Growing/maintaining/having a natural hair is one of the trends that is worthy to be emulated. It has made women see the beauty they were born with and how amazing their kinks are. It made them become aware of the fact that beauty goes beyond luscious straight strands that we have grown up to see as the quintessence of beauty.
Nigerian hairdressers need to stop guilt tripping ladies with natural hair.
"If it was relaxed now, I for don finish am"
"You go extra money o"
— Dëë (@brownelixir) August 11, 2018
However, having a natural hair isn’t all that fun. Especially in Nigeria. You get to experience some of the following if you are a sister with a natural hair.
– HAIRDRESSERS ALWAYS DISCRIMINATE YOUR HAIR! : When I was younger with a full head of kinky mane, the Onidiri (hair braider) used to hide any time she was told I’d be coming over to make my hair. She made my mother relax my hair when she won’t stop complaining. It is funny this type of discrimination still persists till date when staying natural is no longer unusual to us, you cannot go to a hair braider stall and get treated like every other customer. The moment they sight your ‘bush’ their jovial attitude become harsh and rebuking. Your hear things like;
‘Aunty and if you add small relaxer e go help your hair soft o’
Some will frown and start complaining that your hair is natural and they can’t deal even if it is as soft as cotton wool. Some will ask you to sit down and let people who came after you make their hair.
‘Aunty you know your own hair go take time now.’ They will tell you with a nonchalant look on their face.
– YOU GET HAIR-TACKED: Those hair braiders will make your hair the object to channel all their inner frustrations. They will attack it with their comb, part it mercilessly with the picking comb. Continuously jerk your neck while they mutter furiously about how it is too much work.
– IMPROPER HANDLING: It is in Nigeria a salonist who claims to be versatile with hair will prefer to use a tiny-toothed comb for your hair. She will get offended when you tell her to comb your hair gently and when you explain why she should comb your hair while it’s wet instead of drying it first she will look at you like this.
– YOU ARE A MEMBER OF A RELIGIOUS SECT: Have people ever seen you with your head of hair and they ask whether you are a member of the SCRIPTURE UNION? Some Nigerians just don’t want to understand religion doesn’t influence the decision to stay/go natural. My mother actually believed I have joined a sect the first time I told her I was done with relaxing my hair. Why is this so?
– YOU GET HAIR SHAMED:
‘Ha, see as your hair rough. When did you plait it?’
‘Why is your hair like that? It resemble mad people own. Find something to do to it nah.’
‘Your hair looks so untidy.’
‘You don’t have to be spraying water in your hair like that. It will cut.’
‘You are also doing natural hair? Don’t worry that thing go soon fade. You go relax last last.’
– YOU GET ASKED ANNOYING QUESTIONS WHEN YOU ARE TREATING YOUR HAIR: Total strangers at the salon will wonder loudly why you are putting banana in your hair instead of eating it. Some will tap you and rudely ask why you decide not to eat pear with bread but instead you mix it up and coat your hair with it. They just won’t let you rest. If you are seen detangling your hair people will laugh at your foolishness, they just can’t understand why you can’t drag a comb through your hair and comb out every knots and coilys.
– CLUELESS HAIRSTYLISTS: You need enough willpower to hold yourself when your stylist doesn’t know what to do with your hair. This could be coming after you have had it pampered and you wish to style it. They will wrap it into a bun because you wrapped it into a bun when you came in. No, they are not playing tricks on you, they just don’t know how to handle natural hair.
– STRANGERS ALWAYS WANT TO TOUCH UOUR HAIR: #InSolange’svoice# don’t touch my hair. YES IT IS REAL. NO IT IS NOT A WIG. NO YOU CAN’T TOUCH IT PLEASE BECAUSE YOU WILL TUG AND PULL IT.
– YOU KEEP GETTING TOLD TO RELAX: If you enter a cab. You get told to relax by a concerned mother with a baby perched on her knees. You will look at her and shake head because her daughter’s scalp is swollen from tight plaits. Men who worship silky strands will get confused when you turn up in your nappy glory and they will tell you to relax. Friends with bald edges will advise you to relax because your hair shrinks into itself easily. You will wonder why they are asking you to relax, are you complaining your glorious kinky-curly-coily-nappy-happy hair is putting pressure on your neck?
And there you have it people. The problems some of us encounter. Maybe it would have been minimal if natural hair salons can be found in every street like our regular hair salons.
So my fellow naturalovely sisters, any similar experience in your natural hair journey? Dear relaxed sisters what are your impressions on natural hair? Gentlemen which hair movement do you belong to?