Ignorance about natural hair made me almost damage my scalp

When my natural hair was not very long, but not short enough to rock a TWA, my version of multiple Afro puffs were one of my go to styles. Many Nigerians called them Puff Puff when we were children, and seen as kiddie's hairstyle, but I rocked this style unashamedly to work. I always jazzed it up by making sure it was 'brushed' backwards a bit, or the front part was put in cornrows, and the back was in several puffs.

I normally used African Rubber thread or sewing thread to make Afro Puffs, and I felt this style would make my hair grow faster, since some Nigerians believe rubber thread makes hair grow faster. If you have read my personal hair story here and here, you will know that I never really grew my hair when I was a child.

So maybe due to my ignorance, I always felt that the tighter the hair, the faster the hair would grow out because the hair strands would be forced to come out of the scalp. Because of this, I used to tell the hair stylist to make the Afro Puffs really tight.

On a particular day, I kept telling the stylist to make it really tight. I insisted that she make it tighter when I felt it wasn't tight enough. She kept asking if I was sure. Maybe she must have seen my scalp popping out.

I went home, and immediately, my head was on fire, but I felt this was usual, and the pain would ease off hours later. A day later, I touched my head, and could feel light dry sores, so I felt the worst was over since the sores had dried up. About two days later, the pain was worse, which was strange. I asked my sister to look at my scalp, since my puffs won't allow me to see in scalp.

It was then I realised that you could literally see my scalp  tearing apart at every line it was sectioned. The sores were alive, well, and ever-increasing. The hair had been pulled so tight that the different parts of my scalp were fighting to pop out of my head in different directions. From what my sister could see, my scalp would keep tearing if I didn't loose the hair. Although I was pained that I only had the hairstyle for two days, I had no choice but to take it off. Immediately I took it off, the wounds started healing, and my scalp was saved. See pictures of some different sections of my damaged and torn scalp below (sorry, picture not very clear). Something like this is enough to permanently damage some women's hair follicles, thus resulting in alopecia that is irreversible.

I had no one to blame, but myself. I wanted to force hair growth, due to my ignorance.

Here is an example of the Afro Puff I used to do, but with different variations.

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  1. OUCH! Thank God it's back and longer than ever! Loved it at the meetup. I have an aversion to pain and discomfort no matter how little, so the looser and fewer the puffs, braids, cornrows etc the better for me. It made me really selective of the person styling my hair when growing up. Some people will style your hair so tight that smiling or laughing became a problem...lol!

    1. To think there was a time I used to like my hair so tight. Na wa o.

  2. lol, cannot believe you actually thought that making them tighter will make it grow faster.

  3. Pele!
    That must have been a nightmare.

  4. OUCH! Kpele! Thank God you saw the light :)

  5. I had gbidin gbidin too after a particular stylist styled my hair too tight when I was young. None of us went back to try her services again. Your ignorance is quite common in Nigeria, not sure of elsewhere. You wore several puffs at the back like kids? Why do u need the African threading? Is it to stretch the hair? I remember a girl told me she likes to braid hair tight when I told her she was braiding my hair too tight

    1. Please, Adeola, what is gbidin gbidin? Sounds like a yoruba name for a disease. Yes, as at 2 years ago, I used to wear Afro puffs like kids, but the bigger version.

  6. What is gbingbin....wow, ignorance is bad tho...but its not our fault really...its nigerian mentality




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