In recent years, we’ve seen a resurgence in African-American women foregoing relaxers and embracing their hair’s natural kinky, curly and textured state. But in Nigeria, it’s apparently quite the opposite. Reports surfaced that some Nigerian women see straight hair as the ultimate status symbol and are flocking to salons for long bone-straight extensions.
As for Nigerian women who wish to wear their hair natural, they experience discrimination in the workforce and at salons. One blogger, “Natural Nigerian,” recounts stylists saying “Sister, we have to control this!”
Straight hair is viewed as one of the latest fashion sensations, and women with natural hair are regrettably off-trend. A Lagos salon owner, Abogo Ugwokeghbe, said: “South Africans like natural hair because they’re not fashion-conscious. But Nigerian women like the latest fashion.”
Straight hair also helps a woman’s chances to marry well. Esther, a Natural Beauty salon visitor, said: “No rich man will marry a girl with village [unstraightened] hair.”
African-American who wish to visit Nigeria need not worry about straightening their hair however. Blogger “Natural Nigerian,” says: “Black American women can wear their hair natural in Nigeria. They’ll be forgiven for it because they’re seen as exotic creatures.”