Society and lifestyle
23 September 2021, Le Sénégalais
In Senegal, women are furiously in love with falling hair. Most of them have their heads in those long locks from elsewhere. This new hobby is called “natural hair.” Thus, to have some, they are ready to pay. It costs the eyes of the head, between 200 and 300,000 francs. But that's “in.”
In some human races, hair is naturally long, unlike others. In Senegal, hanging hair is not unique to our girls subscribers, however, to coquetry. Most of our women have short hair. Perceived as a sign of beauty, among young girls and Senegalese ladies alike, voluminous hair is essential, alongside the clothes and shoes that they often nickname "fashion" or "pop".
There are two kinds of hair, human and artificial. For the first category, also called "natural hair", high cost is hardly a criterion of inaccessibility with us. They crown the beautifully dressed heads of Senegalese women in the street, at parties and ceremonies or in the office. More than just an accessory, they are now part of the Senegalese woman's body.
A manager of a hairdressing salon located in Castors deals with her students around her clients. Questioned on the price of this human hair, she maintains that the prices exceed 100,000 CFA francs and vary according to the size. “In a bundle of natural hair, there are just two meters. I sell the package for 120,000 CFA francs. Whereas for a single head, it would take four meters ”. The two packages would then cost 240,000 CFA francs. There are, however, she tells us, other variations that require more money. “It all depends on the size, in fact and it can fetch around 300,000 francs. The smallest size is 12 and the largest varies between 20 and 22. These last two sizes reach all the way to the buttocks ".
Four salaries on one head
Given the high cost of natural human hair, which can be worth the equivalent of four salaries, a student warns women. “The traditional wig is much cheaper and not necessarily less aesthetic,” she pleaded. She points out the risks associated with this new hobby: “Thieves know very well that natural hair is very expensive. So they will not hesitate to tear off in the middle of the street with their scooters the hairpieces or the wigs of the women who always put on human hair ".
On the provenance of these golden fleeces, Ndèye Fall, a hairdresser found in her living room at Hlm, says that real natural or human hair is imported either from India or Brazil.
This hair is obtained, she says, “from the Indians or Brazilians who cut their hair to sell it. So there is no additional treatment. The hair is just sewn on the end at the tailor's before being put into bundles ". To make sure the hair looks natural, she says, there are lice.
An opinion that is not shared by Béa, a lover of these natural curls. According to her, in India, “the cut hair is entrusted to women who are in temples. They are the ones who transport them to Indian factories which treat them by killing the germs.”
Such a precaution, she says, "is to prevent the transmission of diseases, since in Senegal we are used to putting them on our heads several times".
A very lucrative business
Sold in cosmetics stores, non-human hair costs less and can be styled without any particular constraints. The same is true for human hair.
Babacar Ndoye, a manager of a boutique full of beauty products located at Sandaga Market, initially believes that hair that grows straight from a person's head is banned by Islam. According to him, "it is outlawed by the Muslim religion. That’s the reason I don’t sell them. In addition, scientifically, they can be a source of disease.”
If this non-human hair is called natural, according to Babacar Ndoye “it is because the so-called“ Yaki ”and“ Naomi ”strands, although not human, can be used several times and can be styled under other hair. shapes, without degrading them. Oddly enough, human extracted hair has the same qualities. "
Artificial hair comes from the Usa, he points out, and it doesn't cost a lot. “Prices vary by size. The smallest costs 3500 CFA francs per meter and the package of the large size, 18000 francs ”. This is more beneficial, he thinks, besides "those who buy them spend less and they are also treated well".
Amy Ndao, in her early 20s, found at the Sandaga market, shopping, with her natural hair wig in size 16, does not share Babacar Ndoye's reasoning. In his opinion, natural hair is more profitable, despite the high cost. “I find human hair to be of exceptional quality. They are not only soft but also I can put them on several times.”
High cost doesn't bother her too much, she says, because “anything expensive is good. And we Senegalese women know that you only die once, so it is better to buy it once and for all.”
▼ Recommended for you