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Naturals Need to Quit Okra Hair Gel Before It Becomes a Thing (From a Concerned Nigerian)

Avatar • Feb 11, 2016

I know being super connected to the continent is in vogue right now – from tribal makeup at music festivals to dashikis – I get the appeal and I’m all for the unity of Africans regardless of how far back their continental ancestry goes.

rihanna dashiki | KlassyKinks.com

BUT MY NATURAL FRIENDS, FROM A NIGERIAN GIRL WHO LOVES NIGERIAN FOOD, Y’ALL CANNOT BE USING OUR FOOD INGREDIENTS ALL UP IN YOUR HAIR.

First it was palm oil, which has been touted as a viable coconut oil replacement by the likes of Curly Nikki andformer Fashionista of the Month, Marra even did a video on different ways to use it in your hair. Though I haven’t gotten around to trying it on my hair yet, I was ok with palm oil being a thing for naturals to try – it has a distinct smell and color so I was pretty confident it wouldn’t go “mainstream,” meaning I could still count on finding some at Trader Joe’s because it’s surprisingly cheaper there than at African food markets.

HOWEVER, I RECENTLY CAME ACROSS A VIDEO OF ONE OF THE BELOVED SISTERS FROM MY NATURAL SISTAS, WHO MADE AN OKRA HAIR GEL. AND I BECAME VERY, VERY SCARED.

If anyone knows me in real life, you know that I STAN for okra soup. Like, I can eat okra soup every day of my life and be cool (and probably slim as heck because okra = a VERY healthy digestive tract ok??). The only thing – on some days – that might beat out my okra craving is suya. I will eat okra with stew. I will eat it with rice. I will eat it with a spoon and no swallow. I am committed to my okra.

Photo Credit: All Nigerian Recipes

Photo Credit: All Nigerian Recipes

Which is why I’m not down with sister Toni suggesting that folks go on out and buy up all the okra in the store to make some gel to lay their edges. There are so many darn hair gels on the market already!

Karen’s Body Beautiful$15.99

Creme of Nature$4.29

EDEN BodyWorks$8.09

Carol’s Daughter$7.89

Design Essentials$10.80

Cantu$3.79

Beautiful Textures$6.49

Dark & Lovely$3.59

Optimum Salon Haircare$6.99

Pretty please guys, don’t use okra in your hair. I need to eat it to live. And I cannot afford for the cost of okra to go up. Pretty please.

Sincerely,

A okra loving Nigerian girl who wants us to FALL BACK on all the DIY stuff for a quick second because it’s now tew much and I need to sustain myself for the next 100 years of my life. With okra.

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About Klassy Kinks

KlassyKinks.com founder and editor, Ijeoma Eboh, is on a mission to change perceptions of kinky textured hair around the world. You can find her on social media @klassykinks.

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TWA4now
TWA4now
4 years ago

The good stuff is usually natural…including her beloved okra. Hahahah.…if it works for that person, use it…it is THEIR choice.

rumo
rumo
4 years ago

Sorry, I don’t really understand. What does being Nigerian have to do with anything? Okra isn’t a Nigeria exclusive plant. Is using okra bad for your hair? If so, that’s a valid reason to be against it. It resembling something you eat is not really a good one to me. People use coconut oil in food and hair. I’m Ethiopian and we put the same butter we use in food in our hair as a deep conditioner. What’s wrong with looking for a natural alternative… unless I’m missing something here.

Maxine Shaw
Maxine Shaw
4 years ago
Reply to  rumo

She doesn’t want the price of okra to go up if it becomes a fad. It’s supposed to be a comedic piece

V.M
V.M
4 years ago
Reply to  rumo

Nigerians and West Africans love using okra in our soups and stews. I’m Ghanaian and okra had been a staple in my life since forever.

Marmaduke
Marmaduke
4 years ago
Reply to  rumo

it’s tongue in cheek humor

Habibty
Habibty
4 years ago
Reply to  rumo

She just doesn’t want the demand to drive the price up. If everyone in America started using Kibe in their hair like they do at home the price of butter would increase a lot. I think coconut oil has gotten a lot more expensive because of all the hype.

nylse
4 years ago
Reply to  rumo

its “tongue in cheek”. she’s being funny, and I get it.

