Being natural in Nigeria.

      
        
        As some of you may already know I do not live in Nigeria but I visit every now and then so I think I am qualified to write about being natural in Nigeria. I have visited Nigeria with my natural hair twice and I cant begin to describe how people made me feel about my hair. The first time I went to Nigeria with natural hair was in 2011 and my hair was still a TWA and it was in the confused stage (not long enough to really style and wearing my afro was getting tricky). I wore my afro from the U.S to Nigeria and it pretty much stayed in a fro 95% of the time I was there.
        I got a lot of stares on the street. It was almost like they have never seen anyone with an afro. I found that a bit strange because lots of people wore fros way back in the day. I guess a fro isn't "acceptable" for this generation. I got so many questions along the lines of when are you getting your hair done? what is going on with your hair? are you going to leave it just like that? It got so frustrating that I pretty much ignored people when they asked me such questions.
      For my sister's wedding I got a weave done and I took it out two days after the wedding. I honestly do not know how people in Nigeria wear weaves. The climate is so hot and the last thing I need is hair dangling on my face and neck. The hair irritated me so much and literally put me in a bad mood the moment I had it in. I complained for the three or four days I had it in. I am not even trying to be extra I am the same way about wearing weaves during the summer in the U.S. My weaves are for winter time and I honestly probably only wear weave once a year for about 3-4 weeks. Everybody was happy I got my hair "done" for the wedding and was very disappointed when I took it out lol.

                                      I refuse to wear my weave down for the wedding.

       At this point I had few more days left in Nigeria, so I decided to get French braids with attachment ( I dreamt about this style for so long). This was my second experience with Nigerian hairdresser and natural hair. It was awful guys!!!! She washed my hair like she was washing relaxed hair, she did not deep condition properly, she pulled and yanked at my hair so much. I probably shed a tear or two during this long process. At some point I took the comb from her and I detangled it myself. During the French braiding process I cried some more! she did not part careful and kept telling me I need to get a perm and of course I told her NO.
      The second time I visited Nigeria was in 2014. I still got stares but this time I think it was because of my hair color. My hair was purple/plum that summer. People talked less about the afro and more about the color. I noticed the shift in attitude about natural hair. More Nigerians were beginning to go back to their roots so an afro was more familiar to a lot of people. They still did not consider my hair being "done" when I wore my afro but the attitude was so much better than the first time I visited.


                                                 The purple hair that had heads  turning.

       The hairdresser experience was still the same. I went to a different hairdresser and she was just as clueless as the first 3 people that did my hair in 2011. This time I gave her step to step direction on how to wash and condition my hair because I refuse to cry through this process. I got a blow dry and a trim and got my hair braided afterwards. I absolutely  love how more Nigerians and Africans are going back to their roots and learning to be comfortable with it.

                                                                      ****
      Are you a naturalista in Nigeria or any African country? What are some of the reactions people around you have towards your hair? Even if you do not live in an African country as long as you are around Africans/ Nigerians there is bound to be a reaction. Share your experiences in the comment section :)



     

4 comments

  1. I agree. Anytime I'm on FaceTime with my mum in Nigeria she's always telling me to comb my hair or go and do something. I get soo upset

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    1. Haha my mom used to be the same way. She is totally with the program now tho. Give her time It will grow on her.

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  2. My first salon experience was in Lagos and I got billed extra for washing my hair. My mum would whine about my hair and try to recruit my sister to talk to me about doing my hair.
    I cut my hair while on holiday in the US and while on my connecting flight from Lagos to portharcourt, some dude tells me I would never get a job or a man with hair like that (hair was in an afro and was a TWA) a friend once told me same thing....no man would look at me twice with hair like that.
    My sister was one of my first supporters when I returned natural and her daughter's have natural hair too. Just recently she decided to stop relaxer. Her point being she needs to be an example for her girls especially now they are older(nine and six). The Mr would be the happiest man if I let my hair in an afro all the time. *Side eyes* as if.
    But yes, Nigeria may be joining the afro hair community but there are still a ton of people who think the afro is not worthy.

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    1. Hey Ediyemade, a lot of people have that reaction because they do not consider natural hair as neat as relaxed hair. Once I learnt how to really style my hair I got less negative comments from people. Don't listen to them, wear your hair however it makes you happy. Yasssssss to the Mr. loving the fro!

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