This blog started as a way of keeping friends up-to-date with Zambian life but it now also helps generate money for the poor here in Chikuni. If you like what you read please click on an ad to help the people of Chikuni.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Goodbye Hair

Barry's expression changed from casual geniality to hesitancy as he watched me park the bike and walk through his door. He knew he was in trouble, real trouble! Look at it, all sleek and straight. This was going to be the biggest challenge of the day! I should introduce Barry; he's my new stylist and is the proud owner of one of three barber shops in my local market. It's probably not obvious to you that in Africa, all hair is naturally curly. European straight hair is therefore something of a challenge. I smirked at the look on his face. As if he was approaching a particularly difficult sudoko puzzle.
I was twenty when I knew for sure I was doomed. My hair had started to recede (thanks dad) and turn grey (thanks mum).The first and last self-portrait I'm likely to do any time soon. This is before the hair went For the past three weeks I've been putting off getting my hair cut because I knew what was ahead of me. Forget scissors people, it's machine only in this neck of the woods. We all know the look, the man who’s long since lost all hope of hair but is still desperately trying to hang on; the comb-over is point in case. It’s BS and everyone knows it! For this reason, although I’ve been relatively confident that I still have time on my hands, for the past two years, I've been threatening to shave off my hair and stop trying to pretend that I still have a regular hairline. So this seems like a good time, to at least experiment with the look.
And so I find myself, not quite recognisable yet in the mirror. I am enjoying the feel of my hand running over my hair though and hair that dries in less than 5 minutes is quite welcome. Sadly, in the half-light of the shop, I didn’t notice the large patches of hair that he missed. It also only occurred to me later that normally, my wonderful Turkish barber has ALWAYS shaved my hair upwards, not downwards and so unsurprisingly, there are indeed these lovely patches of longer hair. At $0.80 a visit though, I think I might be able to stretch to another visit to rectify the matter.

Yours, a much more air-conditioned David


  1. So where are the "before and after" photos? :)

  2. The before photo is the one in the post. The after photo will not be in the public domain!