PollyWally
PollyWally
4 years ago
Reply to  rumo

She’s trying to be funny…chill lol

dedesantos
dedesantos
4 years ago
Reply to  rumo

okra is popular in alot of nigerian dishes. she’s saying that if DIY okra hair gel blows up in popularity like flaxseed gel for example, then the prices will go up on okra. Its just a joke though lol.

agman
agman
4 years ago
Reply to  rumo

Since when is butter a deep conditioner? Lol.

Habibty
Habibty
4 years ago
Reply to  agman

It has been used as deep conditioner in Ethiopia for a loooong time.

KosmoKhaos
KosmoKhaos
4 years ago
Reply to  rumo

That’s what I was thinking lol. I thought this was going to be a “don’t use it, its actually bad for your hair” kind of article but it’s just someone who doesn’t want the price of Okra to go up because they like to eat it? Lol I love Okra too but I guess its good for the body and hair. I never even heard of this until just now so I don’t see Okra becoming as popular as flax seed or aloe vera gel. So I don’t think this girl has anything to worry about.

Wasashoot
4 years ago
Reply to  rumo

I was thinking the same, like what does being nigerian has to do with anything? Africans and even japaneses eat okra so what is her point. Food can be used in so many ways beside eating. Also if people doesn’t want to make okra gel it’s their business no one is forcing them

Lolalao
Lolalao
4 years ago
Reply to  rumo

Okra is actually better for hair instead of flaxseed gel. I made the switch several months ago to water only hair wash. I most say that it’s been the best decision for my hair. I had to learn what items to use because I’m not using commercial products anymore. I know she has to be joking! Lol

Moises
Moises
3 years ago
Reply to  rumo

Rumo. Looks like you didn’t get the sarcastic comment. There’s nothing bad about okra for hair, actually is so good, that her point is a concern about a imminent increase okra demand for cosmetic purposes attempting to people’s budgets on groceries.

Best

Pamela A
Pamela A
4 years ago

I’m also a Nigerian and I think people should be able to use okra on their hair if they want to, lol. It’s probably healthier than those commercial gels. Besides, okra isn’t grown or eaten in only Nigeria.

Pamela A
Pamela A
4 years ago

I’m also a Nigerian and I think people should be able to use okra on their hair if they want to, lol. It’s probably healthier than those commercial gels. Besides, okra isn’t grown or eaten in only Nigeria.

K.Gray
K.Gray
4 years ago

She’s vegan so it’s only right she uses something natural like okra. Lol, you may have to just get use to it.

Ttd
Ttd
4 years ago

I think your statement about claiming okra for one region or country is off putting. I’m a proud Africa America, and we have ratting and used okra for generations. How do you think people come up with new products? They experiment. Then they become mainstream.

Skewee
Skewee
4 years ago

A bit of humor, I guess? I hope so, bc, otherwise who is she to tell others what not to use in their hair, simply bc she doesn’t want them to???

dwntomars
dwntomars
4 years ago

Because wanting to share the beauties and wonders of your culture is such a horrible thing that must be stopped.

Akwele
Akwele
4 years ago

It’s not that it’s bad for your hair. Put whateva you want on YOUR head. But if EVERYONE starts doing it… Supply and demand will drive the cost up. And we that love our okra stew, soup, fried okra will be crying because we have to pay $12 for a bag of okra. I am with my sista. Please don’t do this to us <3

Marmaduke
Marmaduke
4 years ago

wait! trader joe’s sells palm oil for cheap? my dodo game is about to step UP

Evelyn Organics
4 years ago

I’m haitian and we use okra in many meals and I also use it in my hair, along with olive oil, flaxseeds, marshmallow root etc… I have a very sensitive scalp and cannot use store bought products because the itching they cause is unbearable. Currently I only use products that i make. I dont see why its so absurd to use the same products we use in cooking in our beauty regimen? Its a great way to know what your exposing your body to. People have been doing this for years with great results. And not everybody wants to buy… Read more »

Lakitha Goss
Lakitha Goss
4 years ago


I agree with you 1000%. My family is from the South and we have always eateen okra. After learning about the harmful effects of hair relaxers and other chemical filled products that have been markleted to our communities, i have embraced using natural products like palm oil. So many of my friends have suffered from issues like fibroids, etc. due to many chemicals.

Fellow food-lover
Fellow food-lover
4 years ago

Wow… Ijoema don’t worry girl, I get your humour. Was laughing at this entire article. People got to get fed after all.

blueberry_martini
blueberry_martini
4 years ago

I guess this was meant to be funny. Okra is a staple food item in the Caribbean — okra rice, soup, oxtail and okra etc etc. I get that palm oil is being discovered by non-african blacks, but okra? Okra? My sis, okra is ubiquitous. It’s not that serious.

