My recent experience with Lice gave a new meaning to the phrase: having a bad hair day, more like a bad hair season. Imagine me, a whole babe and a half, slay queen and whatnot, dealing with hair bugs. In 2021!! Why? Why did this kind of thing have to happen to me? Was it not enough stress to get robbed, or struggle with multiples while still in school? Why did my aesthetic have to get attacked? *Wails.
Let me clear the air first. I am neither dirty nor unkempt. I wanted to begin here because we have a lot of stigmas attached to any experience of bugs or insects. We think it is usually something the person did. Even if it was something they did, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is their lifestyle. Anyway, back to my lice story. I was shook because I assumed that lice was more common with straight, Caucasian hair! Lice is not for 4c black hair! So why on earth was my very kinky, very coily, very Nigerian hair spewing out these itchy, blood sucking, bed bug looking creatures? Those were my thoughts after two days of itchy hair. When I saw a few of them on my pillow, I quite literally let out a blood curdling scream. I might be a bit overdramatic, I know, but imagine my shock! I learned the hard way that lice are very much around and pretty much have amazing chemistry with every single hair type.
It all started after I got my hair done. I had never had the knotless type of braids before, and I found a salon in my area to get it done for a very amazing price. (AKA budget friendly) Of course, I took the offer because I am still a student on a budget, and “who no like awoof sef?”
I was feeling myself and flexing my hair so much that it took me a while to notice the ugly critters multiplying in my scalp. When I eventually did, I chocked the itch up to needing to take my braids down and get a wash. Fam, that didn’t solve the issue and it became real serious real quick!
You see, my mom told me that people in boarding schools in the past would get lice by sharing combs and accessories. And the only way they got rid of them was to use relaxers. After I did my research, I found out she was right. Apparently, relaxers would in fact kill lice, as in, like a permanent solution type of killing. Easy, peasy, right? There was only one problem. My hair had not touched a relaxer in 5 years. Was I about to trade in five years of growing out natural, healthy, pampered 4c hair? #Sigh. It’s not like relaxers were the only option. There were other alternatives, but they all seemed more time consuming, and I’m a girl who likes things done the quickest way possible.
So, I took the plunge and relaxed my glorious natural hair. *More wailing. In truth, I was more than happy to feel the burn from the relaxer as I imagined the little parasites screaming and writhing from pain as the relaxer did its work on my scalp. I also imagined their baby eggs shrivel up never to be hatched. Lol.
It’s true that I lost my 5 years natural look, but I am not that mad about it. Like they say, it is hair and it will grow. I do plan to return to its natural look either by a big chop or by transitioning. I am already excited thinking of new ways to switch up my look. A major cut and a green dye are top on my list.
Remember, lice can happen to the best and neatest of us. I have of course learned my lessons to invest in a complete hair tools and accessories kit so that I do not have to share even the sterilized ones in hair salons. If that’s a lesson you take from this today, it is that you should get your own hair tools and avoid the nasty things ever getting on your scalp.