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Living Abroad: Nigerian Women Forced To Wear Wigs While Men Do Their Haircut

Hairdos from intricate braids to natural curls and traditional hairstyles have become luxury fashion statements for many Nigerians living abroad, especially in England and the United States of America.

Nigerians living abroad, particularly in England and the United States, have turned intricate braids, natural curls, and traditional hairstyles into luxurious fashion statements.

Some Nigerian women and men living abroad shared their experiences and shed light on their struggles. While the ladies have resorted to wearing wigs to save money, the men are doing their own haircut.

In Birmingham, UK, a Nigerian student named Sarah shared that she hasn't had a new hairdo since leaving Nigeria in 2022. She mentioned that her hair texture, 4c, is quite different from that of the British, which limits her options to salons owned by Africans or Nigerians.

"Getting your hair done by fellow Africans can be quite costly. Many of them operate from their homes, but it still adds up. The price can range from £50-£100 (N47,000-N95,000), not including transportation. Some may charge £200 or more due to rent, taxes, insurance, and other expenses. Additionally, the inflation rate has significantly increased", she said.

Blessing, who works in a care home in Hatfield, mentioned that she isn't experiencing the same hair styling challenges as her fellow Nigerians because she came prepared with wigs. This way, she doesn't have to worry about getting her hair done, although she acknowledges that it can be expensive.

Mrs. Ifeoma, who resides in Scotland with her family, shared that she wanted to get cornrows in Edinburgh, but was quoted £30 (N28,000). This prompted her to make a decision - she would become her husband's barber, and he would help her cut her hair since he brought his clipper when they relocated. Now, she enjoys the freedom of rocking a low cut and wearing wigs whenever she wants.

Rowland, a medical expert in Manchester, mentioned that numerous Nigerian men have acquired the skill of cutting their own hair. However, those who didn't learn are experiencing the consequences.

He mentioned that he didn't learn how to cut hair before moving abroad. As a result, he only goes for haircuts occasionally and opts for a "very low cut" at the most affordable salon.

"Since I arrived in 2020, I've only had my hair cut twice because it costs almost two hours' worth of my work pay. It's challenging for me to justify spending £23 on a haircut. The salons here have separate prices for hair and beard cuts, and they're mostly run by foreigners like Arab guys, Polish guys, and Africans who own barbershops. It was a surprise for me when I saw the price on the salon door was £12, but then I was charged £23 because the £12 was just for the hair on my head and an additional £11 for the beard", he said.

He did mention that the prices vary between cities. In London and other major cities, the cost is higher, but you can find the cheapest options starting at around £9.

He suggested that Nigerians planning to relocate should take the time to learn how to cut their hair from their barbers in Nigeria. This way, it will be easier and more cost-effective for them when they eventually move.


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