while at the barber’s…

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Going to the barbers can be a real treat or your worst nightmare. It depends on you. Well, relatively. I like imagining it’s like placing your head on a guillotine and trusting that your executioner (your barber) is using a rubber blade as you both planned in the waking hours in your holding cell which, by the way, is located somewhere in rural France. Okay, maybe it is not as dramatic as that but it could be. It could. Barbers have this power… they can make or break you. Literally. They decide whether for the next few weeks you’ll call in sick to work and hide out in your house in a hat waiting for your hair to grow back out…such power. That is why it is paramount to learn how to behave around them. You do not want to piss off a barber (or anyone else for that matter who holds a sharp machine to your skull). Seriously. On the other hand, you do not want to seem too meek thus giving the leeway for your head to be used as a tester.

So, you are probably wondering, ”what then shall I do while at the barber’s?”… luckily for you, I had time to spare. Therefore;

WHAT NOT TO DO WHILE AT THE BARBER’S

  1. DO NOT be the lab rat.

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Barbers are skilled people – artists even. And like all skilled people, they itch to try out all their new ideas. Now, the targets are usually people who say the following words, ”I just want to try something new,” or, ”I’m not really sure what I want.” If ever you find yourself saying any of the above, realize that you have signed your death wish, sealed it and kept it in a vault. Your death wish at that moment is more certain than than the sun’s location. Heck! your death wish is more solid than the earth’s crust (which is pretty solid by the way). You are deader than the first man to die. Is there even a word like that? deader? In short, you are doomed. For you, its 2012 (the movie) all over again. And we already survived that. Once was enough.

When you walk in to get your hair done, have a plan. Sketches even… if you can. Try a portfolio if you wish but have something solid. Especially if you are actually trying out something new that your barber is not used to. If you try to describe what you want, you just might fail. Many have. And the results are only funny to their friends, funnier to the barber but never to the victim. You do not want to feel that tinge of hate for your barber when he announces, ”all done!” and you can barely recognize yourself because of the squirrel nestled on your head.

Don’t laugh. Serious business this is.

2. DO NOT change barbers.

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It’s pretty simple, really. If you try out a  barber and they pass the test, keep them. Love them. Feed them. Take their kids out on holiday. Pay their rent. And if ever you and your barber find yourselves on the rough side of town and a shot is fired, take a bullet for them. A barber is a friend. Think about it, who knows the uneven ridges on your head but never tells a soul, doesn’t even make fun about it? When you walk into the barber shop and obnoxiously demand that the fur on your face be trimmed albeit all you have are three chin hairs (one of which is slowly dying of an unknown disease), your barber quietly pretends to be shaving your chin though in reality he is just tracing the shape of your lips. So that you don’t get offended. You. The customer. Even when you too loudly declare, ‘No Shave November’ as your status, he doesn’t even giggle. Not even a snicker. Such loyalty… your barber probably knows the number of gray hairs you have even when you deny their existence. Nevertheless, he never breathes a word.

Going to the same barber can save you a lot of pain (embarrassment as well). For one, you already know the rates of your local barber therefore, you know how much to carry. Meaning, you can even plan ahead of time. Secondly, your barber knows just what you like. If you like a head massage after he is done or if you like to be talked to, advised – whichever. You do not want to go to a barber who will drench your head in spirit after he has taken out all your hair. Such are not even barber shops, those, my friend, are kinyozis.

LOL.

3. DO NOT fall asleep.
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OK, so maybe you were up all night doing whatever and you are exhausted. Deadbeat. You go in for a shave, trim or whatever and once that cloth has been tied around your neck you get snug. You nod off. That’s OK. It happens. But think twice before you fall asleep next time. First, that is not only dangerous but you also do not want to have an ‘accident’ occur as you nap. Of course the ‘accident’ I speak of are numerous from unevenly trimmed hair to a completely shaven head. In case you wake up from your siesta and find your locks on the floor next to your goatee and you look ten again hold in your outrage and pinch yourself in the arm. You brought it upon yourself. Yes. Yes you did.

Seriously though, you do not want to fall asleep and put yourself at the mercy of a person with a weapon.

No. Nay. Nada.

4. DO NOT say a word.
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Okay, I probably have you a bit confused with that. What I mean is, keep it brief. As I’ve mentioned countless of times, I cut my hair, recently too, so you have to trust me on this. Especially if you are going in for a trim. Do not say, ”I want a couple inches taken off” or ”I want it a bit shorter”. It really doesn’t matter what you say cause all barbers will hear the same thing, ”shave it all off! Don’t even leave the babies,” (baby hair) and so it shall be. You will either have to buy a big hat or move to another town. Or city. Or country. Your choice, really. Those are your only options.

