Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Big Salon. Bigz Girlz!

I’m not proud of it, but I’m one of those gals who will wear braids, cornrows or weave-on for 3 months if you let her. In the States I used to cite the outrageous price of doing hair as my alibi for carrying ageing hairdos. $55 to relax my hair? Pul-lease. Aren’t relaxer kits supposed to be Do-It-Yourself? I didn’t repent even after I ditched my student earnings of $6.50/hour for a post-graduation paycheck.

Maybe it was the childhood routine of sitting in hot salons between smelly legs, as they wove my hair that causes me to over-exert the freedom that I have now, but I don’t like paying to have my scalp tugged at for hours. I’ve been in Nigeria for almost two years and I’m yet to do braids, even though I can fix braids for a fraction of the price it costs in the States. I’m not ready for that gig, or for the damage it does to my own hair. (weird how I have to say, “my own hair”)

But in Lagos, hair is big business! Trust Nigerian women to turn anything wearable into a status symbol. Imagine my shock when a friend told me her hairdresser, or as y’all would say, stylist, was trying to sell her a N70,000 weave (give or take $500)!

I thought I heard wrong.

I’m used to buying N800 human hair. And I like to buy the type that is very full, so that one pack will reach. In fact, I always warn my hairdresser to manage that pack well, because I’m not going to buy another pack if it finishes before we finish my hair! If ya know what I mean. The stylists used to beg me to remove my hair after two weeks! And when they raised the price of fixing weaves from N400 to N500, I didn’t hide my discontent.

But one Sunday afternoon, God delivered me from the stronghold of miserliness.

It was the weekend before Christmas and I was in a mad rush to do my hair. I was driving through Ikeja GRA area and drove in to a large salon hoping it wouldn’t be too crowded. As I parked I took note of the fancy cars in the lot. Uh oh, I thought nervously, but quickly shrugged it off. How much could it be?

Me, that I’m used to retouching my hair for N300 – pere! By the time I stepped out of their upscale dryers, I was slammed with a bill of N4,500. Embarrassed at my shock, and upset because my hair was poorly done, I gave the stylist a N500 tip to help me stay calm. Later on, I had to stop myself from rattling off the opportunity cost of N5,000 – new shoes, new outfit, fuel for my gen. Hours of GSM talk time. Ok stop.

Two weeks later, seeking to restore the disaster on my hair, I found what looked like a more economical salon, but was served with the same bill. Initially disgruntled, I lightened up when I noticed just how healthy and well cut my hair was. You wouda thought I was wearing a weave! As my American sistas would say, “that girl know how to do hair!” I’ve been able to stay clear of extensions since she started managing my do. With my hair budget up, I feel like I’m being indulgent considering how little I used to spend on my hair.

Now to seal the deal I just need a serious solution to conquer dandruff. Those anti-dandruff shampoos aren’t working. Any suggestions?

So yels, my peoples, do you think I’m shedding the ayetoro mentality and becoming a bigz girlz? Even though I’m not sure I’d buy a $500 Brazilian/Indian/whatever other nationality’s hair—but if you bought for me, I’d wear oh!


  1. Hey.. first time here i think.. quite a courageous thing you did...Will definitely come back to hear your side of the story..

    Errr.... 70k for a weave on? My friend would ask if the weaveon could be sent on an errand!

  2. yes o, the hair situation in Lagos is crazy. If you can't serve it when it comes to the weaves u might as well go natural. i find egyptian hair more affordable and very nice (like 25k for 2 packs).

    let's leave the 70k weaves till after NYSC.

    as a general rule, the more expensive the salon, the more they will mess up ur hair. i dunno where u live but Q2 in Opebi (next to chicken republic) will HOOK u up for 1000 naira. ask for brother sola.

  3. I feel sometimes in Nigera, we just like to call out prices... without delivering the value that should be attached to it...

    like you're doing, it's hard for me not to convert things to dollars... I will say find a friend who can get you your hair from the source (which is much cheaper) and buy alot of it... but NGN5000 is about $40... which is comparable to what you would pay in the states... so that's not too bad...

  4. weavon for 70k?????? *faints* :-)

    but seriously dem do d weavon, the seller or the buyer HABA!!!! i make my hair at a relatively small price sum where in oshodi, but if i tell u say na for 'down town' or 'head master' i make am, u go gba! :-) there r sum very good' not too xpensive hairdresser around, u only have to look 4 dem.

