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On Fire: How The Stylish Afro Blew Up In My Face…

27/03/2011
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“All things, oh priests, are on fire . . . The eye is on fire; forms are on fire; eye-consciousness is on fire; impressions received by the eye are on fire.” Buddha

On Fire: The Stylish Afro rocks.... Ms. Hill

Back in the days when sporting a huge Afro was not just a fashion statement but a sign of political defiance, I nursed a funky/kinky head of hair into an impressive fuzzy Afro; the size of a basketball. My Afro was nice and round with no pointy edges, and took a lot of work to both style and maintain it. I wore it with pride and made sure to never be caught outside in the rain… Let’s just say it was a high maintenance do, okay?

So, it was with delight that today’s Daily Post prompt about anything we experienced being “On Fire” brought back a hilarious memory (now it’s funny, but it wasn’t at the time) of the day my stylish Afro blew up in my face… literally. 🙂

“Remember in elementary school you were told that in case of fire you have to line up quietly in a single file from smallest to tallest? What is the logic in that? What, do tall people burn slower?” Warren Hutcherson

On Fire: Afro bushfire... not quite

Some of the tools I used, and those of you who ever sported one will remember, included an Afro pick comb, special hair grease, an electric Afro comb, and an ultra sheen super-hold spray to hold the finished sculptural masterpiece together. To get the hair rocking, I would make sure to braid it the night before and then comb it out and start the hair styling/designing ritual early in the day.

The whole point of my long ritual was to ensure the hairstyle stood the test of a busy day; often fraught with endless ways to turn a ‘fro into a mohawk or some other style…  All went well until that fateful day when I decided to try out a new hairspray that claimed to be the mother of all sprays… Yeah, that should have been a warning it probably had something in it that would give a gas line explosion some competition. But dying for fashion isn’t such an exaggeration after all… Is it?  Ask those who almost paid the price. 🙁

“The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.” George Carlin

On Fire: Afro on the wild side... cute but fortunately not on fire

That morning, I started my ritual as usual, and when the hair was ready and sculpted, I reached for the can of spray-me-stiff-forever hairspray and let loose a cloud of toxic fumes. I forgot to mention that I was in a bathroom with limited air… as in small windows. The rest, they say, is flaming history… I had left my electric Afro comb plugged in and in that moment when the toxic fumes hit my hair and face, a spark flashed off the comb and like a magic comet, what is commonly known as a freak accident occurred. The spark flashed right to my hair and, next thing, I had a ball of glowing orange fire on my head.

For a moment, I looked like I had a divine halo on my head… It was almost a spiritual experience, until the heat brought me back to earth. I grabbed a towel and put an end to both the fire and my singed Afro. The half parted, fried-hair-channeling-ridiculous-grunge-look was not in fashion at the time so, I had to settle for a cropped do. Needless to say, the Afro and I parted ways… on good terms, of course. Phew! What’s your hair story? Or perhaps what’s your On Fire story would be more appropriate? Do tell! 🙂

Positive Motivation Tip: Stay passionate, on fire, for your dreams and if they go up in flames, start again… find a new way.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Photo of Lauren Hill‘s Afro via Wikipedia Photo of  Bonfire and Woman with Curly Afro both via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

19 Comments leave one →
  1. 28/03/2011 5:25 am

    maybe, Eliz, an important fragment of the magnetism of erotic attraction is to have a AFRO big as basketball hairstyle …

    • 28/03/2011 5:41 am

      Could be… lol! It takes a lot of effort to create it and maintain it. Of course, if one wears a wig, it cuts the process substantially but it was an attention-getting hairstyle for sure. I thought of Angela too but didn’t have enough time to add that info. Will go back and add a picture of Angela sporting her trademark ‘Fro. 🙂 Thanks, Eliz

  2. 28/03/2011 5:54 am

    still on carnival they are using Angela David wigs here in Germany!
    I believe, she has changed her hairstyle too in the meantime, after 40 years 🙂
    (like me)

    • 29/03/2011 5:06 am

      The hairstyle lingers in a new reincarnated form… Not quite large but not out. I am amused that Afro wigs are worn in Germany during carnival… Oh boy! Should I laugh or cry? 🙂 🙂
      Eliz

  3. 28/03/2011 8:01 am

    teeheee, i am sure it wasn’t funny at the time, but the retelling was great!

