‘I envy your hair’, Mimi says with a dreamy look on her face, running her fingers through my curls.
Having spent four days in a village with a local family, dividing our time between family, business matters and a lot of exploring, our hairs feel like straw and are in need of some decent cleaning.
‘Can we have our hairs washed here?’, we ask at one of the many hairdressing kiosks in Lomé. Two girls are working on braids in front of the shop. A little girl is watching them.
‘Yes, you can’, one of the girls replies and instantly jumps of her seat to guide us inside the shop.
Mimi’s skilful hands treat our hairs and scalp very well.
Her little kiosk is filled to the brim with all kinds of products for hair and skin. The floor is covered with hair, so she probably had a few more customers that day.
We kindly decline the petroleum-based hair cream and let her comb our hairs the way she likes. Like a real African lady, she adores hair and gives it her best to turn is into African style princesses.
Our hairs are parted down like they have never been before and our new looks are quite interesting.
We wait till we are just around the corner, before giving our hairs a good shake, feeling ourselves again, our hairs waving naturally around our heads. Cleaner than clean.
Clean rarely lasting long in dusty Africa, we may very well return to Mimi or one of her colleagues for another hair wash.