PARENTS should desist from using relaxers on their children’s hair due to health hazards associated with it, Adanna Enwezor, convener of The African Hair Summit says.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday, Enwezor noted that mothers especially should be good role models for their children and show them the benefits of keeping natural hair.
According to her, having her hair burnt by a texturiser when she was pregnant a few years ago, led her to research on the dangers of relaxers on hair and skin.
Enwezor said she found out that so many diseases were linked to relaxers which inspired her to start the African Hair Summit, to sensitise Africans on the health benefits of keeping natural hair.
She added that it was hurtful to see young children dragged to have their hair relaxed and recalled her own experience as a young girl who wanted to have her mother’s kind of relaxed hair.
She said, “I agree that the home is a very crucial place. I remember when I was growing up, I had very long natural hair and when I got into secondary school, I decided to relax my hair.
“This was because my friends all had relaxed hair and I wanted to be like them. Again, because my mum’s hair was relaxed, I was under pressure.
“I remember her asking me not to relax my hair and I pointed out hers. Every mother should know that your children look up to you so much and you have no idea how much they want to be like you,” she said.
Enwezor told NAN that the 2019 African Hair Summit will strongly focus on getting more women to understand the benefits of natural hair, so their children could learn from them.
She said, “so we are really pulling in a way to get in more women organisations involved and we are hoping that through these organisations, we can also reach out to a lot of women.
“We want to have them come to the event, learn and embrace healthy life choices that can be mirrored by their children.
“This year, we are also working with schools. Last year, we had a couple of schools at the summit.
“We want the children to see firsthand that this is a big deal and it is an event to be natural, to embrace our roots.
“It is now something worth celebrating and we want them to come and join in this celebration of our culture.
“It is something that is at the forefront of our thinking at this point. We are engaging them young and we are also looking for ways to bring in the parents as well,” Enwezor said.
NAN reports that the African Hair Summit is the biggest gathering of natural hair enthusiasts in Africa.
The 2019 edition will have Ifu-Ennada, Dakore Egbuson-Akande and Michelle Ntalami as envoys. Also, Nike Oshinowo as a patron and panellist.
The summit will hold on June 14 and June 15 in Abuja. A pre-event health walk is billed to take place on June 8.