Hair we go again

Benita Adesuyan laments her struggle to find a hair salon

The Knowledge

I love changing my hair do. I’ve rocked a few different looks in my time, from funky blunt cut bobs and fringes to shocking streaks of colour. If you don’t see me for a few weeks, don’t expect my hairstyle to be the same. Like most people, as you make changes in your life, your hair goes on a journey with you, and moving city means the hunt for a new hairdresser begins again.

When I relocated to Dubai, the question that was constantly thrown my way was, ‘What are you going to do about your hair?’ A quick Google search reassured me that I wouldn’t be a complete hot mess when I moved, forced to resort to my limited repertoire of DIY styles, namely the ponytail and the bun.

Before I moved to this city, I was lucky enough to have friends – twin sisters – who could braid beautifully and chat for Britain. Hours were spent in the living room of their west London flat, putting the world to rights as my curly barnet was carefully braided into a million individual plaits. I’d leave looking a diva and feeling that all was right in the world – which is what everyone wants from a hair experience, right?

For me, getting my hair done is as much about a social interaction as styling. On visits home, my mum would always pop into my room, her now slightly thinning and grey-speckled afro all fluffy and freshly washed, with a comb in one hand and a tub of coconut oil in the other, ready for me to treat her to a head massage, a fresh set of cornrows and a chat about our days.

I liken finding the right salon to looking for a good husband – though unfortunately I have to kiss a lot of frogs to find my shampoo-wielding prince. The first time I check out a new salon is full-on anticipation. I find myself excited at the prospect of getting it right this time, but also dreading it going spectacularly wrong. You may have had a recommendation from friends, who ‘Know this great place that you’re just going to love,’ but not until you sit down in the leather chair will you know if it’s actually going to work out for you. I’m looking for that special someone that knows how to handle my hair, and knows the difference between a Havana, Senegalese and Kinky Twists (check out Pinterest to see what I mean). I’ve had my fair share of dodgy ’dos in the past and, to be frank, I just can’t bear to re-live my ‘hit and miss’ teenage years when well-meaning aunties would volunteer to do my hair and I’d end up looking like Coolio for the whole term.

Undeterred, my search continues, but if you think you’ve spotted the ’90s rapper in the mall this week, you’ll know it didn’t work out...

Benita ‘Coolio’ Adesuyan is our Sport & Outdoor, Film and Community Editor. She has been known to burst into spontaneous renditions of ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’.

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