We were all blessed with lush hair from birth.
It’s important for Nigerian females to know that their hair is just as beautiful as Michelle Obama’s hair or any other African-American female for that matter.
After my move to Nigeria as a hairstylist from the States, I immediately noticed the difference in hair culture. For starters, hair care is a ritual in the African-American culture – it starts from childhood. While a few “lucky” girls made it to the salon on Saturdays, it didn’t change the fact that Saturdays were known as washdays, followed by a cute braid or a home-based pressing comb for a less kinky (straight) hair. I have so many memories of my lovely Aunt Velma; a beauty school graduate from the 50‘s of her styling my hair in the “poodle.” Needless to say, I wasn’t a huge fan of the style, however, the process taught me how to care for my hair. I did not take for granted the consistency and dedication that involved a weekly/bi-weekly shampoo and hair styling – your hair had to be done, period.
Nigerian girls operate differently. I find that some Nigerian girls are made to cut their hair really short either for school or for maintenance sake. I have also observed that in recent times, our girls are required to weave their hair almost exclusively for school. While weaving can be considered a protective hairstyle, it’s the technique that matters the most. Sadly, moms don’t usually have the time and patience for these Saturday routines, which means most children end up in a salon where they are more likely going to be rough handled. From using a shampoo and conditioner that can be too harsh for children, to weaving too tightly, which ends up damaging the follicles especially around the edges – a permanent damage. This is what happens when the responsibility of caring for our children’s hair is handed to someone who considers hairdressing just another job, and who lacks proper hair education.
Though we still have a long way to go, I have seen a subtle shift to better hair care, thanks to the natural hair movement.
It’s never too early to take the time to care for your children’s hair; educate yourself about certain hair products and pay attention to your children’s hair. Remember, once the follicles are damaged, the hair will not grow back. If you don’t know where to start, turn to Google and YouTube for research purpose. It’s also important for you as a parent to find a stylist with gentle hands and love for hair to care for your children’s hair.
Contributed by Wondrous Brown