"I love my hair because it is a reflection of my soul. It's dense. It's kinky. It's soft. It's textured. It's difficult. It's easy and it's fun. That's why I love my hair."
-Tracee Ellis Ross
When coming to attend the community public health program in Gaborone Botswana, as a black woman, one of the first things that had to be decided upon was a hairstyle. Picking a stylish, long-lasting hairstyle that can withstand long periods of time away from your stylist may seem like an overreaction to some, but in actuality is a pressing concern for us African American women. We are all too familiar with the importance of choosing affordable, cute, yet protective hairstyles. But my female African American companions and I discovered one of the most marvelous aspects of partaking in a program located in the land of the kinky haired queens themselves is that the hairstyles are extremely inexpensive and gorgeous! One of my friends was able to change her hair three times in the duration of the program and spent less than 50 U.S. dollars in total. The best thing is that you can find a hairstylist nearly anywhere and the hairstyles can cost as little as 15 dollars. I myself did not have to search high and low for the opportunity to renew my look because it was presented to me by the director of the program, Base. She connected me with her very own hairstylist and I did not regret it one bit! I soon found that she was exceptional in the relatively short timing of the service and her willingness to go and buy the supplies for me (for a small fee of course) and save a trip to the store.
Even if you are not able to pay for hair or services you should not be shy about wearing your hair out. No matter the length or texture, you will see women that look like you freely expressing themselves in the many different ways that they wear their hair. If you wish to alter your look during the program and brag to friends and family back home of paying twenty dollars for a hairstyle that would regularly cost two hundred dollars then you should definitely consider reaching out and finding a stylist. Or if you want to avoid the hassle of trying to find a hairstyle that will last for the duration of the program just get your hair done in Botswana 9 times out of 10 you’ll love the results and be glad you did!