    *as per the dandruff,i dont kno which shampoo to recommend But how clean is ur hairdresser, how often do u wash ur hair, does she wash her hands b4 touching ur hair,how clean are the combs, brush etc dat she uses, sum of these causes dandruff n oda scalp irritants'
    gudluck (me sef dey find :-)

  5. I guess at the end of the day....upscale and lowscale salons still charge big.

    for the dandruff, use sulfur 8 anti dandruff
    for cleaning the flakes out, use "brittny" clear liquid...I have heard they work

  6. wow that is pretty expensive. i can imagine the shock on ur face. u should try head and shoulders, it may work for you

  7. My friend went to the salon last week and made her hair for 15k! She called to tell me she was on her way to my house with one of the stylists as she didn't have enough money on her to pay them.

    Don't mind all these salons. Anyhoos for the dandruff, get a bottle of ordinary shampoo and add 30 tablets of aspirin. Mix well and use like normal. You can get shea butter as well to rub on your scalp when you are done.

    Rock your do!

  8. oh yes!! I haaaate getting my hair braided..too much tugging and pain to look beautiful!
    For the dandruff, you can also add some tea tree essential oil to sweet almond oil or olive oil..

    aspirin also works the trick :)

  9. trust nigerians, we looooove over-priced stuff!

    i only go to the salons to get my hair touched up, i wash and style my hair myself, and people ask me where i get it done. there's just no way im paying an arm and a leg for someone to just pour a gallon of oil on my hair!

  10. My mom says, you gotta pay to stay fly, but really sometimes it gets out of control. However, if the end product is good, then you get what you pay for.

    As for dandruff, I would suggest tea tree oil mixed with some castor oil or coconut oil.. Put it on your scalp the night before you wash your hair. Excessive heat, overstyling can stress the scalp and cause it to shed/dandruff. just try to keep it clean as much as possible.

    Best of luck!

  11. Lemme 1st join LG and faint @ the 70,000k weave on! Some women really go overboard sometimes.

    My dear, i can relate to those foolish prices some saloons in Lagos like to quote like no person dey pluck money 4rm tree.

    After paying them 7,500 to fix one stupid hair in that "big" saloon, u will now meet someone who made her hair at Oshodi and her own will be finer!

    But i still miss doing my hair at Bobby's sha, i can't even lie. When it comes to managing your natural hair, they do get it right.

    Since i left naija, the price of doing hair has me considering gorimapa!

  12. Are you fo'real???!!
    A 70k weave..?


  13. Wow, I'd have to go bald to afford Naija's prices too.

    Oya show us pics of your lovely hair now...I'm jealous from the description. I haven't found anyone who relaxes hair well here...every time it's the same old burning scalp issues.

    Hmm, these anit-dandruff tips are great...had never hard of most of them.

  14. 70k is good now, havent u heard of Funmi hair? dat supposedly cost 500 pounds!!! yea, dats over a thousand dollars. when no be say i dey pluck money for tree!!

    if u want to braid ur hair, i can hook u up with a girl who braids mine for me at home, for 3500 or 4k depending on the style and length

    i relax and style my hair at bobbys - its off allen, if u use their own relaxer its 3500, if u bring urs its about 1500 or so, i dont think thats too bad.

  15. Lol, those arrogant stylists that charge silly money because they know the customer can afford it. I am going au naturelle in my bid to stop assaulting my bank account for the sake of my head. Anyway sha, big girl status is not easy to attain o, but once there you gotta make big money to stay there.

  16. Naija!!! no de fail me we too like to pose! then you will see girls bringing out the money with this look in their eyes like oh that soooo cheap thats why aristo in Naija is sooo popular ,you dont have to work to be a bigz girl, uncle de

  17. 70K 4 weave is HIGHWAY ROBBERY, all these so called stylist are CRIMINALS, I Had one come to my house and instead of charging me the regular (but expensive) 5K he decided that since I used curly hair he should charge me 8K WTF??? anyways luckily for me, I brought my own pack (ages) of weavon with me and all am looking for now is a RELIABLE hair stylist!

  18. Well, I have nor made my hair in 2 yrs but I still want to believe there are affordable places to make hair in Lagos.

    Is the world change or what? $500!

  19. I be guy so I no dey buy other peep's hair (no yabs to our ladies o, lol). Quite the opposite, I'd love to get rid of any accumulation of hair on my head as soon as possible - they say I look finer without it.
    The problem for me was coming to the states and having to pay $20 to get rid of my hair. $20?!! my mind quickly does some calculation; that's almost N3,000 - almost 30 times what I used to pay in 9ja. How much does the yeye clipper cost sef?
    Anywho, complain or not i have to shell out the money every 2 weeks to remain a fine boy candidate. I know that's peanuts compared to what you girls dey drop. God dey!!

