Behind every hair, is a story, a personal untold story of self-expression, culture, identity, resilience, pride, heritage, or in some instances, a historical significance. Hair is a very personal thing to each one of us and even though it’s just hair, there’s so much more than meets the eye. We all have a hidden story behind our signature looks, that makes us rock that look every day.I recently came across a beautiful hair project created by a photographer called Kevin Tosh.
Kevin has been capturing and collecting stories not only on women but men too, to find out the stories behind their hair style, type, cut, or texture. Kevin was brought up in a strict family where ladies only wore turbans 24/7. Upon venturing into the world, he was fascinated by the different hairstyles he came across. On a quest to uncover what these personal stories might be, under the hashtag #myhairmystory he captured this in a series which he allowed up to share. He is on a mission to tell more stories, as he embarks on his second edition of #myhairmystory.
His aim is to one day have 200 narratives and hopefully have an exhibition.The following are personal powerful narratives from a select few from the first edition of My Hair, My Story.
Wanjiku Mungai, ” I am not my hair. I am my hair. It’s just hair. It’s not just hair. Sometimes it feels like it is everything and yet nothing and yet just some things all at the same time…..”
Sophia Nasimiyu, “Others say their hair is part of their accessories, what is about yours, how does it define who you are everyday?……”
Samantha Wambui, ” My hair is like a good friend. Sometimes i am absolutely in love but sometimes I am like, “I damn you to hell, you tangled mess!” but every attachment has its ups and downs i guess……”
Natalie Tewa, ” I knew I had kinky hair since I was young. My Mum permed my hair when I was 8 because it was “difficult tohandle.” Today I’m natural and loving it because it represents my culture, love self care and being who I was born to be…..”
Mungora Elias, ” I can’t say this is what i imagined would happen when I let my hair grow out. It started out as an afro which I refused to comb. It found its way into strange locks with some pointing to the heavens. This attracted attention and comments.The weekend being one of them. Ras is the more popular term and the one I still hate the most.It’s longer now and finally pointing. This has eased up my life quite a bit as the stares and attention have reduced. If you call me ras now I just smile and wave. I’ve made peace with it. Ras….”
Bree Wangari, “.I did my first big chop in my first year of uni. I have cut my hair several times after that so let’s just say I’m a scissor happy naturalista. Currently deciding on whether to lock, dye or chop it again….”
Wangari Mungai, “….As a child, I had my hair compared to ‘steel wool’ more times than I can remember and often had to pay extra for a blow dry. Many years later, this steel wool hair turned out to be the perfect recipe for a wonderful set of semi free-form locks. I mostly do my own hair now, and couldn’t be happier with how easy and carefree this process has become!….”
Thato Supang, “When i started it was more of like a statement, to prove that I wasn’t trying to be anything I’m not, and wanted to potray who i was but as time went by, i realized I don’t have to prove myself to anyone for anything, that its just hair andi am not my hair, and I needn’t be so its really what i feel comfortable in, and what i chose to be in just cause i like it..”
Peter, “At first they’ll ask you WHY you are doing it, but later they’ll ask HOW you did it. I love my locs they represent strength & Tolerance in me….”
Laureen Opemo, “..It’s been two years since my big chop,, I change my regimen from time to time, currently in love with marini and au Naturale lines. I am 4c type hair, loving my kinks and embracing the good and bad days as I go….”
(all photos courtesy of Kevin)
More on Kevin’s project on his instagram handle- @kevin_tosh