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.


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


…where the Cameroonian professional went straight to work!


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!


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,


…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!


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!


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


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


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


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


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…


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


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


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


…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.


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


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


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


I was done! And quite amazed by the result…


Thanks a million, Kadie!!!

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