We thank fate for human hair wigs. They are light, easy to maintain and versatile enough to be styled in more than one way. The tresses are silky to the touch and smooth on the comb, shimmery, bouncy and can last for years if maintained well.
However, due to their high cost, I can only stare at the detachable mane on Betty Kyalo’s head jealously and tell myself, “Mmm, hata si smart,” then drive a pen through the tough strands of my Sh700 synthetic wig to scratch a persistent itch that has been terrorising me for two weeks, and scrape out a few grams of dandruff.
Side note: The itch on the scalp, especially if one has braids or a weave that has been sitting on their head for some time is a special kind of itch, a delicious bittersweet twinge with an orgasmic tingle that gives you familiar-yet-unfamiliar sensations.
It is an annoying and irresistible itch and you almost always close your eyes in pleasure when rubbing it. This is the itch that marks the beginning of the decline of your hairstyle. This is the onset of dandruff. This is the cue for undergrowth to ruin your neat cornrows.
This is a notice that your hairstyle is about to go downhill and fast, and the minute you scratch that first itch, thousands of stinging baby itches will be born. People around you will be exposed to the monstrosity and atrociousness of the itching scalp.
They will see you curl your fingers into deadly claws and dig them through your braids to grate your scalp for the stubborn itch. They will suffer through the distinct scratching sounds of fingernails against scalp as you tightly shut your eyes and suck in air through your teeth, moaning and groaning and murmuring like a displeased witch.
Where fingernails can’t reach, like underneath the line where the weave has been sewn, for instance, long, sharp, pointy objects can be used to access the itch. I have seen my fellow ladies afflicted with the itchy scalp using knitting needles, pens, keys, and even toothpicks to battle the prickly war on their heads.
Hair enthusiasts would rather take loans to purchase human hair wigs than buy the common artificial wig. These old fashioned, plastic wigs may be cheap and affordable to most, but they are much more difficult to maintain. In fact, they resist maintenance.
The synthetic strands can be likened to the bristles of a shoe brush. When combed, crackling and breaking sounds like electrical sparks will be heard. Following a few days’ use the wig becomes dull and stiff, and even after dousing it in several gallons of oil, the plastic mane will neither soften nor glow. Not even anointing oil could save it.
Due to its artificial nature, the wig gets easily tangled at the ends, and let me tell you, when a poor quality synthetic wig or weave tangles, not even mganga kutoka Tanga can untangle it.
The comb will get stuck when you try. It’s like trying to comb through the interwoven threads of an old, dry sisal rope or the fibres of a coconut husk. And you can’t even style it because it comes with its own permanent style.
The human hair industry has been all the rage for a while now, and anyone can see why. There are a variety of lace wigs that blend in with the various hairlines, giving wearers a realistic look.
You can blow-dry it, dye it, treat it, set it, style it, you name it. So good are human hair wigs that some men steal them. They sneak up behind the unsuspecting wearer, snatch the wig from their head and speed off with it, leaving the distraught victim having a bad hair day. The expert wig snatchers use motorbikes.
They ride on a boda boda near pavements and snatch wigs as they move along, collecting them like coins in a Super Mario game.
As a result of the human hair boom, the synthetic hair industry has upped its game and introduced semi-human hair wigs, which can also be blow-dried, set, flat-ironed and styled. Mine was snatched recently. They thought it was Brazillian. These thieves!