Story by Misturah Ibiwunmi Tairu and Bernice Gift Nicholas, Edited by Segun Otokiti.
A lot of things are happening today to make generation of the late last century seem like those in the Stone and Iron ages. To the new generation, the last one is archaic, simplistic and out of tune with current development and civilization, even if repulsive.
Things usually considered shameful and morally unacceptable are today the vogues. And hair styling as practiced these days are part of the vogues. From improvised dreadlocks, tinting, women going in skin-cut to heel-length braiding and other weird styles, today’s generation has given a completely total definition of how hair styles should be worn.
The transition, however, doesn’t come without plausible reasons. Ladies, according to some of them spoken to by our reporters, are dropping their well known long hair style for simply low cuts with splashes of tainting in recent years.
Cost and simplicity are the major reasons driving this trend that is traditionally associated with men, according to those that spoke to our reporters.
To some, it makes them look sexy and fashionable, while to others, it is cheap to maintain and makes their hairs healthy for a longer time.
Oluwabukola, a fashion designer at Clem Road, Ijaye, Lagos said all along she was not comfortable with long hair touching her body, which made it easier for her to switch to low cut. She said also that her scalp was fragile and made long hair style hurt, therefore preferring to have her hair in low cut than to plait it.
She added that having haircut is also less time consuming as she had no time sitting in the salon just to make hair.
To have a new haircut, she said she only needs to visit the salon for once in two weeks while she would add a tint to the hair in to look different from the normal male style.
Like a normal male haircut she said she added tint to the hair colour to spice it and makes it lasts up to 2 months before it fades off. She confesses however that tinting does have adverse effect on her hair as it causes the hair to break once in a while.
Mrs. Bukola said haircut is easy to maintain as it gives her the privilege to bathe from head to toe everyday as well as afford her to brush and apply gel afterwards to make it curly and nice.
Another lady from Delta State, Precious Bolu also shared to us that haircut is something she likes and makes her feel more attractive. Besides, she acknowledges the fact that she can get water in her hair without having to worry for itch or smell.
Bolu said she’s got a pretty small stature because of which she always adds a tint so people would know she’s a bit of an age. “Also it makes me look fashionable as I won’t need to wear wigs all of the time. Nigerian actress, Nancy Isime is an example,” she stated.
She complained however that how tinting makes hair unhealthy and not grows well. According to her, the problem is that the tint lasts up to over a month and that one will need to wait for the tint to fade off completely before being able to relax the hair, hence it will cause the hair to break out excessively.
For Mrs. Olarewaju Khadijah, a phone merchant in Ijaye, Lagos, her own story of getting low cut is a result of not being able to take care of her hair for several months which caused it to break out excessively and making her look ragged. She said she barely had time off her business to go to salon and therefore decided to have haircut with tint to make it fashionable.
If some women do hair cut willingly and freely, it’s a different reason of practice for Mrs. Rachel Soyinka. In her case, it’s her husband, Mr. Oluwole Soyinka, an educationist, that had his wife doing low cut. Mr. Soyinka said he had watched his wife leave her hair unkempt for weeks making him uncomfortable looking at it. He said it was then he suggested she should start barbing it if she felt uncomfortable with her hair dangling back, the excuse Mrs. Soyinka gave earlier when her husband commented on how rough the unkempt hair made her look.
Mrs. Soyinka disclosed that she felt glad at the suggestion and her husband took it upon himself to get her every barbing tool needed to get her a healthy haircut and its maintenance.
MEN TOO ARE MAKING WAVES
The women folk is not alone in the change of hairstyle convention. Its counterpart men folk is also making waves in the practice, perhaps more assertively.
Before now, men on dreadlock were either regarded as having it from birth, the typical ones being called dada in Yoruba land, or were mentally challenged individuals whose hairs became dreadlock from lack of bathing and combing due to their mental illness. But strange and funny enough, the consequence of mental illness on victims’ hair has today become a passionate fashion patronage by young and adult males.
A dreadlock stylist in Mushin, Lagos State, Muhammed Oladapo spoke to our reporters of how expensive wearing dreadlock could be. According to him, it costs 16,000 naira to get a fresh hair dread and N5,000 to relock, which is to be done every two weeks .
Explaining that a new dread takes two to three hours to make, depending on hair type and growth level, he said it takes less than an hour to relock dread. “One can have a dread on for a longtime as the beauty grows for as long as it is being maintained,” Oladapo declared.
According to him, some of the customers have their dread on for weeks, months and even for couple of years. He said the older it gets, the more it looks like natural dread. He explained that when an individual wants to change from dreadlock they have it cut off, no matter how long the dread grows.He added that some keep the hair when cut while some sells theirs.
Oladapo believes dreadlock is inspired by celebrities who wear them and their fans tend to follow suit.
Mr. Maleek, an owner of a phone tech company at Ojokoro, Lagos, took us through the journey of his dread which is a year old now. “The same way I see myself on a low cut is the same way I see myself on dread,” he stated. When asked why he chose to go on dread he said it’s the same way a lady feels wearing a new hair to have a new look. He disclosed he’s on dread because he wanted to change his new look, explaining that it took him about two hours to get a new dread on.
Maleek said it’s expensive maintaining dread hair as he goes to his stylist twice every week to wash and treat the hair and to avoid it from looking rough or similar to a mentally deranged person.
An undergraduate, Olaleye sheriff living in Igando, Lagos was seen on dread and when asked about the inspiration behind it, he explained thus, “I am a music artiste and the dread is a trend in my kind of work”. He explained that dread feels like their normal image as a music artiste and one without it on is regarded not in vogue. He went as far as adding bead ornament on his such that one would mistake him for a female. He said all of it is trend that makes him unique.
Olaleye explained that his dread has been on for more than a year and that he treats it at salon weekly to avoid itching or smelling. He maintained that he would continue the routine for as long as he feels fed up of having the dread on.
To one Olowu adewunmi, the same way ladies tend to change their hairstyle is how he feels to go on dread at time. Against popular reason, he said he didn’t do dread for trends to change his look from regular low cut. He countered that there is no need for the weekly maintenance as he carries dread on for minimum of three weeks and maximum of two months.