  4. 28/03/2011 5:06 am

    Angela Davis was the first to be noticed with that hairstyle in Germany, we’ve been impressed by her very much …
    greetings by Hairstyle History …

    • 29/03/2011 5:03 am

      She’s still around and writing/teaching/speaking about political matters that have held her interests since the 1960s. I heard her speak at a local college about 8 years ago and she was looking fantastic with an Afro that was attractive but not as large 🙂
      Thanks for your feedback frizztext!
      Elizabeth
      Hi, all!
      I will catch up with all my comments this week… I am just swamped with offline demands. I always appreciate comments and have left you same on your blogs. Bear with me please, I will respond! TY for your patience. 🙂
      Elizabeth

  5. 28/03/2011 8:17 am

    I love it and was just discussing Afros yesterday with some band members who used to sport them. Regardless of the outcome nothing can take away from those spectacular moments when it all worked !
    Chris

  6. 28/03/2011 11:15 am

    OMG! HA,HA,HA! I know it’s not funny but the way you describe it!
    It’s hysterical! For a split moment I felt I was sharing the experience and occupying the same tiny space with you. I can remember those days too! However, my sisters and I were not so successful. Our style back then
    to best describe it, looked more like a sorry jerry curl. LOL.
    Wow! You took me way back. Thnx, sista friend! tee-hee…:)
    Too funny!

  7. 28/03/2011 12:02 pm

    Wow! That’s scary . . . and smelly. The odor of burning hair is decidedly unpleasant.

    Glad you just needed a new hairstyle and not skin grafts.

  8. 28/03/2011 1:06 pm

    HOLY SMOKES! (I know–I am super funny.)

    glad you got out of that alive…

    my roommate in college went out on the deck one night to fire up the hibachi in an October storm…she came back in with her bangs and eyebrows gone and her eyelashes singed…she had doused the briquettes with the lighter fluid, and then lit the mess just as the wind was coming back around and whoosh…all that hair, gone.

    stinky…and sad…and very, very funny.

    blessings
    jane

  9. 28/03/2011 1:43 pm

    That is a hoot! Ahh the price of fashion. I had no idea you had to braid your hair each night to get the afro. I thought you could just use a pick and pull it back together. That’s what I know…:/
    I was a slave to the electric rollers in the old Farrah days. Once I got it down to a system it didn’t take all that long. I’m decidedly lazy about my hair… if it takes more than 10 minutes I need a new do.
    I’m in need of a hair cut at the moment, and had a party to attend Sat. night, so I decided to play around with my hair and try to curl it. I used my electric curling brush and velcro rollers in different stages of the process. (my hair is poker straight by nature) It took me almost an hour, and I thought it just looked like ‘big’ hair but everyone said, “You should wear your hair like that all the time! It looks great.”
    No thank you! I don’t have that kind of time!
    Fun post! Thanks

  10. Bree permalink
    28/03/2011 1:56 pm

    This is truly funny! I loved the halo effect with a spiritual experience angle to it.
    I love the easy humor of the post and the photos rock; now you’re being mirthful!
    Sprng is here!
    B

  11. 28/03/2011 6:40 pm

    This blog is great, love the humor mixed in some reality. This was hiliarious!!! 🙂
    What one will do to support a fashion statement ! as I did a blog on “Pull up those Pants” – !! Styles and fads are a part of our fantasic world !!

    Love the afro, as I love the wild, bushy, wind-blown look myself. !!!

  12. 28/03/2011 7:29 pm

    Loved this post!

  13. 28/03/2011 11:52 pm

    Geez! YOU and Michael Jackson! Remember when his ‘fro caught fire during the filming of a soda pop commercial? It’s ironic that an afro takes so much high maintenance! I thought “natural” equated “easy.” HA!

  14. richard permalink
    29/03/2011 11:46 am

    photos?

  15. 05/03/2014 1:04 pm

    Oh dear yes, I’m always very aware of what I have on my hair when I’m near the cooker!

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