Jojo - AgedneverOld
Jojo - AgedneverOld
4 years ago

Definitely a tongue-in-cheek post. People need to loosen up a bit. Geeze. Everyone knows neither palm oil or okra belong to Nigeria. The writer obviously was trying to be humorous.

curlybae
curlybae
4 years ago

Lol was this article a joke? Maybe it was because there is no reason i should give my money to filthy rich corporations, when i could make a natural gel thats both beneficial for my hair and cheap at hom. Plus indeed okra is used in many cultures. We eat okra in haiti and in all the west indies as well. So about the author of the article being nigerian, i don’t understand how it’s relevant.

Ssfamily8
Ssfamily8
4 years ago

She just sayin that when something cheap gets popular the prices go up because there is more demand. Natural is great but many people like to eat healthy too and are tired of thier healthy life choices becoming more and more expensive. There are already so many phenominal natural hair products, use them instead of constantly looking for the new holy grail. People (in any country) wanna have stuff to eat without paying an arm and a leg to get it.

Sithé Annette Ncube
Sithé Annette Ncube
4 years ago

I’m reading this as tongue in cheek. Okra is eaten in many parts of the world including where I’m from and this is no different from using flaxseed gel or coconut oil or mayo in your hair. I’m not seeing a point to this article.

MyFluffyPuffs
4 years ago

This is too funny! Half the Edge Controls you show have either Alcohol which dries the living day lights outta your baby hair or Cocamide which could be cancerous. Girl just DO YOU… Flax Seed is another soft hair gel to use which is a food — this earth provides vegetation that serves multi-purpose!

keda
keda
4 years ago

lol. i think this is all in good fun. i felt the same way when i saw some kinda hair recipe using sea moss. I was like HOLD UP ! as a trini i need my sea moss to drink…lol.

agman
agman
4 years ago

The OP needs to fall back on telling other naturals what to do. But I do agree that naturals doing these DIYs are ridiculous and waste of precious food. Companies invest lots of time and money to develop products specifically for hair to properly cleanse and condition them. I have a hard time comprehending how ACV or vinegar rinses cleans hair. And yogurt, milk, and other dairy-based products have NEVER conditioned my hair like silicone conditioners can.

Miss.
Miss.
4 years ago
Reply to  agman

if some of y’all can’t tell she’s joking…i don’t know what to tell you…*sigh*

AfroCapricornette
AfroCapricornette
4 years ago
Reply to  Miss.

I swear, people all up in their feelings not being able to detect levity/humour.

merry
merry
4 years ago

okra is eaten in the southern united states — it’s stewed, fried, etc.

one of my favorite okra dishes is a stewed dish with tomatoes and shrimp — it’s actually a new orleans dish.

Rose
Rose
4 years ago

What? The argument in this piece is so weak it is almost ridiculous. The author doesn’t want okra to become “a thing” because it will drive prices up and create a penury to the point where she won’t be able to find it in the store and eat it at her leisure… seriously? For one, okra doesn’t originate from Nigeria though it is a staple dish. Nigeria is the second highest producer but India is the first and then Iraq, Ivory Coast, Pakistan, Egypt, Benin , Cameroon, Ghana and Saudi Arabia. It is a staple in many countries in Africa,… Read more »

dedesantos
dedesantos
4 years ago
Reply to  Rose

The joke flew over your head. It’s not that deep.

Rose
Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Rose

Dang why are there two people named “Rose” on this site 🙁

blueberry_martini
blueberry_martini
4 years ago

I guess this was meant to be funny. Okra is a staple food item in the Caribbean — okra rice, soup, oxtail and okra etc etc. I get that palm oil is being discovered by non-african blacks, but okra? Okra? My sis, okra is ubiquitous. It’s not that serious.

cryssi
cryssi
4 years ago

Is there a shortage of okra I’m unaware of???

liberianwoman
liberianwoman
4 years ago

Lmao.….… This is clearly non- sense. Is the author of this post haunted? I tried and, tried a few times over I still can’t Rap my head around this foolishness. If I choose to put cow shyt in my hair that’s my business . I don’t want any farmer(s) saying I can’t because they it as fertilizer .…… Lol

c
c
4 years ago

Cream of Nature Argan Oil the Best no flake.

