My Hair, My Faith

In the previous post, I Am Not Ghanaian?, I narrated a conversation with a guy with regard to natural hair and one's nationaliy. For today's post, the focus is one another topic that cropped up during our 2 hours drive to Accra. Read on.

Haven told the guy I was a  Ghanaian, he went further to ask another amusing question, "where do you fellowship? "Are you a Christian or Muslim? I told him I was a Christian and he  probed further, "which denomination? I answered him and immediately asked him, "why?" He replied, " I asked because of the way you were dressed.  I wore a pair of jeans with a blouse  so I could not understand his comment. Then he added, "I am  surprised to see you in this outfit because the ladies  I know with natural hair do not wear these clothings". Ok! I got his message; he was associating wearing natural hair with religious practices.

There are many christian and non-christian denominations in Ghana which require their women to wear natural hair. For this reason, wearing natural hair is seen to be an integral aspect of been religious. Since it is a practice for these women, their natural hair is worn as a symbol of their adherents to what they believe in.

For several years, the majority of women with natural hair were members of these religious groups. It is therefore, not surprising that a lot of Ghanaians associate natural hair with religious beliefs. Since members of these churches also have a peculiar mode of dressing, it is ultimately assumed that any woman with natural hair belongs to these churches and  therefore conforms to the set standards.

On the other hand, women with relaxed hair often look down on these ladies because they do not conform to societal standards. They are sometimes described as "archaic and old school" because they choose to refrain from perms and certain types of attire. This common sense assumption still persists and it is against this background that I understood the gentleman's question.

 However, I know with time, people will learn to separate religious beliefs from personal lifestyle. I have always admired christian women who wear natural hair as part of their religious practices (I have attended some of their church services).  

My natural hair does not make me inferior and neither does it make me religious.



  1. Great post...I remember when I told a friend of mine in Ghana(phonecall) that I was thinking of going natural. His response: you wanna look like the women in Ghana that go to that church? ... we went back and forth till I was able to explain my process and why I wanted to go natural. I can totally relate to your experience.

  2. He gave you a tough time!!!!


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