has grown a bit longer. Easily locked” - @KiariiKimaniStudio
“It’s unruly. Kind of like me. 🤗” - SheilaStarFire
“The curls at the bottom of my dreadlocks” - @JamesKagima
“Curl pattern and texture” - @Njiriri
“Its versatility and the fact that it defies gravity” - @Jadynligoo
“Mostly that it’s natural (dreadlocks)” - @AlamayaDukuduku
“The texture. It’s so interesting to look at” - @TheTriggaHappy01
“My hair is unique and it symbolises who i am (warrior)” - @Iintwari
“The way each style evokes the birth of a persona” - @Shirlyn_Ndungu
“My Afro is my crown” - @KanuVisuals
“It connects to my beard 😄” - @Moozsumar
“The volume and the curls” - @Kalatu_53
“How dark my hair is, raw and detailed. I love that I can express myself through it” - @MuhoroBrian
“It FROS with such volume & thickness in its natural self.” - @Deeyvon
“It has been able to face some harsh conditions and still keep the curls and kinkiness of black hair” - @Ivy.Maina
“I like that it’s rough like people say, but it’s not a crime to have wooly or sponge hair” - @Inquisitiv_1
“The fact that every time i manipulate it, the results leave me shocked” - @Wangechi_Chomba
“That it always grows back. 😂😂” - @Sarahadeya
“It is so evidently African! Mostly how it turns out once styled naturally. It’s a heritage” - @Chebet_Makena
“How it looks when defined. How much I can do it. One day I can have twists and the next and Afro” - @Nzavaye_
“The versatility. I can always rebrand 😀” - @The Bongolese
“Its volume. Like it doesn’t really grow lengthwise but i see a lot of change in volume” - @Abcde5065
“For me my hair represents my freed mind. Free from the lies told to us about our hair being too "messy". That is must be cut and organized and combed out to in order to fit a societal standard that wasn't even our own. It was forced upon us. Much like many things that we hold us our own culture today.
However it also represents my well being. You can tell immediately how I'm feeling by looking at the love that I've poured into my hair on that specific day.🙏🏾” - @DailyInteractions
“I like that it’s long and voluminous” - @Gummybear254
“It’s natural and so versatile. Sometimes it has a mind of its own but I love it” - @FmSkubi
“Its diversity. It can be anything from slick to kinky” - @Swabra_Swaleh_MD
“I can do so many things with it and remains strong” - @J.Mwai
“The fact that it can be whatever I want it to be from big fro to sleek braids 🙏🏾” - @ZionHaileselassie
“It’s mine, It’s versatile & it tells my African story after being told it’s not beautiful for so many years” - @Mwongely
“That shade of black it has when I grow it out and just frames my head well 😂😂” - @Mitchaesthete
“The texture, color and versatility” - @MsTwaila
“You can tell from my pictures on my page but my hair can be a lot, it’s texture is crazy and a lot like any relationship, I consider breaking up with it on a weekly basis and cutting it all off. It’s been a rollercoaster learning to love something that you can’t completely control and are not sure how it’s going to look/act the next day.
It’s also taught me about human perspective and how on even my worst hair days, strangers might come up to me to give me a compliment that my hair is beautiful. It goes to show how differently other people see us and we typically frame most of of outsider opinion as a negative thing and even go to the extent of fearing it but it’s an experience that serves to constantly remind me how kind people can be and how differently you perceive yourself to be to the world.” - @Wangoose
Many thanks to Mumbi Muturi (@Mumbi_Muturi) for assisting on the shoot and taking my portrait.
Thanks to the hair models; Jackie Mwai, Wanja Noni, Mumbi Muturi, Maya Amolo, Joseph Makeni, Olaitan, Mucyo Gasana, David Sikobe & Lisa Oduor.
Thanks to Bryan Emry (@Bryan.Emry) for styling the apparel shoot and taking some photos as well.
Thanks to my tee models; Maya, Patricia Kihoro, Deloys Kamau & Samantha.
If you made it this far, i’d love you to check out new merchandise from this series. If you love hair like i do and want to rep that in what you wear or hang in your home, I got a flash sale that is on from today, 29th July 2019 - 05th August 2019 and everything is cheaper than before.
Just click on the images to go and see whatever you need. I have new tees and prints on sale from as little as 300ksh to as much as 10,000ksh