1995-esther-daniel

The first time I had my hair braided in Nigerien “rasta” as it’s called here was in 1995; I was 15 years old. I didn’t take many pictures because I didn’t really like braiding my own hair; the mane I was used to simply disappeared and for the first week, the hair was stretched so tightly that the head looked bald between the braids…

1997-esther02b

Two years later, I was seventeen and hungry for braids again, but this time with loads of extensions! Wine red was my only option if I didn’t want to do pitch black (which would have created a certain unwanted wasp-look effect…) and after a whole day of braiding (by four of my girl friends!), I was super happy with the result!

2002-braids-with-lovisa

The braids last for about a month but they do wear and tear on your natural hair, so between 1998 and 2002, I only had a few braids (without doing the entire hair). But when I had moved to Sweden and came back to Niger for a short five week Chrsitmas visit, my cousin and I found some great brown mesh at the market and I just had to have my hair braided again…

201106-p1490910

I can’t believe it’s been seven years since I braided it last, but it’s been time for a long time… This time, I have “only” five colours to choose from (wine red, black, blond (!), dark brown and copper red), but of course I am choosing the blond mesh which I found in Oslo way back in 2008 and have been saving ever since!

201106-p1490051

My friend Souade set me up with a hairdresser today, so if all goes well, this is the last we’ll be seeing of my short but growing pony tail for a few weeks from now! :-)