  20. 70,000 Naira to make your hair? That is ridiculous. Anyway, you ladies are trying sha. You have to shell out loads of money to look attractive to us. I enjoy reading your blog. Keep the good work up. Cheers.

  21. N70k ke? dat what can fa? Will it guarantee u traping a nice good looking rich strapping guy that would love u with all his heart and till death do u part? If so, then its worth it. But if not- what can fa?!!!! lol!!

  22. For Dandruff I use Sulfur 8 & African Royale they are sprays. They work really good. Cuz i keep my weaves in foreverrrr lol.Your not alone girl :)

  23. Yes, weaves can be incredibly expensive in Nigeria. I have heard of the Funmi hair. Well, I guess if you have the money and if you're happy with the results. But to me, spending so much on HAIR is ridiculous.

    Almond oil for dandruff is good and relieves itching. I'm au naturale and considering giving up the braids for good, however working out with my hair out will be extra work.

  24. LOL...my dear you are now a Bigz Girlsies o! As in N4500 for weave? hell no. I'm think 2k or the highway...even that 2k sef, I hear they cheated me..hiss. Anyhoo...I know what u mean with those braids. They pulled the heck outta my scalp it wasn't even funny. I can't believe I let them do me ghana/senegalese braids. I almost died after. Never Again (neva say neva sha). But no...it was too painful. I've never fixed a weave in 9ja. Do you know good places that fix weaves in abuja? I have been there in a min.

  25. hair saloons in abuja are crazy,first you have the high class ones where you get some TLC and a spritzy hair do that gets the reaction " where did you make your hair" and there those ones that would do a good job but forget the pampering, then there those ones who insist they can do a classy job and are just as pricey but you end up with a terrible hair style that doesn't hang right... i just endured one recently and for everyday i managed to show face with it on, i repeated to myself...i will never go there again...lol

  26. -mary, we’re must seriously overhaul our value system. Quick money is the order of the day not just for our young but, across our generations.

    -uchenna, let me echo it: highway robbery. Daylight robbery. But you see, cos that’s the way it’s done in Hollywood, we must to follow no?

    - standtall- there are affordable place in Lagos, finding the ones that do it well is the challenge.

    -Richard, my male friends used to complain about hair cut prices in the states too. But I like you jare, you know wasap. Gats to be big! Heh heh.

    -Tolu’s paradise, thanks, you guys keep me writing!

    -Tigress, apparently a number of us ladies think it will!

    -Funmi, my pesin!

    -Ore, thanks for the tips dear, do you know where in lagos can I get organic almond oil, tea tree oil?

    -anyaposh, in Abuja you can go to PolyPlaza, near GTBank/ AP Plaza in Wuse II. There are a couple of well known salons in there that you can try.

    -omonaikee, wasap hon? Word! God dey sha.

  27. -JustDB. Ha ha, that would be some errand

    -arewa! 25k, I’m yet to buy the 2k one. Thanks for the tip will check out Q2.

    -Diamond hawk, yes oh, I convert everything to dollars because things are priced based on the importation costs. It also helps put things in perspective. Yes the hair prices are comparable but I rarely spent that much on my hair in the States.

    -LG, thanks for the hair tips, my sister was recently telling me to stay clear of all these chemical shampooes. Excited about trying it all out.

    -naijagirl, yes they do. Thanks for the hair tips. Though I hear it’s best to stay clear of these strong hair products and go for the natural home made mixes.

    -BSNC, I didn’t hide my shock at all. I’ve tried head n shoulders and no luck

    -LusciosR, mmh 15K ! Yeah, I’ve ordered for some local shea butter.

    -Amina, I’m already looking for tea trea oil, do you know where I can get that in Lagos?

    -bumight, I wish I had the patience to do my hair myself. I like very low maintenance styles that I can just brush and go in the morning.

    -Ssydelle, definitely staying away from the heat and styling and tugging on my scalp. I’m told I have sensitive scalp. Thanks lady.

    -mizchif, I’ve been to Bobby’s. The hair was ok and they were efficient, although I thought it a bit too crowded. I guess we pay for location ey?

    -RocNaija, so for real. Naija for you!

    -GNG, heh heh, I’ll put up pics when next I get a retouch, hair ain’t looking too fly now.

