Beauty

The Bald and the Beautiful: African Women Tell Us Why They Did the Big Chop

We talk to five African women with short hair about why they decided to cut it all off.

DIASPORA—Gone are the days when “long hair don’t care” was #HairGoals. Women are rocking short cuts like never before and these “bald baddies” are leaving us in awe.


Beautiful “bald” women are turning heads on runways, stunning on the cover of magazines, and glowing in some of our favorite music videos, and—in the process—are showcasing yet another side of black beauty. They’re challenging trite beauty standards and radiating confidence stronger than Blac Chyna’s plan to ruin Rob Kardashian’s life.

If you want to see just how beautiful it is to be bald—we’ve got you covered! We asked 6 bald beauties at this past EVERYDAY AFRIQUE party two simple questions about why they decided to go ahead with "the big chop" and how rocking their bald and beautiful dos makes them feel.

Scroll down to read their responses.

Rachael Ikwuagwu

Photo by Erica Garns.

Why did you go bald?

I first started off cutting my hair because I wanted it to get healthier. And once it was short, I realized I loved the low maintenance, and to be honest I’d rather spend my money on shoes than hair. That’s just it— I have to have just one vice and I picked shoes.

How do you feel being bald?

I usually don’t remember I have hair on my head until I have to wash it. I love waking up and just going—I love the ease! There’s 12 months in a year—8 of them I have short hair and 4 of them I have hair. I’ll get braids or twists when it’s winter as a protective style to keep my head warmer, and then once spring comes I’ll buzz my head again and rock it until the weather gets cold.

Shernita Anderson

Photo by Erica Garns.

Why did you go bald?

Honestly, I feel like it was God. I was on my way to Six Flags with some friends and the idea just popped in my head. I had been doing my locs myself for like 7 years and it’s a LOT of work. Then boom the idea popped in my head. I contemplated it for a month—I was on a job where I couldn’t change my look. I prayed and also I asked my mother what shape my head was. She was like, “girl, I was rubbing that head, your head is perfect!”

How do you feel being bald?

Shaving my head has made me feel the most beautiful I’ve ever felt in my entire life. I no longer have days when I feel “ugly.” I always feel like a snack with this hair.

Osa Ajani

Why did you go bald?

Girl, because I felt like it! It was #BaldySeason and it was just something different. This is not not my first rodeo show—I’m used to this. The last time I cut my hair was about 5 years ago, so I just felt like doing something different. Carefree. Black Girl Magic. Year of the Glow!

How do you feel being bald?

I’ve been getting so many compliments. I feel like my new hair cut is so well received now and I just love the love, the stares, the questions. I love it all.

Nicole Oribhabor

Why did you go bald?

I was natural for a decade and it was a lot of work, and I woke up one day really happy with my face. I was like, “Damn, I’m really in love with my face, and the hair was over powering my face sometimes." I woke up and I went straight to the barber and I cut it all off. I’ve been like this for a year and I love it.

How do you feel being bald?

This is the best decision I’ve ever made, better then picking a boyfriend, or a husband or anything! Cutting my hair off was the best decision I’ve ever made because 1. You wake up, brush it down and you still look fly. 2. Everybody else thinks your fly. 3. It’s the most confident way to be, because there’s no secrets. I’m literally revealing myself to the world and people are engaged with it as long as I’m good with it. I love this hairstyle!”

Ivy Green

Why did you go bald?

“I wanted to go blonde and I knew I couldn’t go blonde with a perm. I’ve been platinum since 2015.”

How do you feel being bald?

“LIKE A BAD ASS B!$@&”

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Image courtesy of Riveriswild

#BuyBlack: The 8 Black-Owned Brands To Shop For On Black Friday 2019

It's that time of year again, here is OkayAfrica's 2019 gift guide for you to #BuyBlack this Friday.

You know we're near the end of 2019 once the holiday season comes back around. Thanksgiving is upon us and the bargain shopping and gift-giving is set to commence thereafter. While this American "holiday" being questionable in of itself, Black Friday is a prime occasion to highlight, support and spend exclusively with black-owned businesses.

Just like we mentioned last year, let's keep the 'for us, by us' energy going. Even beyond the hustle and bustle of Black Friday, tap into the businesses that continue to contribute to wealth-building, development and employment in Black communities around the world.

Here is OkayAfrica's curated shortlist of black-owned brands to take note of this Black Friday, including some standout home decor, fashion, skincare and beauty brands you should know.

Take a look below.

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Photos: The Best Street Style Outfits From Lagos Fashion Week, 2019

See what Nigeria's best dressed had to say about what they wore to fashion week events.

In Lagos, Nigeria—a city home to more people than New York and London combined, where there's always a party around the next corner—your outfit does all the talking. From Friday to Sunday, Lagosians step out in their weekend best, determined to outdo their last look. No matter where you look there's no shortage of ankara, agbadas, suits, colours and fascinating silhouettes and striking new hairstyles for ladies and men. This energy was everywhere during Lagos Fashion Week 2019 which ended on Saturday the 26th.

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14 Cultural Events You Can't Miss this December in South Africa

OkayAfrica's guide to must-see events during South Africa's festive season.

South Africans will tell you that December is not just a month, it's an entire lifestyle. From beginning to end, it's about being immersed in a ton of activity with friends and family as well as any new folk you meet along the way. Whether you're looking to turn up to some good music or watch some provocative theater, our guide to just 14 cultural events happening in South Africa this December, has something for everyone.

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Photo by Lana Haroun

From #FeesMustFall to #BlueforSudan: OkayAfrica's Guide to a Decade of African Hashtag Activism

The 2010s saw protest movements across the continent embrace social media in their quest to make change.

The Internet and its persistent, attention-seeking child, Social Media has changed the way we live, think and interact on a daily basis. But as this decade comes to a close, we want to highlight the ways in which people have merged digital technology, social media and ingenuity to fight for change using one of the world's newest and most potent devices—the hashtag.

What used to simply be the "pound sign," the beginning of a tic-tac-toe game or what you'd have to enter when interacting with an automated telephone service, the hashtag has become a vital aspect of the digital sphere operating with both form and function. What began in 2007 as a metadata tag used to categorize and group content on social media, the term 'hashtag' has now grown to refer to memes (#GeraraHere), movements (#AmINext), events (#InsertFriendsWeddingHere) and is often used in everyday conversation ("That situation was hashtag awkward").

The power of the hashtag in the mobility of people and ideas truly came to light during the #ArabSpring, which began one year into the new decade. As Tunisia kicked off a revolution against oppressive regimes that spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook played a crucial role in the development and progress of the movements. The hashtag, however, helped for activists, journalists and supporters of causes. It not only helped to source information quickly, but it also acted as a way to create a motto, a war cry, that could spread farther and faster than protestors own voices and faster than a broadcasted news cycle. As The Guardian wrote in 2016, "At times during 2011, the term Arab Spring became interchangeable with 'Twitter uprising' or 'Facebook revolution,' as global media tried to make sense of what was going on."

From there, the hashtag grew to be omnipresent in modern society. It has given us global news, as well as strong comedic relief and continues to play a crucial role in our lives. As the decade comes to a close, here are some of the most impactful hashtags from Africans and for Africans that used the medium well.

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