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Hair raising style for Jamaican Independence

Ann Marie Tomlinson has loved doing her hair in wild, crazy styles ever since she was a 15-year-old girl growing up in Kingston, Jamaica.

“I used to have a new hair style every week, but now, times are hard and I just do every holiday, like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, the Queen’s Birthday, Valentine’s Day and Christmas,” said the 45-year-old Cayman bus driver.

Her latest hair do is in celebration of Jamaican Independence Day, on the 6 August, and is made of the Jamaican national dish, ackee and salt-fish. There is real ackee fruit, ackee leaves, and real salt-fish too, wrapped up in clear plastic food-wrap. Out of the top of the meticulously worked-on braids, a Jamaican flag flutters proudly in the breeze.

Ms. Tomlinson couldn’t have done it without the help of her hairdressers. The latest creation cost her around $90 and was completed in two-and-a-half hours by Sara Barnes and Keisha Coghile of Tatiana’s Hair Salon in George Town.

Some of her creations have been more hair sculpture than hairdo, and she has given names to them, as you do to pieces of fine art.

There were three in the ‘Bridge’ series, including ‘Flat Bridge’, ‘London Bridge’, and ‘Over-the-bridge’. There were also two commemorating Ms. Tomlinson’s house after Hurricane Ivan hit it in 2004, one called ‘Mash Up Ivan House’, marking the devastation, and another one called ‘New Ivan House’, celebrating Ms. Tomlinson’s rebuilt house.

“No two hair styles are the same,” she said. “I might have another Christmas tree in my Christmas hairdo, but I design it differently.”

Over the years, Ms. Tomlinson’s outrageous hairdos have turned lots of heads.

“People ask me how I am going to get to sleep tonight or they say, ‘That is the first hairstyle I’ve ever seen like this.'” she said. “Whenever I’m driving, everyone keeps looking at my hairstyle and blowing their horns.” she added.

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