In some African countries, natural hair isn’t a thing that is celebrated. Most women are encouraged to straight and chemically relax their hair to become accepted, and if you happen to wear your hair natural at work, often times you’re given side-eyes. But slowly but surely, there are those who are now embracing their natural hair.
In Abidjan, one salon that specializes in natural hair notices that a change is coming, even though woman are still shunned for wearing their hair natural.
“I have one friend who has natural hair, and she has to wear a wig to work. They will not even let her inside the building with natural hair,” says Azi Oyourou, founder of Re-Zen Up, in an interview with CNN.
Re-Zen Up is one of a handful of salons in Abidjan that specializes in natural hair. On top of the salon, a Facebook group, which acts as a support group for those women who choose to go natural, is gaining popularity.
Nappys de Babi holds monthly meet-ups where members offer advice to each other on how to manage their hair.
“My hair was breaking and one day I just decided to clip it. It was something I just did for myself with no motivation to start a movement,” says Mariam Diaby, the group’s founder.
“When I started the group, I just started with three or five friends who were wearing their hair natural. We added another friend, and another, and in three months we were about 200. Today we are a group of 8,500.”
Here are some of the group’s members singing along to Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” in praise of their natural locks.
Image credit: CNN