My family has a friend, a woman named Awa. She is always at our house—she braids all of the girls’ hair. Intricate swirling cornrows or cornrows that go straight back. Cornrows that end with little colorful beads. Ndeye covers her braids with a long straight wig, while Nene weaves long beautiful braids into her hair.
My long hair always falls out in the shower, although I try to collect it all. But it’s impossible! My yaay points it out to me. Why don’t you braid your hair like us? she asks. Then it wouldn’t get caught in the drain! I think you should do three on one side and three on the other side.
I just nod. I think the braids look wonderful on my Senegalese sisters—but Senegalese braids aren’t for me!