There are many rules in beauty pageantry – governing everything from etiquette to social decorum – but in the most recent Miss West Africa International, set a new rule that contestants should not perm or wear hair extensions only natural hair.

Florence Epee

The Queen in Braids


Elle Magazine South Africa reports that only hair styled in a manner related to African culture (such as in braids) or worn naturally were allowed. Permed hair and weaves were banned.

What’s more, Miss West Africa ltd – the body which oversees the competition – made it clear that from now on, this will be the standard, and that, Miss West Africa will not be allowed to wear a perm or weave. So, for newly crowned Miss West Africa, Florence Epee from Cameroon (above), this is a trend she will have to maintain throughout her reign.

But, as reported, “Miss West Africa ltd were not the only Ghanaian-based entity to push for natural African hair in the pageant world”.

Miss Universe Ghana 2014, Abena Akuaba Appiah, is currently competing for the title of Miss Universe in Miami, Florida. And the beauty is flying her heritage flag high, citing her natural hair as one of her clear strengths in the competition.

“Basically I am multitalented and I am going as a natural hair contestant. That’s the first time in the history of Ghanaian pageantry, so I hope that is going to give me an advantage. I also sing, write music and play the guitar, so I hope that will give me an advantage as well,” said Appaih.

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