Ore meji: Bariga’s biggest (and finest) braiding market

Ok first of all it’s not that big (as in land mass), but I’m pretty sure there is no greater gathering of hair braiders in Bariga at least. I had been having problems with my usual hairdresser and I was ready to move on to a new one. But I’m very picky about who does my braids. First of all it must not hurt, and it must look super neat when it’s all done.

Finding a combination of these two is almost impossible, and I had been looking for a while when my friend suggested Ore Meji in Bariga. I was desperate so I agreed to tag along, the next time she was going to get her hair done.


First of all finding the place was a pain, she hadn’t been there in a while and after an hour of bumpy twists and turns we finally arrived at our destination.

There were about eight women in a small walled off compound sitting around waiting for customers, which made me wonder why the place was called Ore Meji (which means two friends). Three of the eight were busy with a girl’s hair when we walked in. The women didn’t immediately jump to attend to our needs as you’ll expect people looking for new customers to do. We walked up to them and asked how much big box braids would be for the two of us. They started off with ten thousand naira as their price, telling us to take it or leave it. My friend switched to Yoruba immediately and we got the price down to six thousand (plus attachment).



They gave us stools to sit and got to work. We never saw them cut or pull the attachment and they kept whisking it out from a rather strange looking bag. They also flat out refused to give us a mirror to take a peek at what they were making until they were done. I started out with two pairs of hands on my head, and at some point they were up to four. The women were friendly and jovial and you could tell they had been doing this business together for years. They finished with my hair in roughly two hours and my friend’s in three (which is record breaking time to be honest) because she has fuller hair than mine.

The end result? Magical. It didn’t hurt (not too much at least), and it was the neatest braids I had ever got done. It’s been six weeks since I got them done,and if I wasn’t so bored with them I’m pretty sure I could get another six from it.



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The online destination and fashion journal that goes beyond the surface and taps the pulse on all things FASHION. First out of Nigeria and increasingly across the continent, with wit, intelligence and humour.


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