Since this is the month of celebration of Nigerian independence; it is the perfect month to show solidarity by donning an African hairstyle that we only remember when we are invited for a 60’s or 70’s theme party.

For centuries, Africans have created hairstyles that are uniquely theirs. These hairstyles go all the way back to the ancient times and continue to show themselves in every new societal era. Many of the most iconic African hairstyles can be found in engravings and art works created in the Ancient African world especially ancient Egypt. When the painted sandstone of the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti was discovered in 1913, her beauty was enhanced by a high-top hairstyle and because of this, her image quickly became a global symbol of feminine power.

 

Although nothing about Africa can truly be forgotten because the world essentially began in this region, there are some things about our culture that we have ditched in order to be like the rest of the world – things that make us unique and bring out our beauty and talent. Since this is the month of celebration, the celebration of Nigerian history; it is the perfect month to show solidarity by donning an African hairstyle that we only remember when we are invited for a 60’s or 70’s theme party.

 

Afro

This is the most popular amongst the hairstyles that we don’t wear anymore, we only remember the afro when we are asked to dress in an old school costume. Do you know that the afro is still a very fashionable hairstyle? This hairstyle is deemed ‘unprofessional’ but if you think about it, it is a God-given hairstyle because all you have to do is grow your natural hair and comb it out well.

With the “Team Natural Hair” movement growing by the year, one will not be far from right by predicting that soon and very soon, the afro hairstyle will come back in full style and become our norm again. But for now, you can either wear a fake afro or comb your hair out (if you are part of the team natural movement) in solidarity with the Independence anniversary. You can also make your afro a small one or a big one, it depends on what you are comfortable with and if you are a lady; you can also style your afro by putting a beautiful sun flower in your hair or a beautiful bow shaped ribbon to soften your look.

 

Bantu Knots

The bantu knot is still a popular hairstyle today but it is not commonly worn, it is only worn on special traditional occasions or for photoshoots. If you ask me, the bantu knot is one of the most beautiful hairstyles out of African. Bantu is a word in many African languages that means ‘people’. The essence of the name of the hairstyle translates to solidarity of the people: “unity”. What a wonderful way to show unity and solidarity by wearing a hairstyle that carries the same meaning and essence of Nigerian unity.

 

Hi-top Fade and Shape-Up

Almost everyone who was born in the late 80’s and early 90’s had an uncle that rocked the high-top fade. Influenced by the emerging hip-hop culture of the 80’s, the hi-top fade was another way that men styled their afros when they wanted something different. The afros were shaped up, the sides were cut very short and the front was left as high as the person wanted it to be. Although this hairstyle is predominantly for men, women can get in on the action as well. In the 80’s, legendary African-American singer Grace Jones wore the hi-top fade and it made her a fashion icon.

There are a few different ways to wear the hi-top, you can do a classic braid on the hi-top, corn row or even do twisted locs on it but the most classic way to wear it is to leave it high with sharp angles. There is really no artificial way to wear this hairstyle but to grow your hair out as long as possible.

 

Thread

This is an iconic African hairstyle. With thread, you can’t be anymore African than this. Thread hairstyles was to women in the 1960s what human hair is to us in present day. If you were born in or before the 90’s, you have probably worn this hairstyle at least once in your life time. But something has happened and this iconic hairstyle has disappeared from our minds, it is no longer our go to hairstyle. Thread hairstyle, although forgotten by most of us, is still a very beautiful hairstyle to wear. It is not only beautiful but it comes with some benefits as well.

  • It boosts hair growth: This is an open secret, that African threading grows hair.
  • It is a protective hairstyle: This is why every time you do thread and take it off, your hair is soft and easy to comb.
  • It is a safe way to straighten your hair: Instead of using heat to straighten your hair, thread can do it for you without any risk of damage.

Although African threading is no longer part of our regular stylish hairdo, the fact remains that it is not only part of our heritage but also offers benefits to your hair. You can either use the rubber thread, yarn or wool to do this hairstyle. Since we are in 2021, you are not stuck with only the colour black; you can use different colours of wool to do your thread hairstyle and since we are in the Independence Day mood… Green perhaps?

Beaded Braids

 

Beads and small animal ornaments was a huge part of our fashionable culture. Back in those days, the more beads you wore on your body, whether in your hair, neck, or waist, the more beautiful you were. If you look back at the images of great African historical figures, not one of them was without beads or small animal ornaments in their hair, on their head or on their body in general. The easiest way to adorn yourself with beads in modern times is to put them in your hair; either in your corn row or on your braids. It will give you a different and exotic look.

As Africans, Nigerians most especially, we are a unique and very interesting people. They say that the map of Africa looks like a gun and Nigeria is the trigger; this is true, because nothing amazing happens without the Giant of Africa. So, let’s celebrate the best parts of our culture this month and hold dear in our hearts the beauty of this republic called Nigeria