Elle P.
Elle P.
4 years ago

Ummm, This sounds more like a personal rant.…
Toni of My Natural Sistas is vegan and from watching the video, she was showing you one way of making edge control gel. Some people use flaxseed gel, aloe,etc. It doesn’t equal a shortage of okra.

Now I’m going to brace myself because strong opinions may come… Bglh , you can do better than this!

kaydenpat
kaydenpat
4 years ago

Was this post supposed to be funny?

Aly
Aly
4 years ago
Reply to  kaydenpat

We can only hope.

Aly
Aly
4 years ago

I’m hoping this is satire. The markets won’t run out of okra chica, calmate. Jamaicans use coconut oil to cook practically everything and at first my family thought I was crazy for suggesting to use it on my hair & skin (mainly because there is a caste stigma about using coconut oil on skin & hair), but once they saw how much it benefited me they were all on board. And most naturalistas use coconut oil & I still have yet to see the cost of it go up in LA County. To be honest there’s been an increase in… Read more »

Orihime11
Orihime11
4 years ago

Lol this article was too funny. Very well written and light hearted. At first I thought it was going to be a report on okra gel damaging the hair. What a pleasant surprise that it was just a bit of humor 🙂

Tai
Tai
4 years ago

This was cute but I’m allergic to pretty much all of the hair gels on the market. lol DIYs are all I have but at least I eat the leftovers (flaxseeds & okra).

YouWun Wakeupnow
YouWun Wakeupnow
3 years ago

Focus on love and not fear; abundance and not lack. Fearfulness is at the root of all that is evil in our country and around the world. If you would focus on abundance, then you would keep more okra than you could ever use. If you would focus on abundance concerning all of your God-approved desires, then ideas would come; the universal would begin to align itself to grant your requests, and then your would always live in abundance. Seek God; pray for spiritual salvation, and when you find God, you will always think right, regardless of the situation; you will… Read more »

LBell
LBell
4 years ago

This was FUNNY. I get it. 🙂 It also reminded me of that article (or articles) written by black folks complaining because white people were discovering shea and cocoa butter. I’ve never been a huge okra fan, internally or externally but if it’s true that it’s good for your digestive tract then I definitely need to check that out. On the flip side, I have never used avocado on my hair because it’s expensive and it felt like a waste to use it on my hair versus eating it. Unfortunately, thanks in part to the medication I’m on, it no… Read more »

Efuru
Efuru
4 years ago

She gave her background to explain her attachment to okra not to tell everyone that okra is exclusive to Nigeria.

Jokingly ‘begging’ people not to make Okra maninstream so that it doesn’t go the way of coconut oil/water, argan oil and even shea butter in some regions. Especially if the fad is picked up (and usually repackaged) by western media (see: Quinoa). I wonder if some of you even read the entire post before dusting off your ethnobotany degrees.

Lolalao
Lolalao
4 years ago

Lol..I use okra gel.

Ernestine
Ernestine
4 years ago

Hold up sis. Since when has Okra been the sole property of Nigerians?? As some one born in the US to a Louisiana daddy and a Kansas mama, who could care less which part of the continent our kindred came from… We ate okra and shrimp and jumbo with OKRA. Klassy Kinks needs to get off her high horse and open a history book or a cooking book. You choose. Cause I dont need your authentic permission to do anything with which is already mine.

Abzie
Abzie
4 years ago

i think this is satire? if so, very funny 🙂

Kitkat
Kitkat
4 years ago

I’m pretty sure okra isnt distinctly Nigerian lmao

clever_moniker
4 years ago

Wow, people really got their feelings hurt with an article that was obviously trying to be funny. I fall into that “oversensitive natural” category and look at me, reclining with some sweet tea and wholly unbothered! So weird how all these Salty Sallys came out the woodwork!

naptastic
naptastic
4 years ago

Clearly, many readers aren’t catching the sarcasm that the author is throwing.

Cosita
Cosita
4 years ago

Lol. Anyone from anywhere near Lousiana has likely eaten a lifetime of okra. Black Americans have had okra as a large part of our diet since back in slavery. In fact the word gumbo means okra. I eat it stewed, pickled, fried whatever. Yum. I have never wanted to make gel because any okra that comes in my house is going in my mouth. Same with avocado. Now I do often make FSG and in my opinion it’s way better than any of those products listed. My hair hates almost all commercial gels I have tried from expensive to cheap.… Read more »

be
be
4 years ago

lmaooo

Auset Luceus
Auset Luceus
3 years ago

So you are recommending chemically laden gels instead of natural gel? Wow!

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