What I Learned About Hair Care In Madagascar

11:06 AM

Article written and submitted by Holly Carrell 
Hello everyone! I have been thinking about something, and I wanted to share it with you all. A few years ago, while I was in undergrad, I went on a mission trip to Madagascar and Botswana with a group from my school. We stayed for about a month in each place, and set up a small clinic, gave Bible studies, and set up a church. It was a beautiful experience. The best decision I have made so far. I learned so much about myself, other cultures, and especially about my faith.

I started reminiscing, and I started thinking about the attitude toward hair/hair care in Madagascar. In the area where we were, it was VERY rural, and the people were poor. But the women were BEAUTIFUL. Beautiful skin, beautiful hair. Most of the women had curly hair, and dark brown skin. And their hair was SO PRETTY!! It was shiny, long, looked strong, and just absolutely gorgeous. And they followed some pretty simple principles that I found I could learn from! Here are some of the principles they followed.

I will admit, I never saw a woman there wash her hair, so I can’t comment about that (not that they didn’t, I just wasn’t paying attention to hair care at the time.) But whenever they did their hair, they would wet it with water, detangle, then seal with coconut oil. (I know because I let one girl do my hair, and that’s what she did) no other products, just water, and coconut oil.

Protective Styling 
After each section was wet, detangled, and sealed with oil, they braided it. Just braids like we would do for a braid-out. Maybe about 15 in total. Instead of taking them down, however, they took the braids, pulled them all back, and made a bun. That’s it. Every day, the same style. Braids in a bun.

The women in the village we were staying in kept up the same regimen all day, every day. There was no out of control PJ-ism (I’m guilty too!), they simply did what worked, and stuck to it.

THAT’S. ALL. So low maintenance, yet so effective! Their hair grew to at least waist length, judging from the size of some of the buns I saw, and what I saw when watching them braid their hair. I thought about this and I was amazed. LONG before I knew anything about sealing, protective styling, low manipulation, consistency, or anything, they knew the secret to healthy, happy hair. Maybe we could take some lessons from these women from a country some would deem 'less developed' or 'simple'. Many times, the simplest solution is the best one........

If any of you ladies have an opportunity to travel out of the country, DO IT! It's so eye-opening. There is so much that exists outside the comfort of the United States. Don't just stay in the resort either, go see how other people really live. It will change your perspective on things so much!

I don't have many pictures of hair styles, but I did my best...
The ONE picture I could find of a woman’s hairstyle. Not the best, but you get it, braids in a bun.
The rest are pictures of children, because, I mean, everyone likes pictures of children! 
and picture of me, just to prove I was there. LOL!
 Such a cool read Holly, thanks for sharing :) Make sure you visit her on Curl Rehab for more hair tips and stories!

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11 People Obsessing!

  1. I am a college freshman and this is really convincing me to study abroad! I love the connection you made between your trip to Madagascar and how your experience relates to hair care. What an interesting article!

  2. This is a great article! I needed this because I'm trying to get my hair care regimen together.

  3. Beautiful story! Beautiful people!

  4. NAPS? hey oakwoodite!

  5. Thanks for sharing this with us. I love to see a glimpse into a world that i may have never known about. Thanks for letting us share in your lesson^_^

  6. I find the article a liiiiittle condescending. Not all of it (the vast majority is interesting), mainly 'LONG before I knew anything about sealing, protective styling, low manipulation, consistency, or anything, they knew the secret to healthy, happy hair.' Although the author admits she/'we' may view the country as less developed, I'm surprised that she's surprised (or 'amazed') that people who have had a certain type of hair for generations know what to do with it.

    I think most people fail to keep their regimens completely simple because they don't really want to, not because we don't think it works. I know that's true for me anyhow!

  7. Without a doubt, the Malagasi people are one of the most Beautiful people i've ever seen pictures of on this planet!

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