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Four weeks ago, I went to the hairdresser to have my hair braided – something I had been planning to do for a long time. Having done red, brown and black extensions before; this time I had brought blond mesh from Oslo – a lighter shade than my own.

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My friend Souade took me to Kadie’s – the best hairdresser in town,

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…where the Cameroonian professional went straight to work!

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The whole ordeal took eleven hours. I wasn’t counting on the hair coming so long (Kadie has a technique for pulling the mesh so that it lengthened even further) but having had short hair for almost a year (after having long hair for the nearly all my life!) I didn’t mind the newfound length at all!

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As for the hours spent in the “salon”; I was in good company and time went very quickly! Not only was there lots of city gossip to catch up,

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…but also other hairstyles and hairdoes to watch. I was surprised at how many Nigerien women come in to have their hair fixed just for the day, and it was a pleasure to follow the process!

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Souade’s friend Malika was having a “coupe” done, which didn’t take more than forty minutes to do. After six hours of sitting still, I was happy break so I could take some pictures watching the skillful Kadie at work!

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The first step of a coupe is to braid the own hair, leaving the outer layers to merge with the extensions afterward.

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At first sight, the coupe extensions is one long line of Rapunzel hair,

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…which will be systematically be sown to the braids, layer by layer.

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The end result is a full length hair that can be washed, combed and styled just as any regular hair.

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The final touch is merging the real hair with the extensions. The end result was very effective, but for a coupe to work on you, you need extensions that fits with your own hair colour. And I have yet to stumble upon that kind of mesh in my own hair colour…

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As for my own braids, the rest of the day went very quickly.

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Kadie’s assistant had arrived by now, quickening the process.

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I “assisted” as well, parting the mesh into tiny little parts,

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…which Kadie then fixed to my own hair. This is the process that might hurt if you have sensitive skin, but fortunately, I don’t – and I also thought that Kadie was very soft compared to others who have braided my hair.

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Then suddenly, after a long wait, we were almost there!!

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The very last part of the procedure involved gathering all the braids,

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…and dipping them in hot water in order to “fix” them.

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I was done! And quite amazed by the result…

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Thanks a million, Kadie!!!

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