When I found out two years ago that I would be moving to Hong Kong, one of the first questions I asked myself was the following: “ What the heck am I gonna do with my hair?” For many non-Black folk out there, this is probably a non-issue, but for most of my brothas and sistas (particularly for the sistas), this is something that IS a consideration when moving to many foreign countries that do not have a strong population of African-descended people. Hong Kong is the third foreign country I have lived in, after two separate moves to France and another move to Mexico. The hair drama related to these moves goes way back. After having struggled with natural hair care in France, I pondered just what I would do with my hair in Mexico. I had rocked my natural hair in France for a year and, due to poor maintenance, experienced major dryness and breakage. As a result, I wore braided extensions when I moved to Mexico- it was easy (wash and wear!) and it looked good. However, it soon became apparent that there was absolutely NO-ONE there who would be able to re-do my extensions as I was the only Black person around for miles. It was then that I made some pretty stupid hair decisions (like keeping my braids in for 6 months at a time… YIKES)!
At any rate, before coming to Hong Kong, I made the decision to get locs, which was initially much to the chagrin of my mother. Before taking the plunge I scoured the internet for information. After researching the best method for me (interlocking method), I then tackled the all-important task of finding someone in Hong Kong to do my hair. An internet search yielded the number of a salon that, while expensive, had a girl who does a great job of tightening up my new growth. I have been super happy with my decision, and have tons of fun styling and changing up my ‘do. It requires very little day-to-day maintenance, and it is refreshing not to own a comb or a brush. As hair products for African hair are difficult to find here, I am glad that my low-maintenance ‘do requires very few hair products. Apart from shampoo and conditioner, I use castor oil to moisturize my hair… And that’s it! I get information about how to care for my locs from a variety of different websites, with one of my favourite being Nappturality.com!
Unsurprisingly, my hair gets a lot of (positive) attention here in Asia, for obvious reasons. On a number of occasions, I have had Chinese people try to touch my hair (it was hilarious when the woman doing my massage sneaked a tug on my locks while she while massaging my shoulders). People, Chinese or expat, ask me on a weekly basis about my hair.
There is a lot of love for natural hair in Asia! I frequently have people telling me how beautiful my hair is here, which is nice to hear, since I couldn’t agree with them more!
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