Being an unofficial ambassador for African hair can be quite appealing, especially when you wow people with your kinky afro and cute hairstyles.

But everything has a downside to it, and the struggle and pain associated with maintaining natural hair is something you wish you didn’t have to deal with.

Here are 10 struggles you’ll relate with if you’re a naturalista:

1) The pain of combing:

Haircare day is always torture for because you know you can’t just pat your hair and be going like you’ve been doing for a couple of weeks.

So you wield that brush like a battle-ax and prepare yourself to cry while combing, which will leave your scalp feeling raw because of how coarse your hair is. And to make matters worse, your hair cuts too!

2) People think you’re broke because you decided to have natural hair:

If only they knew how expensive it is to maintain your natural hair. You had a few hair products when your hair was relaxed, but now you have a truckload and you keep buying more.

3) People advise you to stop looking like a madwoman:

The general agreement is that you look unkempt when you wear your hair naturally, so they never stop asking when you’re gonna have your hair done.

4) Annoying people who touch your hair without an invitation:

Who is this person that thinks you’re a puppy that loves being stroked by everybody without your consent?

5) Your hair shrinks like mad:

You were deluded enough to think you’ll have an afro as big as Erykah Badu’s…

…alas, that’s not the case because hair shrinkage is a real struggle for you.

6) Your hair always looks dry no matter the amount of moisture you apply:

Even if you pour a barrel of oil and moisturizer on your hair, it refuses to shine. Let’s not forget how yucky it feels when the oil starts dripping onto your face.

7) You’ve been tempted to start relaxing your hair again.

Because you’re just tired of the whole naturalista thing sef.

8) You’re very picky about the kind of hair salons you go to.

You used to pop into any salon before your naturalista days, but now you can’t because the hairstylists in most of the salons don’t know how to give your natural hair the TLC it needs.

You end up going back home with ruined edges and a sore head if you choose the wrong hairstylist.

9) Trying to figure out your hair type.

You didn’t even know this was a thing until you went natural, and now it’s all so confusing. Err, you’re not sure if your hair is a type 4a, 4b or 4c, you just know its natural.

10) Thinking of the best protective hairstyle that suits your face is stressful.

There are so many natural hairstyles out there you don’t know which one to choose. You eventually end up packing it in a bun and maybe tie a scarf to make it look cute.


Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.