COILY HAIR AND ITS ACCEPTANCE
Black hair is a beauty and could be considered unique in some climes but home in Africa or Nigeria, Black hair is normal hair.
Coily, kinky, nappy, afro or type 4 hair are some of the popular words used to refer to this hair type. It is perceived as strong and tough but in actual sense it is the most fragile of all hair types. This perception is from how it coils and curves on itself causing a big fluff with an illusion of density. This is not necessarily true since because of it’s peculiar coils there is a lot of friction, knotting and matting as it is styled making it prone to breakage and hindering length retention. Another reason it’s fragile is because though the scalp produces a good amount of sebum (the natural waxy substance produced by the sebaceous gland in the body which forms a protective coat and shine.) but again because of its unique coily structure, the sebum does not get to travel up the hair. This is the reason why it’s important that people of African descent constantly hydrate and moisturise their hair or it becomes dry and brittle and then prone to breakage.
Conditioners, custards, gels and puddings are common product types which are used regularly in black haircare. Shop ( kkaavi daily mist, leave in conditioner, hair mask). These product types help hydrate, moisturise and make hair easier to manipulate with minimal damage.
Until the early 21st centuries and even till present day, Black girls and women have suffered discrimination and abuse because of their hair texture and structure. From the insistence in modelling, corporate and media industries for their hair to be straight-end whether chemically or using heat or they loose opportunities to school girls being sent home or told to stay home until their hair was done ‘properly’ even when hair was done in plaits.
Irony of situations like this is in most cases according to research, the person criticising is also of black descent.
My love for my natural hair has emanated from self acceptance and owning my path and purpose. I grew up in a home with women with long hair though chemically processed. My mom carries a beautiful curly, healthy head of hair and just like with nail care I learnt early from her. She never wore braids or weaves and so I grew up to love my hair as it was until after secondary school when I was allowed as was the norm then since I had come of age to relax my hair. I grew to love the straight texture the relaxer gave until I became an entrepreneur in 2012 inspired as a mother of three beautiful daughters whom I wanted the best for to open a Kiddies salon with the primary purpose of making hair day tear free and enjoyable by training hairstylists to plait tension free hair using the best quality and safe products and techniques. It was from the salon that I delved deeper and arrived at formulating quality and safe hair products. By this time, natural hair was a trend and I wasn’t keen because there was little information or instructions about how to care for the coils.
With my babies growing up there was a silent profound dread and it was the dread of my babies relaxing their hair especially with the link between relaxers and cancer. I embarked on educating myself to make effective products for natural hair to make it desirable enough to dissuade more people from relaxing hair and also not looking unkempt in badly done natural hair. That was when I made the decision to go natural. Three years down the line and 15″ later, haircare is my life and what is the most rewarding? My girls absolutely love and rock their natural hair confidently. I believe every black woman should be able to style her hair elegantly at any length and whatever curl pattern not just as a fashion statement but as an ode to her womanhood, identity and ancestry. We are Black, bold and beautiful and should own it audaciously and take our place comfortably in any room.