Africa Nigeria Nigerian youths Simply Unbelievable

On Natural Hair in Nigeria…Again

I thought it’d be a good idea to write weekly posts in which I expose all the hair-related comments I’ve received during the week. It’d be a good way to vent as I am beginning to get really touchy when people even glance at my hair these days. I really need a positive place. Furthermore it is really rare that I meet someone who actually wants to know more about natural hair, they just seem intent on letting their unwanted opinions known. So below are some of the ‘lovely’ comments I’ve received this week.

‘What have you done to your hair!’ (All I did was pull my hair back in an afro puff…>.>)

‘Do you comb/brush your hair?’

‘Do you shampoo your hair?’ (To which I replied that I didn’t because I was waiting for someone to teach me how to wash my hair. I was being sarcastic in case you couldn’t tell.)

‘Oh I see you’re still with your afro…’

‘Why don’t you braid your hair you look prettier in braids…in fact just relax your hair already!’

‘So when are you going to do your hair?’ (I get that almost every single day!)

Some of the comments above may be blamed on ignorance (there goes the stereotype that Africans know how to take care of natural hair). However I find it extremely sad (and pitiful) that Nigerians who have lived in Nigeria all their lives know next to nothing about natural African hair. It is really mind-boggling to me, I mean I know that history played in role in how black Africans view themselves today but I still find it so shocking and ultimately disappointing when I get comments such as the ones above. I really wish things would change for the better, or at the very least I wish people would just S.T.F.U and keep their stupid comments to themselves. Really no one should talk to me about natural hair unless they are actually interested in going natural and want to know how to take care of their hair.

I ignore random comments but all the comments above were said to me by friends and family members making them difficult to ignore.

21 Comments

  1. If this is some reassurance, you are probably in the worst country in Africa for natural hair acceptance.

    We know the norm in Nigeria is to relax hair. It is completely unacceptable to have normal hair.

    However when magazines like Essence actually start featuring natural hair on a large scale, you will see that Nigerian views will change.

    You are just ahead of your time Eccentric. I have been natural for about 7-8 years, trust me in time negative comments will pass from one ear and out of the other in a heartbeat.

    Seriously do you shampoo? I would have asked this person….when did you shampoo your brain out?

    1. i’m a bit reassured now. i wonder how long it will take for views to change though i can’t wait till negative comments pass from one ear out the other.

      lol, i’ll keep your ‘when did you shampoo your brain out’ for future encounters 😀

  2. eccentric what you need to do is walk around with a huge ass afro and a t-shirt saying “i love my hair” or some other slogan that will get people to shut up. but, you should check out bglhonline.com, they recently featured a Nigerian woman whose trying to get natural hair accepted in Nigeria, and is also providing products good for natural hair to women in Nigeria. you’re not alone, my dear 🙂

    1. ha i really believe wearing a t-shirt that said that may get more people talking which would be good. i’ll have to look for that t-shirt. i haven’t been to bglh for a while and i haven’t been able to subscribe to it. anyway will check it out and find out if i can contact that woman. like i said, i need a positive space!

      1. they moved to blghonline.com, so go there for all old and new posts 🙂 and i hope you find that positive space, love – God knows we all need it… next time i’m in abuja we’ll organize a natural hair meetup 🙂

  3. LOL..

    Your comments remind me of my youth in the 60s/70s in the US when the “natural” was a contestable hairdo.

    One weird thing about Korea. It is still slightly spooked by Blacks… US Blacks are preferred and actual Africans seem suspect…

    That is changing radically and quickly, since radical and quick change is the Korean way.

    But even in that context, Koreans completely identify “Blackness” (yeah, yeah, yeah, concept silliness) with natural hairstyles (are dreadlocks natural?)

    Weird how things play out on the ground…

    1. one of my hobbies is watching movies from that period (60s/70s) just to admire the hair! i recently watched this documentary ‘Soul Power’ and there was quite a lot of natural hair in that movie.

      i’ve heard of the lack of Africans in Korea, but i’m pretty clueless on the radical and quick changes regarding ‘blackness’. i guess it’s due to the African-African presence in Korea?

      and yes dreadlocks do qualify as natural hair 🙂

  4. I have actually always found natural hair to look good on African women. I think it looks interesting and kind of fashionable. Honestly, though, black hair seems to require a lot of time and effort to manage. I knew this girl in high school who would literally have a different hairstyle every single week. I assumed it was a different weave (?) every time, but she’d never wear her natural hair.
    Or at least I couldn’t tell from weave and actual hair.

    Let that fro run wild.

    1. i’ve always found natural hair beautiful too and for the life of me can’t understand why anyone would find it ugly or unsightly. i guess it does take a lot of effort to manage natural hair because most black women have to learn how to take care of their hair all over if they decide to go natural.

      there’s a myth that natural African hair is ‘unmanageable’ but that’s simply because most black women have forgotten how to really take care of their unprocessed hair.

      lol @weave. and trust me this ‘fro is running wild! 😀

  5. Being a vanguard is tough! but just think in a few years you will be able to say “I was one of the first!” that is if/when, enough people catch on.

    Hopefully your family and friends will understand with time.

  6. Girl, I’ve heard it all, too! Folks need to leave us and our “unkempt” hair alone. hehe

  7. i love my natural hair and i just want more info on how to take care of it well and be able to comb my hair anytime any day without feeling like i’m goung to have a head attack so i need help

    1. Hey, best advice is to never comb it dry. Make sure your hair is soaked in conditioner and water before u dare to put a comb through it. And use a loose tooth comb.

  8. I’m going to nigeria for the summer. I have to say I’m scared that I will receive all those annoying comments or even worse. I dont want to have to hide my hair because of what people think. I’ve been natural for almost 2 years and I want to rock my Afro through out my stay. I know things will change and people will later begin to appreciate Natural hair in Nigeria eventually. But can you please tell me how it is now? Are there more people who have natural hair. Are they still so ignorant and unaware about natural hair?

  9. Good day. I recently decided to go natural. i went on my own hair for quite a while in order to have the undergrowth really grow out so when I cut it will not be really low. I have now cut the hair. However I do not know how to be managing it or styles that I can do for short hair.If you could help with advice, will appreciate.
    Thank you.

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