I would always get pissed whenever my ex-hairdresser told me, “this girl, you really need to relax your hair o, don’t let anybody deceive you”. Considering her as a young ignorant Nigerian woman, I would just smile and not take into account her inexperience. Likewise, when some of my friends show disgust in natural being so hard to comb, nappy, unkempt or any of those nasty words that drive me nut, I get disgusted at such manner of addressing hair.
I was reading a post on BellaNaija by media personality Ariyike Akinbobola and the lady in question simply asked “Why are we so afraid of our natural hair?” I went to read reactions of people and I can see a lot of comments from ignorant Nigerians criticizing Ariyike. Their ignorance clearly reflected in their comments; some of which I would respond to.
They went as far as claiming “the so- called naturalistas” think that Nigerian women who relax their hair periodically do so because they want to be like the white women with long and silky- soft hair. To them, they saw Nigerian ladies with fros as being “self – righteous”. They also concluded that these naturalistas are only keeping unpermed hair because they are trying to look African…LOL..and then I pondered, How can you TRY TO BE SOMEBODY YOU ALREADY ARE…An African! I’m not being critical or something but the thing is that these ladies driven by wrong ideas really do feel insecure whenever matters like “hair” arise. Not only did they criticize Ariyike’s opinion, they called her accent fake; sounding too “Yoruba – like” Lol…For a moment I was asking myself, is the topic on ground about hair or her accent? I’m not really sure if this lady has kinks or straightened hair but she really got my laughing out loud when she said “ IF YOUR HAIR LOOKS LIKE COTTON WOOL, PLEASE, NATURAL HAIR IS NOT FOR YOU” Jokes apart here, sincerely, why would you say something that’s yours is not for you simply because you do not value the beauty in it? Then I saw another comment “Natural hair is cheap”. Cheap? I strongly doubt that. Another claimed that women with natural can be hypocritical at times because these women wear the most weaves yet they are always the first to go team natural! Meanwhile, some naturalistas simply responded by showing how much they love and are comfortable with their fros while some questioned their counterparts with relaxed hair; asking why they always clamor for the latest weaves in town at the expense of their own hair. Another lady advised that there is nothing wrong with sewn – in weaves and that Nigerians ladies should not be afraid of wearing their REAL HAIR too. Some were against the Brazilian /Peruvian hair movement totally and said they did so because they are too lazy to take care of their hair (include relaxed and natural hair) – this I find some truth in. Very few of them were able to realize that the way a lady wears her hair is her choice and choice alone and that some Nigerians were being ignorant.
I describe most of these ladies with one word…Ignorant. Let me deal with the issue of being judgmental and critical. These women in question have not learnt how to care for their own hair THE RIGHT WAY and yet they complain about how hard it is to comb and how nappy it looks. I can vouch for the fact that not once I have they taken up courage to learn or research on how to take care of their natural hair. At age 16, I was so curious to know why my mum had gotten my hair straightened and why a friend of mine keeps her hair natural. My mum said because relaxed hair is easier to manage and looks shiny too. I asked my friend and she said a decent answer saying because she simply likes it. After that, I went on Google, and made researches; coming out with enough vital information on both relaxed hair and natural hair. After my decision to go natural, my sisters have shown so much disgust for natural hair because its looks nappy. And I asked them if they have ever kept their hair natural to the point where they have to care for it themselves. They simply replied “no.” In a nutshell, I’m saying that if you have not been in a particularly situation, YOU ARE IN NO POSITION TO CONDEMN the outcome or those who have been through it.
Ladies can’t keep getting on one another’s nerves by calling natural hair nappy or conclude that wearing sewn – in weaves is just being “fake” There’s something in the dictionary called free will. A lady has the right to wear whatever length or texture of hair suits her but nevertheless, she must not pave way for ignorance. Some ladies might love the kinkiness of their natural hair, some might love the density of natural hair, some might love the “nachi” look; Others might just love the shine and silkiness of a recent perm, the softness of their sewn – in weaves, some even prefer long hair, some short and other would go as far as a pixie cut. Whatever the case may be, “hair is hair” as one of my hairspirations would say. If the way a lady wears her hair is not appealing to you, learn to DEAL WITH IT. She’s not wearing it to please, but to feel good about herself. If you would recall, I said earlier, that a lady shouldn’t pave way for ignorance. Yes – by making braided hair extensions, wigs and sewn – in weaves a necessity is total ignorance and foolishness. These extensions should be made OPTIONS NOT NECESSITIES.