When you go in for a little snipetty- click-click, indicate using your hands or fingers, the length you want to be trimmed off. Show them how far they should go then stay vigilant. Barbers and even hair dressers work better with sight.

5. DO NOT do everything at once.

OK, so you’ve cut your hair, then you’ve dyed it and even put the straws in all at one go, then what? When it comes to hair, take baby steps. If you are going to cut it, cut it first then give yourself some time to see how it looks like. Let yourself get used to your new image. You never know, in between the experiments, you might get a creativity strike and come up with a better idea. Besides, your head isn’t going anywhere. Unless of course, it found another pretty head and they run away to get married. Heads these days, am I right?

 

in conclusion, next time you drop in for your weekly shave, or monthly (no judgement) remember what you read on the internet.

Regardless, I am a liberal. Tell me what you think. Is there a crucial tip that I did not share? How do you handle your visits to the barber? Go crazy in the comments section.

OK. Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

why I want Lupita’s closet…

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She might just be the fastest born star we’ve ever known. I mean come on, how many people graduate from Yale only to win an Oscar for a role on a movie co- starred by Brad Pitt. More people know her than the name of the movie she was awarded for. Even fewer people have watched it. And an even a smaller percentage have enjoyed it. But that is none of my business. By now you can probably tell I’d go on and on (about Lupita; not the movie). However, aside from her fast escalation to fame, Lupita’s is well known for her amazing sense of fashion. Now, you might be wondering why of all people I chose to do her first… For starters, she’s Kenyan (technically) and I am Kenyan as well( so is Obama, just putting it out there). And if we’ve learnt anything about Kenyans following Obama’s election as president, we love associating ourselves with the spotlight. You could say we are a bit like moths; just glow and we’ll follow. We’ll even claim you as a fellow kinsman, tribe mate, village mate, whatever…  ( brother Obama , sister Lupita), don’t underestimate our creative power. We’ll tie down your success to the pencil we helped you with way back in kindergarten and rightly so. I reckon.
           
            Anyway, I just felt that I should point out the numerous similarities between Lupita and I (Lupita and me?). Now, after this blog post I fear the paparazzi might stop me on my way to Kariokor to snap a photo of me as they might mistake me for her because of all our damning similarities. Heck! A deranged fan may demand an autograph from me as I sit in a matatu minding my own. But I won’t mind. I’ll just sign something indecipherable in my to die for penmanship.

      I joke. Of course.
                                                                        As I mentioned in my previous post, I cut my hair. Make no mistake, I had that whole Rapunzel thing going on with hair so long it took a whole village to plait it. And it was good hair too. We had a relationship so solid, couples came to us for advice. Nevertheless, i cut it. Now, as many of you know, Lupita rocks what we call the ‘box’ cut.

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The reason why this works so well for her is because of her long face and well defined jaw bones not to mention the high cheek bones. Now, this type of cut is considered quite masculine however, numerous people we know (read celebrities), have rocked this style that is quickly being claimed by women as their own. So, next time you pass by the barber shop and you feel that little voice urging you on to try it. Listen to it. Especially if you have the features described above. Dare yourself. Rock the ‘box’ cut. Of course short hair also gives the illusion of a longer and slimmer neck. Further, short hair accentuates the face’s greatest features such as cheek bones, jaw bones, shape of eyes, eye colour etc. There is a whole world on how to style short hair from the rugged afro, perm, curly kit, straws, to colour, cuts, dreadlocks and many more. So go crazy.
          
          Now aside from furry affairs, let’s get down to why am gaga over Lupita’s closet.
    
          My respect for Lupita’s fashion sense came when she was sported (was it in New York?) carrying one of these…

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A kiondo.

           Of course they call it differently but I know a kiondo when I see one. Now, you are most definitely aware that at this moment Africa is trending. From fabric patterns, lessos, ornaments and most recently kiondos.

     A kiondo serves the same purpose as a handbag only its more stylish and has that touch of gold that even Midas couldn’t reach. It is most definitely more feminine looking and feeling. It also comes in a wide array of colour. So yeah, you can have one for each day of the week. Or even year. No one can stop you. Except the bank. Again, none of my business.

