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Chioma Momah: Hair Love

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dreamstime_m_56706893-2“Aunty, dis your hair dey pain hand oh, why you no wan put relaxer now?” The young lady braiding my hair sounded cross. Since going natural, I had grown accustomed to such comments, so I kept quiet and paid her no mind.

When I first rocked my natural hair about a decade ago, it wasn’t because natural hair had started gaining popularity. In fact, at that time very few people I knew had natural hair, and it definitely wasn’t the big trend it has become today.
I started wearing my natural hair shortly after my dad passed. I felt I had to do something physical to cope with the pain within my soul, and cutting my hair short was very therapeutic. I immediately felt liberated and enjoyed the feeling of water running down my short ‘fro’ whenever I took a shower. It was sheer bliss!

As my hair grew, I decided to try out dreadlocks. I had always admired them on other people, and being a low maintenance girl, I felt they would be easier to maintain. At the salon, I felt my hair was too bushy for the palm-rolling method, but the loctician insisted that it would look good, so he went ahead. When he was done, some locs were fat and some were thin, and all around it was just a big fat mess! My mom saw me and told me that my hair didn’t look nice. I couldn’t help but completely agree, as I looked like a failed reggae star.

After that, I stuck to wearing my hair in two strand twists, braids or weaves. After a while though, I grew restless and decided to cut my hair à la Rihanna. And so I snipped off my hair yet again. It was daring and everyone screamed in surprise, but it was fabulous! I loved it while it lasted, but I couldn’t keep up with the frequent retouching and styling sessions at the salon, so after I while I decided to grow it out again.

Months later, when my hair had grown out reasonably, I went to the salon, and surprisingly the hairdresser refused to retouch my hair. In her words, “Aunty, your hair is like natural hair now. Kuku leave it, natural hair is good o, see wetin people dey find, you wan spoil am!” I couldn’t believe that I was hearing this in a regular hair salon. Natural hair has truly come full circle!

All trends aside, it’s good to see that people are becoming more comfortable with different hair choices. Our hair is one of many ways in which we can express ourselves – our personality, sense of style and even changing moods and circumstances. So whether it’s natural or relaxed, wigs or extensions, it’s really all about you feeling comfortable, confident and totally loving your hair.

Photo Credit: Sam74100 | Dreamstime.com

Chioma Momah is a lawyer, writer and inspirational parenting blogger. This mother of four is the author of the children's books “First day at the Big School” and “Fun Day at the Museum” as well as the Goals, Gratitude and Growth Journal. Chioma is also the founder of Let's Encourage A Reading Nation" (L.E.A.R.N) which is aimed at improving literacy among children. She holds an L.L.B from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, as well as an MBA from Anglia Ruskin University and an MPA from the University of Exeter (both in the UK). She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Apart from writing on her blog, she enjoys speaking on gender issues, parenting and literacy. Follow her on Facebook at Chiomah’s Blog, Instagram @chiomahmomah and read her posts on  www.chiomah.net.

18 Comments

  1. TeeS

    November 2, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    My hair is natural but I don’t love it. It’s hard. Does not listen to me. The hair just hates me. I’m only natural cus it’s less damaging to my hair. I just don’t know or have the time to deal with this hair that God gave to me. O ti su mi. Good thing is a braid and sew my weaves myself. But to braid this hair. Chai. Grace of God and patience ni oooo.
    The way I’ve neglected this hair , it’s still thick, full, curly and growing sha.
    Rant over. Lol

    • hmmmm

      November 3, 2016 at 2:25 am

      Try a very good salon,there are nice products used to maintain natural hair though.. It’s not easy
      To maintain a natural hair is very expensive.

    • Loki

      November 3, 2016 at 12:16 pm

      It’s not necessarily expensive. When I newly went natural, I was was spending a fortune on my hair. Now, I’ve cut my costs by like 75%.
      Natural hair salons are unnecessarily expensive. I just fired mine and my hair is still thriving. And yes, my hair is of the horror movie variety.