    -36 in, I’ve hear of Funmi hair oh. Price of labour alone, without the weave can come up to 15k. I tried Bobby’s . Was ok, but one of the girls gave me a serious attitude. One of the chief stylists eventually attended to me in the “special” chair. Ha!

    -L-VII, mmh, no big girl clamoring here oh. Got berra things to do with money.

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. I haven't bought either almond or tea tree oil in Lagos, but I noticed that Healthcare Plus (I think that's it's name) in the Palms, opposite the food court sells some essential oils.

  30. 70k ke for what.

    I was slammed with a N7k bill in PH for a steam and badly fixed weave - I could cry. The nicompoop who did my hair also prescribe one bottle of pills for breaking hair which he went and bought for N1k the bottle had no label sef and for the life of me don't know what the product is called.

    The weave came off 3weeks later.

  31. hey, pardon my intrusion to your blog but reading about what you've been through now that you back in nigeria is kinda of crazy and funny at the same time and it looks as if you're having so much fun, it's like the issue of life giving you lemon and you're making lemoade (sweet one though not sour) out of it. Nice work ma'am keep the flag flying.

    From fellow omo 9ja out there still learning from university of life.

  32. everything in nigeria is a result of a break done in our system. my first reaction to this was these prices are over the roof expensive but second thought; the store owner runs their saloons on fuel for at least 12hrs a day even in my hse they spend about 10k or more every day. imagine with all the thongs dryers and ac at the saloons. and that person is thinking of buying fuel at home 2. its not necessary the labour you paying for but the operational costs are too high.
    I mean its true that nigerians like to call price but sometimes they may be other factors involved(i dont own, or know anyone with a saloon nor am I in nigeria at the moment but based on reports from fam/friends thats my guess)

    Its the system that needs changing

  33. u cracked me up big time...love ur blog

  34. everything costs a fortune in naija

  35. Hi Im a lurker here...

    I mentioned your blog in a review for http://nigerianstalk.org

    and its also on mine


  36. Pls update already, abuja bigs girl.

  37. I know my posting will be late...however, well done on the blog...you need to post another!
    As for the dandruff...make sure you find a product that has ketoconazole in it...it will help reduce the flakiness...also what are you doing with your diet? Are you eating well? Diet also affects the condition of the skin...you may be lacking essential fatty acids. So try adding more fish or fish oil to your diet as well as nuts and grains.
    Best of luck and feel free to email me.


  38. lol. i cant help but do my hair twice every week in naija. hair making is obviously very cheap, its the purchase of the hair i have a problem with. nice post.

  39. Enjoyed reading.
    Listerine does the trick for dandruff. Best way to apply it is part the scalp, get a cotton ball and put the listerine on it, then dap the cottonball on the scalp or rub on the scalp.
    Another way is to pour it all on your scalp BUT, I did that and it got in my eye!!!!! I thought I lost my eye, lol...painful...go with the cotton balls!

  40. Enjoyed reading.
    Listerine does the trick for dandruff. Best way to apply it is part the scalp, get a cotton ball and put the listerine on it, then dap the cottonball on the scalp or rub on the scalp.
    Another way is to pour it all on your scalp BUT, I did that and it got in my eye!!!!! I thought I lost my eye, lol...painful...go with the cotton balls!

  41. That is daylight robbery!
    what's the name of the salon you eventually settled for?

  42. 70k is way 2 much! Funmi hair is even mo expensive. Anyway 4 dandruff i use no more dandruff shampoo n it works like a miracle.

  43. Ladies

    I noticed quite a few people commenting about the lack of credible and consistent hair salons that genuinely do a good weave or provide high end hair extensions at prices that are still within reach. DiAmOnD Hawk said: “I feel sometimes in Nigeria, we just like to call out prices... without delivering the value that should be attached to it...” I work for a company called Hair Candy and what we do is provide high end hair extensions coupled with the services of a team of US celebrity hairstylist to ensure you get the best hair woven to perfection. The hair we provide is very popular with ladies who buy or like Funmi hair as our hair has more movement, stronger wefts, more affordably priced and noticeably better quality. Furthermore the stylists use the same products they use on their celebrity clientele, which include people like Beyonce, Mary J Blige and Ciara, on the everyday but discerning woman. Hair Candy will be in Nigeria, early next year, to talk about their services, which will be available from February 2010. There will be stylists available for appointments. Hair extensions will also be sold separately. If you are interested in attending the group presentations please email your name, email address and a contact phone number to info@haircandy.biz
    There is an information page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hair-Candy/110960497912)
    See you all soon in Nigeria.