       I know you might be thinking, “so what if Lupita has a kiondo? That doesn’t mean I should necessarily go out and get one for myself.” And I guess I understand your reasoning. I mean, she also has an Oscar award, doesn’t mean you should go out and get one for yourself. But what if I told you that Michelle Obama also has a kiondo stored away in one of her numerous closets in white house?

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What she is carrying my good friends is called a kiondo.

      Case closed.

    Maybe you thought I was going to delve into the gorgeous blue dress that lupita wore as she received her Oscar award. Or maybe the beautiful orange dress she donned at the Global Awards. True, they were all lovely. But true style is seen in small things such as a kiondo.
 
       Yap.

       But I am a liberal. Talk to me. Let me know what you think in the comment section. Which celebrity has a good sense of fashion, what hair style are you currently keeping up with – or trying to. Whichever, I won’t tell.
  
      OK. Thanks.

   

          
          

      

let’s define it first…

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When I was younger, nothing was more unbearable than going clothes shopping. See, I was a fat kid even daddy called me Piggy, and nothing ever seemed to fit me and my belly. Yeah, we were two separate entities back then. My other sisters loved shopping but then, they were so skinny everything fitted them perfectly. But no, this is not one of those posts where  I am going to talk about years of scarring and whatnot… God knows we have read too much of those anyway.

ARKADEEZ has been a dream of mine since I was seventeen. I wish I could say since I was a little child, but you and I, both (you and me?) know that would be a lie. Oh! by the way am only eighteen. (why do we say that… only eighteen?) Anyway, I have given it a lot of thought and I have finally come up with the perfect definition of fashion. Brace yourself, it has nothing to do with ill fitting clothes and nay, it has nothing to do with sagging jeans either. However, in order to capture your attention, I shall reveal the definition at the end… Hey! maybe I should employ such petty trickery in all of my posts…. mwahaha! (evil laugh).

Random fact- men’s shirts have buttons on the right, while women’s shirts have buttons on the left… So, you’ve probably rolled your eyes because you are thinking, ”who on earth does not know that?”. My random fact is not so random? But that was just a decoy. Now to the real random fact;

“hey! Kevo”

“yeah… Shiks?”

“Did you know that when you meet someone, the first thing you notice subconsciously is their shoes?”

“What! That is a totally random fact. I did not know that.”

Now, away from this totally irrelevant fact that has nothing to do with this post and this poor example of a dialogue, let us flash back.

There was a fashion craze that I was totally in love with back in the day… and yes, I am allowed to use that phrase too. Hipsters. Our wazungu cousins call it the bell bottoms. Ah… you gotta love these people. They add sophistication to everything. I can just imagine an Englishman with those one eyed spectacles buying those hipsters for his darling.

“Do you have those BALE BO-OMS in a size two?” LOL

Now, back to the post at hand, what really did make the hipsters a real hit? I reckon it was the illusion of shape that they gave the wearer. To the ladies, the hipsters made the hips look rounder and the knees look slimmer. Thus the illusion of fuller hips. Also, there was something indefinably cute at seeing shoes peeping out through the bottom of those broad bottoms. But that is beside the point of this post. More interesting to notice, was the confidence those hipsters gave the wearer. It did not matter what the hipsters were paired with, it made the wearer feel like the world was on their shoulders. Heck! Whenever I wore my hipsters, I felt like I could walk up to the mayor and ask for the keys to the city. Never mind we don’t have those in Kenya- not cities, mayors.

Well, of course, I exaggerate.

Now, to my point. Fashion is not just about clothes. I mean, sure, clothes is an integral part of it but it is not all of it. I recently cut my hair and when anyone asks me why, I say its the new fashion. It’s the new trend. Its the new craze. Now, right there, that’s the difference between trends and fashion. Trends come and go. But fashion? That stays forever. Its timeless.

Now to my definition. Fashion is simply class. Shocked? I bet you are. It’s that simple. Class. In the sense of hair, shoes, make up… everything. It does not matter if I am dressed in an Elizabethan robe, if I got style then that’s fashion. Now, maybe I should do another post and define style. But I just wanted to put my point across that fashion is not just about trends. As in, yeah, trends play a role but fashion is not just trends. Fashion is trendy though and if you think about it long enough, you’ll realize that there is a difference. A big one.

Nevertheless, I am a liberal. Talk to me . Let me know what was your favorite fashion craze. Share your own definition of fashion in the comment section… duh. Where else would you do it?

OK. Thanks.