Marcelle Allen’s Check Me, Natural Hair ‘clinic’

Marcelle Allen’s permanent smile lights up the small, even somewhat cramped stall, the first as you enter the door of the Big Apple  on Robb Street, immediately west of the editorial offices of the Stabroek News. Not even the bewildering array of hair treatments and oils cramming the shelves and glass cases can crowd out her personality. When we told her what our mission was she grinned at us self-consciously from behind her counter. 

Not too many years ago barely teenaged schoolgirls were ‘up in arms’ against plaits and pigtails, ‘treated’ hair having come to be seen as an opportunity not just to mimic   their trendy seniors but to throw open the door to ‘turning heads’ amongst the boys and perhaps even appearing sufficiently grown up to gain admission to Night Clubs where they could ‘really party.’

Over time the practice has grown. These days, fashion conscious females are ‘shelling out’ hefty sums on high-priced hair, one of the largest sub-sectors in the beauty sector. There are those and there are myriad chemicals which, after sustained use, have saddled women with severe ‘hair issues’ which then require more significant, more costly remedial investments…..