Any woman can attest to the fact that the saloon, no matter the location or size, is among our necessities. We value them as they transform us from the being native-like Africans our ancestors resembled to some sophisticated high ended fashion-like woman. We emerge from the saloon feeling like Rihanna can’t match our undisputed beauty. Now the people in the saloons are quite an interesting bunch.
Immediately a customer leaves the saloon, they will give a comprehensive detail of her anatomy, her background, her life, her everything. They will state how her hair was full of dandruff, how her hair never really grows past 3 centimeters, how she got an E in KCSE, how her husband has macho ya nje, how she actually saves for three months to get her hair done. They will tell you how her neighbor is actually in illuminati and that Uhuru is actually married to Margaret. These women are funny. You get nervous about what they will say when you leave. “Ah! Huyu ni maringo tu… hana hata bwana. Heri mimi hata kama Baba Dan hana kazi but niko na bwana!”
If you are in a saloon in Westlands , there will be no bargain. You go to retouch your hair in some exquisite salon, they will tell you it was 2000 and someone just pays without battle of words. She thanks the “saloonist” and goes to her car and drives away to a meeting. Do not be fooled. Other saloons are not like this and those who visit are not like this either. In some middle class and low class salon, someone goes mentally prepared for war. Upon reaching, she will ask the lady how much it will cost to braid her hair. The lady’s answer will be so confusing.
“kama ni kubwa, ni 350, kama ni medium ni 450 na kama ni zile ndogo ndogo poa poa ni 600 customer.”
The puzzled customer will exclaim,
“Aiii!!! Kwani ilipanda siku gani surely?Mi niko na 500 woiye.”
The now equally shocked “saloonist” will inform you that ksh.500 will not work because they have rent to pay and that the hair style you are asking for is too tedious. The two will debate for around 10 minutes and the customer says that she is leaving and will be back. This is a trap. This is meant to threaten the “saloonist”. This is quite clear. Both of them understand what “leaving and returning” means. The “saloonist” will tell her, “basi ongeza tu 50 bob.” The customer grumpily sits. The agreement is reached and the poor attendant gets down to business.