Let’s Talk Hair!

So, one of my biggest worries when I made the decision to come to Ethiopia to work in public health was how to best take care of my natural hair. In Kenya, it’s easy…Kenyatta Market…about $15 – $20 and you have long skinny braids or Senegalese twists with really high quality extension hair after sitting still for about 90 minutes or so. In Ethiopia, the extension hair feels like steel wool, looks like it was pulled off the manufacturing belt in China a bit too fast AND it did not go through Quality Control. Needless to say, I had to teach myself how to do my own Senegalese twists and braids out here.All the lessons that helped were easily found on Youtube when the internet gods were cooperating out here and were syncing with the electricity gods and basically giving me the makings of a great day. 

I was struggling with how best to moisturize my hair and I had experimented with a bit of glycerin in a small bottle of distilled water. It was okay. Nothing to write home about and my hair just seemed to feel very bleh about it. Then the internet came back after disappearing for a few days and, because I could, I spent an hour researching home made moisturizing sprays. I watched Naptural85 on Youtube – her hair is absolutely gorgeous…and read a few blogs. In the end, I decided to wing it and use what I had lying around: filtered water, vegetable glycerin, VO5 Moisture Milks strawberries and cream conditioner (a little bit – enough to cloud up the water), a few drops of Rosemary essential oil that I found laying around in the bathroom and that was it. I spritzed my hair today before I set out to my outreach day in the field, my hair is currently in long braids that I did myself, so I have been worried about keeping my hair suitably moisturized especially when the heat shows up in full force out here. Today, after I spritzed my little mixture all over my head, focusing on my own hair…no need to spray the bottom of my long braids…and sealed it with coconut oil, I realized that my hair seems to absolutely LOVE it. I keep touching my hair and it feels soft and moisturized.  The only buzz-kill is that the flies and bugs seem to love it too. Dealing with that problem should not be too difficult though…I hope.

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