Rose Hibbert and Christos Cox creates magic with Donna Kakonge’s hair
The Master Weaver
With her 1992 red and black Volkswagen Jetta, Hibbert drove me up to Hair & Wigs on the Danforth in Toronto to get the 150 per cent real human cuticle hair for the makeover. Her sister Ingrid Hart, who is an actor and had a long-running role on “Train 48,” was seated in the back.
Once we got back to Urban Textures Salon, one of their locations in downtown Toronto, I asked Hibbert why it’s important for people to change their hair sometimes for those people who have always been wearing the natural look, like I have for 13 years.
“I always say, there’s nothing wrong with conforming if it benefits you,” she says. “When people think carefully about that, use kids as an example. Kids will always be defiant. When you ask them to do the right thing and do this and do that, you’re asking them to conform into something positive or into something that can help them in the long run. Same thing with hair – there’s nothing wrong with getting extensions, especially if you know it’s going to benefit you – whether or not it’s short or long. It’s going to emphasize your beauty, or exaggerate your beauty.”
She tells a story about another sister of hers who started off working in the corporate company she presently works in with straightened hair. Now she wears locks and she’s a supervisor.
“She’s earned those locks,” says Hibbert.
I came on a day to get my hair done where I had few other plans. Hibbert advises this because sometimes it can take time. The actually weaving of my hair only took her an hour and a half, but in the traveling time to get the extensions and do the moisturizing treatment I did before the process, this took up a number of hours.
“Look at this,” said Hibbert pointing to my hair. “You feel the softness in your hair and how strong it looks already. Continue your treatments and you’ll be set.”
Hibbert can do all kinds of hair, but prefers doing the weave. She works freelance and has more challenges than just dealing with an invisible part to overcome.
Hibbert has a kidney problem in which she is currently undergoing dialysis. You’d never know it from her quick smile and easy laugh.
She has a cat and started weaving in her early years. Her entire family became her hair models to test out her skills. She’s a specialist because she spends her spare time weaving. Although she does extensions, she also believes the importance of cutting hair.
“You have a house plant that’s growing, and you have about five dead leaves on it – you’re not just going to cut off half the leaves, half of each dead leaf,” she says. “You have to cut off all the leaves, cut it all off – it doesn’t matter if you have a little bit left. All you’re doing is giving it more room to grow. Ever hear the saying one bad apple spoils the whole bunch. It’s the same thing with your hair. No matter how you try to hold onto it, it’s going to continue breaking and it’s not going to grow. Cut it all off and you’re going to notice how healthy your hair is.”
My hair is doing great and now I have an easy to maintain look that makes me feel different in a good way. I have so many people telling me how natural my weave looks, and it’s thanks to Hibbert. She is a master weaver.
Sometimes I miss the exposure of my natural hair, but I know it’s underneath, growing – which is what I want it to do.
I can keep the cuticle hair for six to seven years and that will give a lot of time for my hair to grow. The style will last for three months because Hibbert is a “perfectionist.”
If you’re interested in Rose Hibbert doing your hair, contact her at Urban Textures Salon: 416-977-HAIR.
If you liked this story, you would also enjoy the following books by Donna Kakonge that you can purchase on Lulu.com:
What Happened to the Afro? (also available as a French translation)
Being Healthy: Selected Works from the Internet
The Politics of Black Hair Online Coursebook
Natural and Colourful Beauty in Education
Young Black Women in Toronto High Schools: Portraits of Family, School and Community Involvement in Developing Goals and Aspirations