So what exactly are the women of Zimbabwe doing?
Lately most women have ditched their artificial hair and gone the natural way. Even the styles are more African and less of the Barbie Doll imitations which come in their “interesting” colors of the rainbow.
Popular in most salons is the natural locks, either short or long.
“Most of my clients now prefer locks. It is not only the single outgoing ladies but also the married women. Actually the married women are preferring the locks more,” said Sylvia from Ebony hair salon along Rezende.
“When one decides to cut their hair, a lot of attention is needed to keep it in good shape. Our natural hair is often kinky* and very coarse,” said Mildred from Panache’ hair parlor.
In addition to habits of married women, the female political leaders are also opting for short natural hair. Which is the same for local artists and musicians.
As mentioned women are getting creative with their TWA’s as well, adding color based on what is happening in their life.
For example if a wife suspected their man was cheating on them, then she would head to the salon and cut their hair off in protest or they would try to match the hairstyle of the woman their man is dating.
“Often when client asks for a dramatic colour for her hair or for a complete shave I always ask why. Many will either say their spouse is dating someone with a similar hairstyle or that he has cheated and they are taking it out on their hair,” said Chichi from Ebony.
Women are also claiming that their natural hair makes them feel and look younger, more hip.
“I feel and look younger with my new short hair. As one gets older you miss compliments like “Oh but you look so young!” said bank teller with Stanbic.
I am a firm believer that everything in life is cyclical and at some point we all will return to what is ‘natural’ to us and that includes our natural hair.
It might not be right now for some, because even today you will hear women in the Caribbean, in the United States and on the African continent still saying the natural look isn’t for them. But it will be some day it is just human nature to return to what is natural to us at some point.
With that said we applaud the women who have been bringing a positive light to natural hair in a culture that for so long cherished a European way of life.
We love highlighting the African influencers because we recognize their impact on making cultural changes in whole countries like Zimbabwe, and that is something powerful.
Hair is a powerful thing for a woman and things get much easier when you love what you are made of.