My hair needed some TLC and since it was a Saturday I decided to visit the salon instead of washing and conditioning it myself, besides dealing with hair is bothersome, it is even more stressful when it is a natural hair. I embraced my natural hair in my first year at the University, then it was still unfashionable to keep your natural hair, people call me SU then but I proved them all wrong as time goes on… Story for another day.
The hairdresser was happy to see me and she pulled me into a warm hug before rushing off to quickly complete the hair she was making.
She began with my hair when she was done with the other customer’s own, she was filling me in on all I had missed since I last came over, mentioning how one of her apprentices got pregnant right under her nose for the guy that fixes her generator
” No be small tin o, de one wey pain me pass be sey nah inside my salon den dey take do am” she hissed as she said this and applied more coconut oil on my hair, ” You don ‘ear wetin knack Madam Sabina?” she asked as she massaged my scalp, I was tired of the talk already but she is the only hairdresser that pre-poos, conditions, moisturizes, washes and styles my natural hair without complaining, others would screw their noses and advice me to go perm it.
“what happened to Madam Sabina o” I managed to laugh, she shook her head vigorously as her face broke into a sad smile, “hmmm, dem sey madam Sabina’s husband don carry Ashewo con jam her for house”
“Shuoooo” I exclaimed
“I dey tell you oooo, and I sabi de girl we e be na, no be that ashewo kobokobo wey don distribute Std for everybody wey dey dis tan? Ehn? She hissed and went to check the hair of the lady under the hair dryer.
Seeing it was dry, she asked her to come sit in front of the mirror, she began to sing Double Wahala as she comb the hair and expertly tied it into a bun
” Aunty, you just dey yarn about the Ashawo o, every woman nah Ashawo o” the lady that was under the dryer said, ” if ya ‘uzband dey do you jigijigi and you dey collect money from am after you give am gbigigbigi you be ashawo” she dug into her bag to bring out money, she is a very beautiful lady, with a clean fair skin that doesn’t tell tales of bleaching.
” I am not an Ashewo” I said in a small voice, I wasn’t even sure of myself, am I an Ashewo?
She laughed and gave the hairdresser her money, then she placed her bag on the table and faced me squarely
” Nwannem, you are an ashewo! Come on stopeet! You don collabo man wey no be ya ‘uzband’? He gif you money? E no give? Why you no collect? See you, you be oshofree ashawo!” she bellowed.
I stopped arguing with her and got busy with my phone, I have to endure the dryer for few minutes and I wonder why she wouldn’t leave after making her hair, as if she could hear me, she stood up the moment I left the dryer and adjusted her blouse then she bade the hairdresser farewell and went outside to meet a middle aged man, the man was standing beside a Benz, he opened the door as soon as she got outside.
I exchanged a knowing look with the hairdresser who laughed knowingly, she was almost done with my hair when a woman breezed into the salon, she look every inch like a rich woman, her purple Senegalese up and down made her look even regal, a very expensive human hair adorned her head and high end jewelry glitters on her neck, ear, and fingers.
” Nah the madam wey ihn ‘uzband’ con carry the aunty wey just lif be dis” the hairdresser whispered
” ooh ooh” I was lost for words, I stole glances at the woman as she made herself comfortable on the settee in the salon, she seemed to be a customer for she went about her ways gracefully, she even knows about the “special offers” the aphrodisiacs the hairdresser tried to sell to me, she asked for them in the code the hairdresser gave every loyal customer.
My hair was made into twists and sprayed, they looked so beautiful that I couldn’t resist taking some pictures to send to NHE bbm channel, I was still taking pictures when a boy in his early twenties entered the salon, he greeted the hairdresser who replied and went to meet the woman who had came in earlier. He kissed her full on the lips, I gasped and they turned to look at me, I looked away and quickly carried my bag, I was too shocked for words as the hairdresser offered to see me off.
“nah de kain tin dem turn my shop to be dat” she said the moment we got outside
“hmmmm” was all I could say.
On my way home, I pondered on what the Lady said, she is so right, everyone is an ashewo one way or another, we only do it differently. And no Ashewo does not mean you have to stand on the road and wait for a willing customer, Ashewo comes in different forms, Ashewo could be the poor girl struggling to make ends meet for herself and her family, Ashewo could be the flashy university dude who is not contented and wants to live the expensive life his friends are living, Ashewo could come in like a vision dressed in purple, Ashewo could be the diligent office worker who wants to get to the top by all means, Ashewo could be cruising around town with a Benz, Ashewo could be you.