Frizzy-haired mzungu in Uganda


I have frizzy hair. Wild, crazy, untamed tresses.

Frizz is what happens when moisture swells the strands of hair. Apparently, about 3 of 10 women have it. Yet, misery doesn’t love company.

I long for smooth, shiny locks like my niece, Trisha, back home in the United States. When looking at photos when I was younger, it appears Ihaditgoingforafew decades.

I have it now right after leaving a professional hair stylist accustomed to working with multiple hair types. If I don’t sweat or shower and double up on my daily hair vitamin supplements, this cosmetology creation could last up to two days.

I would like to blame my hair on somebody – like my parents. Supposedly, fine hair like I was born with is more impacted by

environmental elements. Apparently, this is part of a hereditary condition called trichoptilosis – a big word for “split ends” in which the keratin splits off the hair strand. Mom and dad caused that.

My husband likes to blame it on me because a few times a year I indulge in chemical colouring, and sometimes I use a hair dryer. Occasionally, I blame Uganda because I live here a good part of the year, and it’s hot.

Recently and from my room at Uganda Christian University, I did a Skype with my 88-year-old mother back in the States. As we concluded our talk, mom remarked, “You look horrible…your hair…”

Frizzy hair is part of me. There really isn’t anything I can do about it, but that doesn’t stop me from trying.

Patty Huston-Holm is a visiting faculty member from Ohio, USA.

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