Why Ghana's natural hair fashion is bad for business

  |   Ghana News

In Ghana, natural hair is as much of a fashion choice as it is a political statement. The style says: "I am a confident woman" to the wider world, with the chemical-free twists, cornrows, locks or braids asserting each wearer's individuality - all without having to rely on chemicals. But it has a downside. Across Ghana, hairdressers specialising in perms, Jheri curl, leisure curls and European-style hair extensions are struggling to fill their salons.

"I can say I have lost about 50% of my clients who have opted to style and maintain their natural black hair," St Claire Adotey tells the BBC. "This has really affected my business." Ms Adotey has been a hairdresser in Accra for more than 20 years - not to mention a decade in the Ivory Coast - and used to have more than 12 clients a day. This has reduced drastically, to just three clients a day on average - which means the chemicals she has invested her hard-earned cash in lie unused, in danger of going to waste.

Mrs Pappoe admits the difficulty with natural hair is the combing - especially if you have very kinky hair. For some, it might not be that cheap. Mrs Pappoe estimates she spends twice what she may have done in the past maintaining her hairstyle. But it's worth it, she says.

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