Yes… The main topic of discussion – Black / Afro / Nappy / Natural Hair… Some things you want to know about my Nappy hair and black women natural hair struggles, let’s start with – Afro / Black / Nappy Hair is basically different from any other hair type…
I didn’t like my hair as a child… I remember growing up in Ikoyi Lagos Nigeria and my sisters always said I had the worst kind of hair, they said it was always colored, it was thin and scanty, it does not grow, after applying relaxer I looked like a wet chicken etc. but my hair was just different, not bad but different. It was softer than theirs, less full apparently but easier to manage. Mom had no time to prep our hair so she sends us off every Saturday to go make our hair, different season for different kind of hair also coupled with the fact that while in high school there was always a hairstyle for the week.
The Fun Part was the kind of names for the hairstyles, it still stuns me till date, like Patewo (clapping hands), Chuku (Hair goes up in a bun),
Police cap the hairs comes forward and falls to the right side as shown in image.
Image source: thesizzlingmommy
Mom had days for making Didi, Koroba, Calabar, but the most painful of them all was the woman in Maroko, Victoria Island who makes this threaded Hair also known as Irun Kikó
According to mom this makes the hair grow longer and faster (but she was right) basically this will be same thing as our today protective hairstyles made with yarn, faux locs or kanekalon but a lot tighter.
When you finish making this hairstyles your forehead must be shinning plus occasionally you end up with blisters around your edges… and if you have seen my face you will notice I have a well noticeable forehead *wink #ForeheadGang … I didn’t like the way it looked with those styles so I ended up cutting my hair many times just to avoid going to the salon every Saturday. In 2014 I decided to go all natural with my hair, braced up, did the big chop again and now rocking my nappy hair but this comes with its own kind of skirmish.
First major struggle is the Tangling, Nappy hair gets really tangled if not managed properly, also knowing what kind of products works for your hair can be a big deal as the market is saturated with a million choices, for example a few nappy hair reacts negatively with cetyl alcohol or cetearyl alcohol as an emollient in hair products while some others love this ingredient because it softens the hair, so you always have to watch your hair carefully, use one product at a time for at least 3 months to know how it works.
Another big struggle is shrinking, nappy hair is thirsty hair no matter what porosity it has, the hair dries out very quickly and requires a lot of water and moisture, the challenge with feeding nappy hair all of this is that it shrinks as it takes it in, so your shoulder length 4b /4c hair would be 2 inches long or high after it is washed… Well some of my friends call this magic so perhaps that is a pro about our hair, and this was why my Mom always wanted threaded hair for us because it helps to retain the length of the hair and locks in all the moisture.
Looking untamed is a more likely a struggle for anyone like me who sometimes just wants to let our hair out, after a while of protective styling and weaves, It makes me feel some type of way when my hair just won’t be loyal and even though there are a thousand styles you can make, it always just feels like you can’t do anything with the hair, you see someone with a wash ‘n’ go and it looks nice, you try it and you hair is looking crazy all day long, frizzy and dried out, you watch YouTube trying to make straw curls or half bun with laid edges, you try it and your edges just won’t be dedicated to the goal… hahaha … Let me see some hands up in the comment box if you have been in this situation.
So yes to all my non-black, non-nappy friends – Black hair is a big deal and black women pay a lot of money and spend so much time to maintain their hair. “We do not want you to touch our hair” this is a struggle most people do not understand. First and foremost thank you for asking for permission but for many reasons, and if you are reading this you can already tell that getting Nappy hair to corporate all day long is tough so why should we let anyone mess our hairdo? Secondly germs are real and we don’t need introduction of external elements to our freshly washed hair, so please admire our hair from afar, compliment us face to face so you can have a better view but please don’t touch, the reaction from this also varies between people, I have heard some friends equate this to being pet like a dog or stroked like a cat which is downright insulting or awkward especially in public. If a black girl lets you touch her hair, mostly it is just out of courtesy because you asked with a smile or she doesn’t want to embarrass you with a big “NO.”
I can write about black hair all day and still won’t be able to get you to fully understand it, so I will list a few things I feel you will like to know, perhaps about maintaining your Nappy hair or you are just curious about the black / natural hair experience.
- Black hair is manageable with the right products and methods
- Black hair can grow
- Black women change their hair very often because we can and we love it
- Black Hair is not automatically dirty hair
- Black hairs’ number one enemy is the Hot Comb
- Black hair doesn’t need to be washed every day because it looses oil
- Black Hair is beautiful even as it defies gravity
There you go, now you have an awareness of the awesomeness of Black Hair.
If you know any Natural hair saloon anywhere in the world please recommend, I will be glad to update this post with the information after checking the location on google (I don’t want to recommend a ghost place).
Here are a few recommendations:
Yellow Sisi Natural Hair – Lekki Phase 1 Lagos
O’Natural – Ojota Lagos
Sisi Jacobs – Kaduna
Game of Fros – Lagos & Calabar
KL’s Natural Beauty Bar – Dolphin Estate Lagos
Please share your thoughts or experience on your natural hair journey.
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