For decades, African women could not show their natural hair because colonialism was responsible for criminalizing it. Now, half a century after the emancipation of their country, return to reclaim your natural hair as an important part of their African identity and politics.
While Bob Marley got in the 80s than afro hair and dreadlocks to become an international symbol of black pride, now African women are leading this return to origins to rebel against the standards of beauty imposed by West.
Hair is not an apolitical issue for Africans. From a very young have heard numerous groundless to refer to her curly hair, and even those who have dared to wear their natural hair have been labeled as “radical” or “hippies”.
Therefore, from small, African use strong chemicals which destroy his hair to try to straighten your unruly curls, those that grow up to almost untamed afro acetate.
If that fails, I twisted-a really painful method according confiesan- or resort to wigs or extensions. The prevailing mentality is that black woman always stand the test of beauty if you put fake hair.
But now, the “#hairnatural” movement (natural hair) claims throughout the continent back to its roots as a way to deal with the legacy of colonialism stereotypes, who pursued any signs that claims African culture.
“The company has told us that the long hair was rizadono good. If you wear your natural hair, it seems that you are not pretty and they’re poor. Now that’s changing, “says the journalist Rose Efe Gacheri, a year ago created a Facebook group to encourage women to let their hair grow freely.
“No one should tell you how to wear your hair. Your only concern should be if your hair is healthy or not, “encourages young Kenyan from this platform.
Internet has thus become a gathering point for women who defend their own hair as part of your African pride or a simple matter of hair health.
“For months, natural hair looks more elegant, is now fashionable. We now have 50% of clients coming to get extensions and another 50% who prefer your natural hair. This did not happen a few years ago, “said Efe Caroline Achieng, who runs a beauty salon for fourteen years in Nairobi.
The beauty industry, and specifically the wigs and extensions human and synthetic hair, is very powerful in countries like Kenya. Sellers and manufacturers have fostered this insatiable desire among the female world to build this great business.
“We normally prefer to wear extensions because it is easier, because natural hair is very curly and many people do not have time to get up in the morning and comb. With extensions easier, “Achieng explains.
This is corroborated by Asya, one of his clients: “With the extensions is much easier to take care of my hair.”
Such is the popularity of fake hair in the African continent, in addition to being able to buy in shops, also hanging from the shelves of most supermarkets in cities like Nairobi.
Achieng explains, most of which use natural hair salons in African coming from Asia but also from South American countries like Peru or Brazil.
“Asian hair is naturally very good quality, although I escaro. Extensions can reach up to 60 euros, “he adds.
Therefore, beyond its political connotations, many African women are also opting for wearing their natural hair because they find it more comfortable and, above all, cheaper.
Many African celebrities are also betting on your natural hair, as in the case of the Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o, who won an Oscar this year for her role in “12 Years a Slave.”