Nigerian Hair Stylists! Protect your natural hair from damage


ur Nigerian Hair Stylists have been receiving a bad rap recently and that’s not surprising. It was about time though because some of us have been ranting about this since our relaxed hair days.

With more women in Nigeria embracing their natural hair and becoming a lot more conscious of what is required to grow long and healthy natural hair the need to nip this menace in the root, bud, stem or whatever extent on the tree it exists has become mandatory.

The truth is that this isn’t supposed to be news because from time immemorial most Nigerian hair stylists have done nothing but damage most Nigerian women’s relaxed hair. Natural hair? Don’t just go there.

On the other hand, many Nigerian women want to have long and healthy hair but don’t take the measures required to grow their hair.

Incidentally, your average Nigerian hair stylists have little to no clue on how to handle natural African hair and so when you leave them to their own devices one should expect damaged hair in a short while. Damage in forms of fallen edges, bumps that come with serious aches.

Like Deepbrown Kinks who had quite an experience in one of her visits to a stylist for just a simple havanna twists style her delicate head got more than it bargained for. That’s definitely the plight of most Nigerian women.

Most of these stylists give more attention to the weaves and extensions than they do to you own hair (natural or relaxed).

Natural hair even gets the worst treatment. I feel for any natural who doesn’t know and refuses to learn how to treat her hair but subjects herself to the mercy of these inexperienced and sometimes most obnoxious of hairdressers. Since this is not particularly a rant post, let me soft-pedal.

As a result of the fact that most ladies have their hair almost always in a weave or in braids, stylists tend not to give your hair the right treatment it deserves.

Well, then, the responsibility lies on you to ensure that they treat your hair right.

Here are 5 simple steps that you can use to ensure that your hair is properly handled so you can have healthy hair.

1.  Love your own hair

Many women have given up on their own hair or simply don’t know that as Africans they too can have healthy and wonderful hair and so just don’t care what happens to their own hair besides the weave or braids they have installed on their heads. You must love your natural hair before you can ensure that the hairdresser gives your own hair the attention it requires. If you don’t love it who should?

2.  Be protective

You know how it is they get upset when you correct them or tell them how to handle your hair? It is your hair. Do not allow the hairdressers do just what they want they want and how they want it.

Ask questions to know what the impact of any procedure will have on your own hair. Be sure they know what they are doing. Find out how much they know about handling natural hair.  Ensure that they understand that natural hair is fragile and so should be treated like fine lace. After all you are paying for a service and should not be signing the death warrant of your hair as a result of an inexperienced stylist.

3.  Be observant

Except you completely trust your hairdresser don’t just delve into one magazine or the other without looking at what is going on while your hair is being attended to. A lot of ladies make this mistake and so don’t have an idea what is going on.  Is the hair dresser trimming too much of your hair?  Is she using a comb with fine tooth instead of a wide one?  You must look up from time to time.  I usually have my eyes on them almost through the entire process.  This will make the stylists conscious of the fact that you are looking and keep them in check.

4. Be assertive

Speak out if the hairdresser is doing something you’re not comfortable with, like tugging unnecessarily at your hair (remember natural hair is delicate like sheer lace), braiding your hair too tightly or even picking at the little hair you have at the front of your head (which will ultimately lead to traction alopecia).  Make sure you tell them that you don’t like it and want it to stop.  It might pay to do this sternly but politely.

5.  Unless you can’t help it try to maintain the same hairdresser

Over time a good hairdresser should understand how your hair works, what products are great for your hair and so will be in a better position to take care of your hair.

Always remember, not every hair style trend is okay for your hair.  Be sure that your hair is in good condition or that your Stylist has put your hair in a good condition for whatever style you choose.

How have your experiences with hair stylists in the past been? How do you get your hair stylists to cooperate with you? Please share in the comments section below.

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Alorye Ugar
CEO/Editor-in-Chief at Vivacious Media Limited
Alorye is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of One Naija Girl. She is passionate about Nigerian women embracing their natural hair and understanding how to take care of it.
She is an Accounting graduate from the University of Calabar, a Fashion designer and CEO of Vivacious Media Limited, Abuja, Nigeria.

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