I can’t say for a fact that the natural hair craze is taking a nosedive but what I can say is that a number of Ghanaian women who jumped into the natural hair trend are returning to permed hair.
When natural became popular about 6 years (or more) ago, most women embraced it with celebrities like Mz Vee and Ahofe Patri (Priscilla Opoku Agyeman) leading the way and serving as inspiration to a lot of women.
People saw the trend as women loving themselves as Africans and going back to their roots. However, observing a lot of my natural hair sisters turn to perms struck me to find out why they made a sharp u-turn.
Well, after a little interview, I realised that most of these women are going back to permed hair as a result of the following:
1. Difficulties in handling and styling natural hair
2. Spouse disapproval
3. Missing permed hair days
4. Not knowing the right product to use
5. Running out of styling options
6.Difficulty in accessing a professional natural hair stylist.
” My husband doesn’t fancy unrelaxed hair or weaves. The only thing he fancies apart from perming is braids. I must say they suit me very well so I went back to perms because he fancies my permed hair,” Aba Dee said.
Maame Ama Agyeman noted,” It was tedious for me and combing it especially, so I gave up on my natural hair.”
Selalie Adotevi went from perming to natural and to to perming because her natural hair was too coarse and difficult to comb.
For Maakua A. Boamah-Darko it is about how to manage her hair.” I’ve also been toying with the idea of going back after two years natural. Just can’t seem to manage my hair. Always in a weave or braids and I now have to waste money on plenty closures because I can’t do leave outs.”
Inna Marie explains that she just couldn’t continue the natural hair journey after a year of natural. “My scalp is very sensitive so I had to go back to perms.”
Henrietta Akosuafua Bentum said, “I had my natural for four years but finally gave up because I lost more hair when combing or braiding, somehow they always ended up tangled. The last straw was the excruciating pain each time I visited the hairdresser for new styles. So one day out of the blue I had it permed. I miss my natural though from time to time.”
Nana Ayaa Ayensu started maintaining a natural hair in 2009 and returned to perms in 2013. “Perm is manageable so when I had my daughter without help I needed to reduce time at the salon so I had to let go but will soon go back.
Perpetual Akosua Adu had this to say, ” I started natural because I was not comfortable being in a dryer. But for 2 years of natural, my face was becoming one way since I couldn’t use the natural for the styles I wanted and was missing my former face. I became so bored and before I could say Jack, I had already added cream to it. I hope to go back one day to natural when I move to the city where I can get good stylist to handle it for me.
Ladonna Agyeman-Buahin tried natural but because of her super course hair she went back to perm. “Natural hair is painful especially when braiding and difficult to maintain. Love my permed hair though,” she averred.
Shelema Acquaah, ” Keeping the hair natural wasn’t easy for me. I tried different products but still it was difficult to comb. I had to go months without combing. Wig caps were taking all my money and it felt so uncomfortable. I kept it for just a year, woke up one day and permed it.”
However, some woman have regretted leaving natural for perms and wants to start all over again.
Berlinda Edusei, ” I went natural for like 2 years but my way of styling and braiding was becoming one way. I couldn’t get enough way of styling and your face too always looks somehow rough in natural. So I said why not perm it. I permed it too and this hair dryer thing is killing me. So I’m going back to my natural”
Mavis Butt advised that the decision to go natural is a long term commitment which must be prepared for.” I know people who have gone natural and permed then regretted it. Then back to natural again. I was natural for over 2 years then I texturized and cut my hair then permed and now natural. I’m not going back to perm,” she noted.
For others, no matter how hard it is to maintain a natural hair, they will forever remain naturalisters.” I can’t even phantom going back to perming. My hair is too stubborn and my scalp too sensitive.. I’m not going take myself through that kind of torture again. Plus I just get up and go.. I just love natural her, “Grace Ansah said.
People complain that natural hair is difficult because they lack basic knowledge about how to care for natural hair. “Also, people have already conditioned their minds to believe that natural hair is difficult to handle so no matter what they do to their hair, they will complain,” Anna Palm, a natural hair advocate said in an interview with modernghana.com.
Anna who has been natural for almost 11 years and has her own product line noted that once women change their mindset and embrace their natural hair, they would love it without complaining.
By Pamela Ofori Boateng