    • Idomagirl

      November 3, 2016 at 11:43 pm

      My dear at the beginning it was expensive for me too, mainly because I was watching so many tutorials and I erroneously thought I needed every single product mentioned, lol.

      Now I don’t stress myself, there are days I just moisturize my hair with coconut oil & water and I’m on my way.
      As for spending the entire day in the bathroom in the name of “washday”, count me out, I put my hair in sections and finish what I need to do in no time.

      As time goes on, you learn what works for your hair and settle on a routine that isn’t too heavy on your time and pocket.
      It’s not compulsory to own all those expensive products (+ there are natural alternatives that are cheaper, like coconut oil or aloe vera gel as a detangler instead of some expensive stuff from Mixed Chicks).

      Just own some of the basics like a great live-in and find alternatives, I use a regular moisturizing conditioner from Tresemme for cowashing, I make my own deep conditioning treatments myself (my fave is Greek yoghurt + honey + coconut or olive oil) and I use one cheap V05 shampoo (I shampoo maybe once a month & cowash more than I shampoo).

      Right now, my go to style is wigs, so my hair is almost always in cornrows, which is soooo convenient (and helps my leave-in last longer cos I don’t need to moisturize as much as I would if I was wearing my hair out).

      Sorry for the long post, lol.

    • Chiomah

      November 3, 2016 at 10:51 am

      Many of us have a love-hate relationship with our natural hair. Look for a natural hair salon as it will make things much easier for you.

    • Natu

      November 4, 2016 at 9:54 am

      @Teas try the prepoo treatment :
      Unsalted butter
      2 tbs natural yoghurt
      1tbs olive oil
      1 tbs castor oil
      1 tbs coconut oil
      1 tbs honey
      Whip all the ingredients in a bowl and apply on dry hair. Leave it in your hair for 1-2 hrs. Use a shower cap to enhance the deep conditioning process.

  2. Maxine

    November 3, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Thank you Chioma! Finally a naturalista that doesn’t condemn ‘non-naturals’ to perdition! I find their self-righteousness soooo amusing…. Abeg do you…. 38″ Scandinavian hair…. Whatever works for you. Doesn’t take away from your blackness… If that were the standard, then I guess we should all be walking around decked out in jigida beads….

    • abby

      November 3, 2016 at 10:36 am

      Take it easy sista..koletoyen

    • Chiomah

      November 3, 2016 at 10:50 am

      This made me lol! totally Maxine…do you,. Even though I am a naturalista (atm)
      I am currently enjoying a beautiful wig , at the end of the day its just hair!

  3. Loretta Reveals

    November 3, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Good piece. Never underestimate the chaos a bad hair day could cause in the life of women and even men. Positive tips like this one are therefore always welcome.

    • Chiomah

      November 3, 2016 at 11:34 am

      Very true! in women and men alike! thanks

  4. B

    November 3, 2016 at 11:14 am

    I love my relaxed hair and will never go natural. Each to their own. But yes I agree “natural hair” has become more widely accepted

  5. As Myself

    November 3, 2016 at 11:37 am

    I’ve been natural off and on for a bit and it’s just not an easy venture. I’m doing quite well with fortnightly washing/deep conditioning, monthly steaming and weaving my hair in corn rows and using my various wigs. All’s well with the world.

    Kudos to you, Chioms, for not being a Natural Hair Nazi. Those people give me the creeps! Lol

    • Idomagirl

      November 3, 2016 at 11:45 pm

      That’s what I’m doing too!
      Wigs are a lifesaver!

  6. Nyims

    November 3, 2016 at 11:41 am

    It’s actually quite cheap to maintain once you find a routine/regimen that works for you. Since I stopped going on YouTube and doing ‘ooh, her hair is nice…lemme try what shes using’, I find that I spend waaayyy less money on my hair.

    • Idomagirl

      November 3, 2016 at 11:45 pm

      WORD.

  7. Anon

    November 3, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Relaxed hair babes are always butthurt wow ?????

    • tunmi

      November 3, 2016 at 4:00 pm

      I swear!!! Any post about natural hair is like the bat signal for them, caping where unnecessary.

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