Nappys de Babi, a natural hair group in Ivory Coast, is paving the way for the re-introduction of natural hair care in the West African country. The word ‘Babi’ is the nickname of Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s bustling capital.
In Ivory Coast, straight hair is the ideal. Many women use relaxers, or wear weaves and other extensions. Additionally fair-skin is highly desired and advertized, leading to the widespread use of carcinogenic whitening products.
According to one of the founders Miriam Diaby, “Society frowns on ‘afro’ hair overflowing all over the place.” Bibi Gagno, owner of the website omgiloveyourhair.com, male stylist Ange-Dady Akre-Loba, as well as Liliana Lambert, a half-European, are part of Nappys de Babi to contribute to the de-mystification of afro-textured hair.
Nappys de Babi’s community has grown to 2,400 members. They hold meetings every two months to share hair care tips, information and their experiences of going natural.
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