Kundayi Marunya Lifestyle Writer
Does one’s hair define who they are? If not, do people associate hairstyles with some kind of behaviour?
Imagine a young man rocking his dreadlocks or should we say dread in a Mohawk. It’s hard to define what really his style is, unique in its own way, but setting tongues wagging each time he passes.
He has this one line of dreadlocks running down the middle of his head.
One would wonder what profession such a person would have. And after hearing his name Chihomu Homu, suppressing laughter will be a great ordeal.
Well, he is a Zimdancehall chanter, whose fame mostly came after his incarceration for rape.
Does this have anything to do with his hairstyle, did his hair scream “rapist”?
There is one man who believes hair can define who you are, Dr Solomon Guramatunhu.
Maybe not in the same sense as Chihomu Homu, but he believes artificial hair is dirt and those who wear it lack confidence in their natural beauty.
He is strongly against synthetic hair of any sort, be it extensions, weave, wigs or 100 percent human hair extensions.
In fact, one wearing these hair types can never serve him food or drinks in any restaurant.
They will not be allowed to set foot in his great home in the leafy suburb of Borrowdale, overlooking Borrowdale Brooke.
At this great home, he hosts lavish parties mostly attended by the who’s who of the country, diplomats included.
Even with an invite, please don’t show yourself to Dr Guramatunhu’s door with synthetic hair.
“Hair is dirt. That’s why women in India shave it off at funerals. Some enterprising individuals collect the discarded hair and sell it to Africa where our women gladly wear this dirt as fashionable,” said Dr Guramatunhu.
He believes some of the human hair sold as weaves and wigs would have been shaven off dead bodies in Brazil and India.
“During my travels, I found that some of the hair shipped to Africa would have been shaven off dead bodies,” he revealed.
To Dr Guramatunhu, wearing weaves is a way of denying the beauty that is African, embracing the façade of European beauty which to him is less perfect that the melanin.
Many women however, find Dr Guramatunhu’s sentiments somewhat offensive.
He confesses to having once been on the wrong side of a social media backlash, but does not waive from his beliefs.
Anashe Moyo said wearing synthetic hair enhanced her beauty.
“Women are created in such a way that we always want to look good and perfect. That’s why we are busying ourselves with makeup and weaves.
“We acknowledge the beauty we were created with, but believe in an upgrade,” she said.
Moyo said natural hair was expensive to maintain as well as style.
“We may have long hair, but straightening chemicals can break the hair, and it’s expensive because we have to apply them regularly,” she added.
There are some people who prefer keeping natural hair, be it long or short as an indicator of pride in their culture.
Kumbulani Zamuchiya believes natural hair is his way of keeping in touch with his roots.
“Long ago, Africa did not have barbers thus there was neither English cut nor all the fancy cuts people now wear,” he said.
“Keeping my hair natural, growing it freely is something that connects me with my ancestors.”
Zamuchiya, a filmmaker who also runs various creative initiatives, said growing natural hair doesn’t make him unprofessional.
“You can be professional and still keep your natural hair. Your hair does not do the job, you do, so I don’t think it has to be included in the professionalism matrix,” he said.
“One can wear formal clothes with whatever hairstyle they will be rocking.”
Some hairstyles are however influenced by religious beliefs.
Members of the apostolic sects, both males and females keep shaven heads.
They base their beliefs on Bible verses that outline shaving one’s hair as a way of cleansing oneself.
The same Bible has had a different interpretations from members of the Rastafarian religion who keep dreadlocks.
Their beliefs are centred on Old Testament scripture Leviticus 19:27 which reads “Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.”
They believe one should not cut their hair because it is where their strength lies. Dreadlocks only form naturally over time
They are however many other people who keep dreadlocks for fashion.
Fashion designer and stylist Goodswill Nyakuridyisa said his dreadlocks gets him stereotyped as a marijuana smoking deviant.
“People have long existing notions of the relationship between dreadlocks and the Rastafarian religions whose members smoke marijuana as a meditation essence,” he said.
“Everywhere I go the title rasta follows me while at many occasions I’m asked for marijuana while police officials search me purporting because I’m dreadlocked I smoke or deal in it.”
It must be noted that even dreadlocks now come in synthetic hair. These are usually worn as a fashion statement. They came following the trending dreadlock look, thus those not patient enough to grow their hair resorting to faux locks.
It’s now not surprising to have one buying natural dreadlocks from other people to wear them as extensions.
Hairstyles come in different makes, shapes and sizes.
Some loud enough to attract attention, some subtle enough that they are barely noticeable.
Footballers and musicians often wear the loud ones which their fans copy and replicate. Thus good works being shared through hairstyles.