Some Abuja residents have said that hair braiding makes men appear irresponsible and that the practice is foreign to Nigerian culture.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that hair braiding or weaving is popular among African women as they use it to maintain their natural hair textures.
Some Nigerian men have lately also adopted it as a fashion statement, especially footballers and those in the entertainment business as a way of creating a unique identity for themselves in society.
But a cross-section of Abuja residents interviewed by NAN in Abuja said hair braiding should be restricted to women alone, as it is their exclusive reserve.
Mr Vincent Chukwuebuka, a resident of Wuse 2, said that “society sees men who engage in hair braiding as people who deviate from societal norms and values and as such have nothing to offer to the society.
“ People tend to see them as being irresponsible in society because they tend to look rough and unkempt.
“The African culture does not accept men braiding their hair, men who braid their hair are mostly moved by the trends just to fit in.
“Though braiding was once seen as a social act in Nigeria, our present culture does not accept it.
” I personally do not like judging people by the way they look, but I think we should follow the rules guiding our society,’’ Chukwuebuka said.
Mr Collins Okoroafor, a resident of Kubwa, supported the claim, adding that the reason why men braid their hair is to copy from celebrities.
He said they are trying to imitate the popular culture of the current time, to look stylish and feel belong.
“Celebrities have a great influence on people, they see their favourite artist on braids and they do the same, though it is not part of our culture.
“ The conservative nature of the Nigerian culture does not accept male braiding hair.
” Once a typical Nigerian sees someone who braids hair, they think he is into music or a gang member or he is not someone you can look up to as a responsible person.
“ I also do not think that is a way to judge someone though, but our culture is too conservative to accept it,’’ he said.
However, Mr Michael Okoye, a resident of Gwarimpa, there is nothing wrong with hair braiding for men, saying he braids his hair because he is an artist and needs to portray what he does.
“I think males keeping their hair is part of our culture, our forefathers kept their hair so I do not get the hate on it by people this present time. We cannot change that part of our culture, cutting off your hair to me is slavery.
“We are only mimicking the western culture by cutting our hair. Keeping or braiding my hair is my choice, our culture should accept it because it was once a part of us,’’ Okoye said.
Ms Esther Joseph, a resident of Dei-Dei said that there is always a wrong impression of those who braid their hair.
She said that they are either seen as thugs or yahoo boys.
“ Men who braid their hair always get the wrong impression from people, though they might be responsible individuals, people would not know until after a one-on-one conversation with them.
“ Though I do not think one should be portrayed by the way they look, everyone has a culture and African culture is not in support of it,’’ she said.(NAN
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