I am a Nigerian woman with natural hair. I stopped relaxing my hair in 2006 and haven’t looked back – not true, I’ve stolen glances. At this point in time, I haven’t felt the need to relax my hair, and I always figured I would get a weave for my wedding. However, early this year, I started thinking about simply styling my natural hair without resorting to a weave or straightening my hair with a flat-iron. Needless to say, I wasn’t met with a lot of encouragement. Some of my friends are still in denial that I will be rocking my hair at my wedding. What makes me happy though is that African natural hair is quickly and steadily gaining traction in Nigeria, and it’s becoming common to see girls with natural hair walking around. There are even 3 salons in Lagos now that cater to natural hair care and styling, one of which will be styling my hair. Natural hair still isn’t popular in bridal hair, but imagine my pleasant surprise when 2 weeks ago, a prominent lifestyle e-magazine in Nigeria, featured a post tagged Natural Hair Nigerian Brides.
The following day, I had an appointment with a natural hair stylist. I went with my veil and hair piece to help visualize the wedding day look. Cakes drove me to the appointment but was very tired, so he slept in the car while I got my hair done. I had seen some natural hairstyles I liked and showed them to the stylist. She also handed me her laptop to view hundreds of styles, and select a few favorites. We talked about the ones I selected, and after I told her the wedding theme/location, and showed her a picture of my dress, we settled on 3 styles to try out. With the second style, we tried a different variation and ditched the third style. She and I took pictures of the different looks with my veil on, and she advised me to take my time in deciding which look I preferred the most. She said I should look at the pictures again after a few days or even a week or two, and it would help me decide which one was my favorite. It was a great advice, because it was sooo clear to me after I looked at the pictures with fresh eyes.
I’m not a big makeup person, and usually prefer a natural or nude look. I like to look like myself after putting makeup on. That being said, I do like bold makeup looks – dramatic eyes, red lips, smokey eyes, etc – just that I like them on other people. My friend recommended her MUA, and I set up a makeup trial at my friend’s house because I wanted her input. I spoke to the MUA about the wedding theme, location, and showed her my dress, and she thought a nude look would suit me best. After she was done though, the eyes were a little too dramatic for me, as she had used a gold shimmery eye shadow. I asked her to tone it down, and on a whim, asked to try bold, red lips. When I looked in the mirror, I quickly set it back down because it was so NOT ME! My friend and I had her tone down the red, and we felt better about it.
The following morning I woke up and I decided that I wanted a different lip color – PLUM/PURPLE! Or maybe I wanted a Maroon/Burgundy lip. Figuring out what I want has been so hard. I might have a trial with another MUA – but she’s almost $60 more expensive, and right now I’m trying to save money. I hope I’ve locked in on a makeup look by the wedding day.
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