Updos and Afros

The best time to play around with fragile, afro-textured hair is just before it is about to be washed. I have been back to my low-maintenance, low-manipulation, no-heat regimen, and back to wearing my hair in twists 7 days a week, since I am working at home until teaching starts again in October.

As reported recently, I have now adopted flat twists after washing and conditioning my hair, as they produce more defined curls and I can also stretch the hair slightly to combat shrinkage. It is also very quick to do six flat twists and I have reduced the time previously spent doing smaller twists.

So as today was hair wash day I decided to play around with my hair and try an updo style. I did not put any hair ingredients – neither, water, gel or any butters or lotions, since I was just about to wash it. But the flat twists produce a crinkly texture and nice wavy bits at the front.

So all did to achieve a simple updo was to take a hair clamp and secure the hair in place at the top, leaving some waves out at the front. I could have made it a lot neater if I was going out, by using an alcohol-free gel to smooth the hair down, as it was a little frizzy.

I could also have created a bun, (chignon if you want to be posh), which would have looked nice and formal for the office or an evening out, and probably will do so in the future. But it’s good to know that the flat twists are so versatile, that you get a nice texture whether you wish to wear the hair out or not. 

Then I decided to have some real fun and tease my hair into an afro. That’s a joke, because the last time I wore an afro was in the seventies when most black people wore them. Yes, when Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five sported afros, so did my brother, two elder sisters and me. What fun we had in those days!

Even back then in my teens my hair was very fine and the only way I could wear my hair in an afro was by going to the barber’s shop and getting it cut with an electric razor. Nothing much has changed as my hair is still fine and flops in the middle – but I have no intention of getting a razor cut!

I enjoyed wearing an afro back in the seventies, but I have no desire to wear one now; that time has passed. I much prefer defined curls and gentle waves as a more mature woman; but have no objection to other women wearing them – each to their own. However, it was fun trying one out again after all these years – even if it did flop!



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