Ivory Coast embraces natural hair

According to CNN, a growing number of women and men in Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) are embracing natural hair. Although natural hair is usually stigmatized by the larger society, the embracing of natural hair has morphed into movement called Nappys de Babi.

In Abidjan, hair can be a contentious topic. Many Ivorians are persuaded to eschew their natural hair in favor of chemical straighteners, wigs and extensions. Afros and dreadlocks are rarely depicted on local television, and those that wear their hair naturally can be shunned from their offices.

It seems strange Africans in Africa would need a movement to give them the confidence to wear their hair natural. According to the article, the hair of girls as young as three-years old is being "relaxed" (note the term relaxed as if hair straightening does not make one's hair tense).

The irony is that hair straightening and other cultural patterns emanating from colonialism and slavery are now enforced by Africans themselves.  

Nappys de Babi aims to return things to their natural state.

Read more here here and here.

Actor Cicely Tyson reflects on her role in the natural hair movement in the US.