"I hate it..."

Today, I had to go to the NYSC office urgently. Before moving on, let me tell you that the previous night I applied a leave in conditioner, braided my hair and woke up the next morning with a cute puffy, braid- out. Unfortunately, before getting to the office my hair was a mess. The humid weather had turned my stretched out fro into a shrunken, frizzy fro.
I looked in the mirror of a car and dressed it up into a Macy gray fro.
 I liked the results and my permed friend was such a darling-she stayed by me without uttering a word :)
As I walked into the group of Corpers every one turned to stare…Crazy has come to town. Typical of me, I walked with my head up, daring anyone to voice their reservations.
With a stiff back, I walked into an office, found I was in the wrong one, excused myself, and walked out. As I walked on I heard some one shout: CORPER!!. I turned around and was beckoned back into the office by an official. She looked at my hair and the exchange below followed:

Woman: What happened to your hair?
Me: (straight faced) Nothing
Woman: I hate it
Me: Ma, this is how African hair grows. I’m sorry there is nothing I can do.
Woman: Why don’t you perm it?
Me: I won’t perm my hair. I love it this way (stroking my crazy hair and smiling. Her expression was priceless)
Woman: Braid it, now
Me: I do that but today I wanted a different style and typical of “our” hair it revolted.
Man: Why don’t you do it like other girls?
Me: How? (Pretending not to have a clue about what he meant)
Man: You know…put those long…what do you call it?
Me: I’m sorry but I don’t really like wigs or weave-on’s
Man: It’s real?
Woman: That’s your hair? It’s a lie!
Me: Yes, it’s all mine (touching my hair and still smiling) you can touch it if you want?
They see its mine and the lady still disapproves.
Man: Don’t you comb it?
Me: I do but like I said it revolted against me and turned out looking this way.
I look at the ladies disapproving face and decide to pull the religious card because I had noticed earlier on that she is Muslim.
Me: Ma, this is how God created me. What do you want me to do? I love my hair this way and will not change it for anything.
Woman: I know...but...Please let’s not go there…I don’t like it (getting obviously uncomfortable with the turn of the discussion)
Not wanting the exchange to last longer I decide to concede.
Me: so you want me to cover it? (Still smiling politely)
Woman: YES!!
Like a good girl, I take out my scarf and tie my hair. 

Unknown to me, our exchange had not gone unnoticed.
I was sent on an errand and when I got back,  a group made up of 3 beautiful Ladies and 2 cute Brother Corpers- who were sitting by the office where the exchange had taken place- walked up to me with different  comments  “I like your hair... I love your hair…you are so cute….your hair fits your face...why did she ask you to cover it….why did you cover it?” (good question)
All the while I’m looking at their faces; searching for malice and listening to their voices trying to pick up notes of sarcasm. (Yes, I sometimes have difficultly receiving hair complements from a group of strangers. Am I alone? )
I smile and voice my appreciation. They invite me for a Corpers party and give some more frolove to a sister who totally appreciated it ^_^...So my day ended on a good note with me getting both complements and disapproval on a  bad hair day.
Although I had fun shocking people, I must confess that I was a little put out by the woman’s blunt ‘I hate it’. Come on people we are in Africa; fro’s should be the norm and not a statement. Hopefully with more awareness, all this type of talk will sound silly in the years to come.
Stay strong Naturals; be curl ambassadors and never let people’s opinion shake your decision. Try to be polite and remember to wear your manes with a smile and pride:). Peace!

Have you had bad hair day comments? Please share the positive and negative.


  1. I soooo get you but...our Naija experience is to view our hair as a blank slate/ raw clay to be transformed to a work of art. I bet if you had plaited your hair no matter how simple (even without attachments) it would have been more accepted.

    Don't get me wrong, it still saddens me that our hair is not viewed on it's own (except if it's a TWA)as beautiful enough, worn loose. It may be a throw back from our distant past and our ancestors may have unwittingly passed on a fear of the knotting that comes with 4c hair when worn loose).

    Hopefully it will all change as I believe hair fashion/styles come and go and loose styles will be seen and widely accepted as a style option.

    Another thing is the way we Naija people are so in your face and in your business; people comment, touch, offer advice etc even when they don't know you well grrrrrr!!

  2. I had a clear picture of you in my mind's eye having this conversation. LOL!

    All we can do is to continue loving ourself the best we can while the rest of the country catches up (or doesn't).

  3. But thats sooooooo rude! How do you look at someone, not something oh, someone and say you hate a feature on them?
    Its okay to hate my shoe or my bag but my hair? Its like saying you hate my eyeball!

  4. our people sha! hate is such a strong word. phew

    i dont get it sha..

    i was showing a friend who is relaxed a picture of me in bantu knots and she said i looked like a janded house girl and then laughed (O_o)..i didnt even know how to react..this was on bb chat...i was upset, told her and she said "but i said janded naa".. shu!

    now i know better than discussing my hair with someone who doesnt get it after explaining why i went natural more than 1ce to her.

    You handled the situation well. well done

  5. Thanks Ladies for the comments. Like I always say baby steps will take us to the time where Natural hair will be the norm again. I hope you see the post on Natural hair in Nigeria in 60's. Afro hair was the norm. When the rebellion against Natural hair began is what I still don't know.
    Yes, some Nigerians hate to mind their business but we will keep coming to them with our 'In-your-face' hair styles!
    Peace & love people!!

  6. Oh girl you are nice oh.....if na me. Most of my friends and lecturers and places i've done IT know that they can't go there with my hair because they know that they are the ones going to feel depressed and self conscious after it. I had a lady try to force me to conform during my IT but i kept giving her history and reasons for my decisions to the point that she got angry with me and later cooled off only to tell me that she appreciated my strong will. Besides, i'll advice you don't search for love of you hair in peoples eyes do the eff you want and if they have a problem with it put a sock in it. Never take crap from self-haters even if they are related to you.


  7. Thanks for the strong support Ajala! But I must confess that I prefer educating people the way you did. Its a too much wahala carrying all that energy around. For me it takes a lot to reply annoying people and I don't think I can deal with that on a constant basis.
    Emmm... SwaqQueen someone said you look like house girl? lol...my friend did the same some months ago. The mind of a Nigerian can be confusing o. So house girl no be person ne?
    My dear make una carry go jare...some people...*hissing*...

  8. Hmmmn, na wa ooo. I would have loved to see a picture of the hair she was shouting about.

    Even if she hated it, she shoulda kept her opinion to herself

    The woman has no right to tell you to cover your hair, its not like you are defying the NYSC dresscode.

  9. I tire o...my dear it beats me every time someone feels they have the right to tell you how to look.

  10. You know tact is not in our native tongue. Smh. I think people are unused to our natural hair being out in its natural state. Even in the "olden days," pre-relaxer, people rarely if ever wore their hair "out" in our culture. They had braids or twists or knots or beads or thread, something! It was rarely just "afro." So I think a lot of people are intimidated when we wear our hair in it's thick, full, untamed, fro glory. Not that anyone should be rude enough to say anything... SMH



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