For years, African hair has been a way to manifest their creativity and culture. In some quarters, it represents their royalty, heritage, social status, spirituality, tribe, and marital status.

Hair plays a vital role among the females in African society. It’s been used in many ways to signify their worth and hierarchy.  Hairstyling had been used in the past to display their value of fertility. That is to say that, if a lady’s hair was long and thick, she was fit to produce healthy children and if she’s in a mourning state, she would pay little or no attention to her hair.
In Africa, many still believe that the Hair is a symbol of divine communication which holds till today. But this is a topic of discussion for another day.



Methods of Hairstyling that were essential For the survival of African people

For Africans, hair plays an important role in survival. Some hundreds of years ago, ancestors would place rice, seeds, and sometimes gold on the scalp between two sections of the hair. They did this so that, if they are captured and forced to voyage across the Atlantic, they’d at least have a small amount of food for sustainability.
The technique was also used if they were planning a brave escape. They believed that seeds and gold could help them build their new life.


In the 1800s, African women were required to keep their hair covered in head wraps, except on Sundays when some could remove the wrap and style their hair for church.
Butter and other household items were used to moisturize and condition the hair. With no combs or brushes available, they’d use wool carding tools to comb through tangles and sometimes, use bacon grease for hair care and protective styling.
In the African setting, there is no hairstyle as common as braiding. In fact, some would add that there is no style more meaningful than braiding.


Braids are beautiful and as well as, other hairstyles that are taken care of; every woman regardless of her race should strive to feel comfortable and embrace their own hair.

As for me, this history gives me more reason to wear braids proudly. What about you? Which African hairstyle will you pick as the best?
Let’s share our choices in the comment section below.

Please share,  if you love this and want to convince an African or black woman into loving her hair the more.  Share also, your thoughts in the comments below!

Life musings by Nigerian lifestyle and relationship blogger Nuella Igwe focusing on creative entrepreneur, life tips, career, relationship, travel, blogging tips, beauty and skincare.


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