AFP/Sia Kambou - 'Nappys de Babi' group, which promotes natural frizzy hair, gather in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on February 8, 2014

AFP/Sia Kambou – ‘Nappys de Babi’ group, which promotes natural frizzy hair, gather in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on February 8, 2014

In the Ivory Coast, a fairly new group of woman meet every two months in the capital of Abidjan. The group calls itself “Nappys de Babi,” and the 2,400 odd members share tips on how to maintain their natural hair.

The main goal of “Nappys de Babi” – which is a combination of “natural,” “happy,” and Abidjan’s nickname – is to convince black women to forgo relaxers, extensions, and wigs. However, most of the women haven’t worn natural hair since their teenaged years. Co-founder Miriam Diaby points out the women don’t really know how to care for their virgin hair or even access its needs. One participant asked how does she know if her hair is hydrated.

Diaby also mentions how natural hair isn’t widely accepted, prompting women to go the straight route in the first place. “Society frowns on ‘afro’ hair overflowing all over the place,” she says.

Member Liliana Lambert adds, “People are uncomfortable about it. When they see you wearing natural hair, they look at you like you are a pariah, like there is a problem, when actually, it should be normal.”

And, of course, that often leads to “curiosity” about the texture. Lambert says people “want to touch such hair all the time.”

“It’s just ignorance,” she adds.

It seems natural hair woes are universal.


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  • Cora

    Love it- Love it- Love it- Back to our roots where it all began with Queen Motherland! Nothing like seeing our regal beauty emanated in its most pure and natural form.

  • Pingback: “If I Can’t Be Natural in an African Country, Where Can I Be Natural?” | Napptuous Woman()

  • Tina

    This is great but it also is crazy to me! I would have thought the movement would have started somewhere in Africa. Alot of the ingredients we use in our hair come from Africa! I thought more women in Africa were natural or that natural hair would be more accepted!