If you are like me who is always curious to know the secrets of anyone with long hair, you will be interested in what makes the hair of the Chinese people of the Red Yao ethnic group so long & shiny. By long, I mean that the length of their hair reaches all the way down to their ankles. Sounds like your hair goals, right? So then, let’s find out the secrets of the long black hair of Yao women.
Happy new year! 2017 is full of opportunities for us to learn & unlearn about life including our hair journeys of course. Last week, there was a post about the Wodaabe tribe in Nigeria and hair lessons we could use from them. I decided to try out some of their interesting hair styles on my hair. Prior to doing this, I already had my wash day where I fortified my hair with Aphogee Keratin Reconstructor. This protected my hair from breakage while I manipulated it to achieve the style. So, let’s see how to achieve the Wodaabe hair look.
1. I divided my hair into 4 unequal halves. I divided the sides in such a way that when I plait them, their braids will dangle in front. I also made middle front part bigger than the one at the back.
2. I started off by doing didi plaits on both sides and at the back too.
4. For the front part, I did didi as well. Towards the ends where a braid should be, it was not braided. it was converted to a pompadour.
5. I finished off by using a string of blue beads to decorate the style.
Pros of Wodaabe Hair Look
- It is an amazing protective style with the ends of your hair tucked in.
- Heavy manipulation of your hair is also not required.
Cons of Wodaabe Hair Look
- You are going to receive a lot of stares from people the day you do this style. If you are the shy type, you may not want to do it.
- If your skin is prone to acne, the full pompadour in front might rub against your skin and trigger break outs. You can raise the pompadour higher away from your skin to prevent this.
As a little kid living in Kogi state, I remember seeing Wodaabe women with their long luscious hair and caramel-colored skin. They always dressed the same way, with same tattoos and henna designs. When we moved to Lagos state, I noticed that quite a number of Lagosians patronized Wodaabe women for their hair dyes and concoctions that was believed to made hair grow. Our landlady was one of these customers. Unfortunately, her hair never grew past her neck area. This could be because using products alone can’t make your hair grow, how you take care of your hair is much more important. However, these Wodaabe women with long & shiny hair do some things to their hair we can learn from. See Wodaabe women hair growth lessons below.
Moisturizing: Wodaabe women apply Mai Shanu (cow butter from raw cow milk) on their hair to soften it & also add shine. We may not have to go looking for Mai Shanu, but we must not forget the importance of moisturizing our hair regularly with water, natural oils & butters. Instead of Mai Shanu, you can use Shea butter or even mango butter to seal in moisture into your hair.
Protective Styling: One of Wodaabe women hair growth lessons is that of protective styling. All the Wodaabe women I have seen usually have their hair in stylish plaits. Because of the hot weather in the northern part of Nigeria as well as their religion, they sometime protect their hair in loose scarves. Now that the harmattan is here, protect your hair with low manipulative styles if you can.
Decorating: Multi-colored small & medium sized beads, cowries, bones, etc usually decorate their hair. These beads are arranged at the tips of the braids & also wrapped around their foreheads. So, whip out your Alice bands, scrunchies & other accessories & let’s get stylish.