My birds and bees talk came in the form of hair salon gossip. My mother, Christian woman that she is, never spoke to me about sex. Her advice on the subject consisted of this one instruction, “Don’t sleep with boys, you’ll fall pregnant, and I’ll kick you out of my house.” So sex was pretty much a no go topic at home, but the curiosity that comes with growing up would not let me go through life ignoring this big part of it. I was starting to see boys as more than just people, and pretty soon, if the talks doing the rounds were anything to go by, I’d start having sex with the person I called my boyfriend.
Going to the salon, as much as I hated getting my hair relaxed, was to be my saving grace. This place proved to be a place of learning as much as it was about making me look good. I hated the effects of the relaxer on my hair and how the hairdresser never missed a chance to burn me with the hairdryer, but the stories of these women, the sisterhood forged through the misty air of hair dryers and the smell of hair food is what made the experience worthwhile.