  44. for dandruff, after you wash your hair at the salon towel dry your hair and let the stylist apply olive oil to your scalp directly, she should also massage it into your scalp. Then wear a shower cap and steam your hair for about 15minuites, under a dryer or a steaming machine.Once you are out of the drier apply conditioner and leave for about 5 mins...comb hair before you rinse it out preferably with warm water. You might still need to blot some of the oil out but it leaves your hair healthy and shiny. Do this once in two weeks and you wont hav dandruff anymore. Works for me.

  45. Look Hair Candy, enough of the old marketing talk. Just bring good quality hair at affordable prices and leave out the con artists from America.

    There is a lady in South East London called Xtralengths Hair who sells very good quality hair. This lady is so passionate about the quality of her hair that she does not go for anything less than the best and at a reasonable price too. She sells Indian Virgin, Indian Remy, Mongolian hair and Russian Hair. You can get her on 002347985200574.

  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. first let me say i like your blog and im sure i'll return.now there is no N800 human hair that i know of.is that a deliberate exaggeration? otherwise please let me know this brand of human hair that is so cheap so that i can start buying it. i dont even mind if u can send to me, thanks, seriously. now i am a nig girl, living in north america. i too thought it was crazy when i heard it but i have since changed my mind because i've actually thought it through and you can take this to the bank. get this : you say N70k, equivalent of $500 and that it is too much? if this woman buys this hair at the price of $250- $350, average range of purchase here, remember she still has to pay shipping/air fare, custom duties, packaging, labour, rent and finally there has to be profit abi no be so??. please you guys how much do you think you would sell it if it were you? some are even more than N70k because there are different categories. yes it sounds pretty high to spend on hair but i think it's a question of pay if you can otherwise cut your coat........ i will be back to see your comments/answers.

  48. as for fixing of weave on i don't know why it is that expensive. i do fix my weave myself on occassion even though i def don't enjoy it. sometimes its the money and sometimes its just more convenient at the time. and the first and only time i went to fix my weave at bobby's i took it of that night. i felt downright UGLY, the weave didn't fit!! but it may be bcos i'm so particular and if i have spent money/made effort on something i cannot bear to have to manage it. i will get rid of it if im not satisfied. af for natural hair care though, i like a lot of what i used to hear from bobby those days on new dawn.

  49. Thats why you have dandruff,you carry your cheap synthetic weave for 2 months.or wont spend your money to buy a decent dandruff shampoo. What to u expect to get with such a cheap mentality? I am stepping out of this throw away weaves, i eventually spend more than the ppewho buy thereal human hair, my big sister brought this virgin brazilian weave since last year,and she is still rocking it.while i have used countless weaves and braids thati end throwing away. Face it, we dont all have good hair andsome of us need to enhance or hair, but these cheap synthetic weaves are a waste when you end up throwing it away. I am taking my own 70k to buy mine soon, my sister still has her virgin hair looking good after ONE year. Say all u want i will get mine this week. No more useless use once hair weaves

  50. I had a real bad dadruff for many years. I tied different chemical like head and shoulder, nizoral over the counter and prescrption strength, sea breeze, tea tree, apple cider vinegar etc, but non of these worked for me. Recntly I went and purchased sulphur 8 medicated original antidandruff hair& scalp.It is made in USA. I know I had used something similar to this in the past. But this tine, it worked like magic. I am proud to announce that afer so many years of struggling with this and visiting from one dermatologist to the other, I am finally dandruff free. For the past six months, I have not had any flakes in my scalp.

  51. Yeah.This whole craze about hair extensions is putting a lot of girls into problem.A girlfriend of mine after paying almost 80k for a lacewig had to borrow another 18k from me to make the hair.And before she paid the money back,it took a long time.I am not against it if tou can comfortably afford.But if you can't,please don't put yourself in debt because you are trying to look good.

  52. A new salon is coming up that's going to solve all the hair issues of the classy black woman at an incredible rate. Just watch out.. me i can't wait for them to start already. Brand name's something like.. Simdi or so.

  53. please put an end to ur stressful way of looking good by calling this no 08057786387 for ur homeservice hair making of all kind and sewing of unique native attire at affordable prices. Contact me today and testify to a "no more stressful" way of looking ur best .

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  57. There are sooooooo many affordable hair dressers in Nigeria who do veeery good job !!! Some customers just like names.. which most times don't work. Those good ones can be found in street corners, just very close to you. Take all your items (towel and all) when going and you come out looking like a star.