Didi of AdventuresofaKinkyCurly writes:
When are you going to relax your hair?
This is a question I have heard frequently in the last month. I have been interning at a prominent law firm in Nigeria this summer and when people find out where I’m working, they are shocked that they allow me to rock my natural hair because it is seen as ‘unprofessional’. Usually when someone asks me if I am going to relax my hair, I laugh and say that I prefer my hair this way. They normally look at me like I’m crazy and say that I should do something with it… do something to it. I have tried my best not to get offended, but after hearing negative comments from three people in one day, I was through!
I know that many Nigerian women prefer to wear weaves, wigs, and braids, but I’m not in that boat right now. Don’t get me wrong, I think women can do whatever they want to their hair. Before my Big Chop, I was rocking weaves and braids regularly. Heck, if my scalp didn’t severely scab up every time I applied a relaxer, I would probably still be hooked on the creamy crack! With that said, I get really annoyed and a little disappointed that I must defend my hair more in Africa than in America. A lot of the women I have run into do not embrace their natural hair and they try to make me feel uncomfortable about my own hair. Whenever they ask me why I don’t do something with my hair, I always fight the urge to say, “Why don’t you wear a weave that matches your hair texture or your hair color?” I never say that, but I don’t understand why a woman wearing European hair is better than me wearing the hair that God gave me.
Not everyone is against my natural hair, many people actually like it, especially people my age or younger. They usually tell me I am brave to keep my hair natural. Often many girls tell me they have tried and failed to go natural because they don’t have ‘good hair’ like mine. I try to explain that there is no such thing as good hair. All hair is different and what may work for one woman may not work for another. I just wish people in Nigeria, especially women, had a more positive image of natural hair.