My name is Gege and my passion is hair. I remember being fascinated with hair from a young age. From as early as 6 years old, one of the first things that stood out to me was my mother’s lovely silver/grey patch of hair. It stood out and I really loved the contrast between the silver at the side of her neatly done finger waves (done by herself) and the rest of her hair had a glossy rich black texture.
Thinking back, that might have been when my fascination with hair colour was born. I love experimenting with colour. Bold colours but subtly blended. My mum had all the styling tools back then in the 80’s where we lived in Benin City, there were hardly any other mums who owned a pair of hair tongs or a blow dryer. I think having the opportunity to play about with her hair tools and hair every so often was instrumental in my development as a hair stylist. I can’t forget her human hair ponytails, one wavy and the other straight. I remember taking them apart as a teen and using them as wefted hair extensions for a weave.
That was the start of this hot and steamy hair love affair. I had even more practice at boarding school where we had to do our own hair. There wasn’t a chance to go offsite to have your hair done. I either had to learn to do my hair, which I did out of necessity or be at the mercy of all those hair savvy braiding students and have your hair done at their convenience. I attempted to do my hair most Sundays before assembly on Monday. My 1st attempts were not so pretty and just passable at best. However, that didn’t phase my resolve and I kept trying until I got it right. Eventually, other students started approaching me to braid their hair.
After that, during holidays, my friends and I would take turns to have our hair done. There were four of us. Funny none of them went into hair, but I can’t forget all the fun we had. At the time I first remember, Million braids (Small micro braids) were in vogue. If you did not have it done you either didn’t know what was happening or you were just wrong lol. Lord knows why it mattered so much but we just had to have our hair done. So we started these small braids. It was lovely as we worked together, watching films on the video player and chatting away about anything and everything. The braids would take 4 days each for finish as they had to be done between our daily responsibilities. And we did the same with weaves and other hairstyles. We mostly came out looking good.
For a couple of years, it was quiet on the hair front, since, we had a bit more money and we could go do our hair at the salon or the market. When I got into university I couldn’t afford to have my hair done as I wasn’t earning enough. I once again resorted to doing my own hair. I braided, I weaved. My Ist driving licence photo featured midback braids done by me. I’d be sat if front of the tv with a mirror between my thighs to balance it. At times it took me 2 nights to finish my hair. It was fun and I was always happy with my glamgorgeous hair. People would stop and ask where I did my hair and when I told them I did it myself, I was once again thrown into hair.
As I begun growing a customer base I took more pride in my work and made sure the braids were neat but safe for the scalp. I was still pretty slow at braiding and also busy with school. I did hair off and on.My journey to being a hair stylist, session stylist and hair designer was not a straight forward one. As a lot of things in life get to be. It wasn’t a pre-conceived plan.
I will tell you more about this glamgorgeous hair love story in another blog post. I would like you to know me and where I am coming from. What my experiences are, also my passion and simply what makes me tick.