Updated: Apr 13
Hello! My name is Gege, and I am passionate about hair. I have always, always been fascinated by hair even from a very young age. I must have been six years old when I started to find my mum's lovely silver/grey patch of hair fascinating. This silver-grey patch was similar to Raven’s hair in the X-Men, and I loved the contrast between the silver/grey on one side -neatly done in finger waves- and the black rich glossy texture on the other side of her hair.
Reflecting now, that was probably when my love for hair and colour was born. Today, I love experimenting with colour - bold colours that are subtly blended.
My mum had all the styling tools back then in the ’80s when we lived in Benin City, Nigeria. There were hardly any other mums who owned a pair of hair tongs or a blow dryer, and having the opportunity to play with her hair tools and hair so often was instrumental in my development as a hairstylist.
I can’t forget her human hair ponytails, one wavy and the other straight. I remember taking them apart as a teen and using them as wefted hair extensions for a weave. She nearly had a heart attack when she found out. I didn’t know they were expensive and hard to find. LOVE YOU MUM. She could have killed me if she didn’t love me so much. Aww, Gege! I also did something similar to her cameo chain but it was just that I was so curious... but I digress. A story for another time.
That was the beginning of this hot and steamy hair love affair. I had more practice at boarding school where we had to do our own hair, as we didn’t have the chance to go offsite to have our hair done. I had two alternatives; either learn to do my hair by myself - which I did out of necessity - or be at the mercy of hair savvy students and have my hair done at their convenience.
I attempted to do my hair most Sundays before assembly on Monday. My first attempts were passable. This, however, didn’t dampen my spirit and I kept trying until I got it right. Eventually, other students started approaching me to braid their hair.
During the school holidays, my friends and I would take turns braiding each other’s hair. There were four of us. Surprisingly, none of them went into the hair business, but I can’t forget all the fun we had.
Back then, one of the trending hairstyles was called “million braids” (Small micro braids). If you did not have it done, you either didn’t know what was happening or you were just wrong…lol. Lord knows why it mattered so much but we just had to have our hair done. So, we started these small braids. (We being me and three other friends. We took turns doing each other’s hair).
It was lovely as we worked together, watching films on the video player or listening to music and chatting away about anything and everything. The braids would take four days to complete as they had to be done in between our daily chores. We put the same energy into making our weaves and other hairstyles and when we finished, we always looked good.
For a couple of years, it was quiet on the hair front mostly because we now had some money and we could go have our hair done at the salon or the market. When I got into university, I couldn’t afford to have my hair done as I wasn’t earning enough. I once again resorted to doing my own hair. I braided, I weaved. My first driving licence photo features midback braids done by me. I’d sit in front of the TV with a mirror between my thighs to balance it. At times, it took me two nights to finish my hair. It was fun and I was always happy with my GlamGorgeous hair. People would stop and ask where I had my hair done and when I told them I did it myself, I always found myself in the ‘hair bubble’.
As I began to grow a customer base, I took more pride in my work and made sure the braids were neat but safe for the scalp. I was still pretty slow at braiding and also busy with school. I did hair off and on. My journey as a hairstylist, session stylist, and hair designer has never been a straightforward one. But as a lot of things in life are, it wasn’t a pre-conceived plan.
I will tell you more about this GlamGorgeous hair love story in another blog post because I want you to know me and where I am coming from, what my experiences and passion are, and what makes me tick.