Eight in 10 Nigerian women wear wigs every day? No – just a bad hair day for the media
Is almost every woman you meet in Nigeria wearing a wig? Yes, if
you believe recent reporting by many of the country’s reputable
This was for fashion purposes, many said , with the convenience of
wigs and their ability to transform a person’s look “in seconds” said
to be behind the trend.
But is the eye-raising statistic accurate?
Survey of 1,100 women
The reports all cited a study by the News Agency of Nigeria, the
country’s largest public newswire.
The survey of 1,100 women aged 18 to 35 found that “no fewer than
eight out of 10 Nigerian women” wore wigs daily.
According to the reports, the survey found that 81.8% of
respondents owned wigs and preferred them to sew-in weaves.
Those who did not wear wigs ( 18.2% ) said they were heavy.
Some 54.5% owned one to three wigs and 45.5% owned six or more,
so they could wear different wigs on different days.
Research in three major cities
Africa Check contacted Anita Eboigbe, the agency reporter who
conducted the survey. She said the research was done in December
2018 and January 2019.
“I conducted the survey in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt,” she
said. “There was no team involved in carrying out the survey. I
practically carried out the survey myself.”
This was as part of a larger topic “a friend” was working on, Eboigbe
said. “Nigerian ladies and wigs (which is the focus of my study) was
more or less a subset of what my colleague was working
on.”Eboigbe did not give details on how the survey was structured.
But she did say she had “focused on working-class women in the
Rural women ‘not considered’
But the survey as reported could not apply to all of Nigeria,
statisticians told Africa Check.
The study should have considered at least two or three states in
each of Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones, said Tunde Akinoladokun, a
“The result of the survey should not be generalised to all Nigerian
women. She also didn’t consider women in rural areas. Women who
aren’t working should have been included in the survey.”
More widespread sample needed
Prof Abayomi Adebayo, a former dean of economics at the Obafemi
Awolowo University agreed the sample used should have been more
“For the fact that she only considered three states, I would say it is a
study of major cities in Nigeria. We can’t use the study to judge
Nigerian women in general.”
The study should also have considered income levels in other states,
To generalise the result, the researcher would have needed to
interview women across states, ages, income brackets and other key
criteria, said Emmanuella Akarawak, a data analyst at the University
‘Survey still in progress’
Eboigbe said the headlines did not reflect the findings of the survey,
which was still ongoing.
“I didn’t cast the headline though, my editors did,” she said. “But
what I always ensure is that whenever I write a story the body is a
true picture of my intentions.”
“I know the headline should have included the states I mentioned,
but that isn’t my fault.”
Conclusion: Data doesn’t support claim that
eight in 10 Nigerian women wear wigs daily.
A survey widely reported in the media claimed 81.8% of women in
Nigeria wore wigs daily. Some 1,100 women aged 18 to 35 in Lagos,
Abuja and Port Harcourt were interviewed.
But experts said survey results from only working class women in
the three cities couldn’t be said to apply to all the women in Nigeria.
An expert said the researcher would have had to interview women
across states, ages, income brackets and other key criteria to get a
We therefore rate the claim as reported in the media as misleading.
Is not good to generalize the outcome.
They want to be beautiful
It's is good to hear
Good observation but it doesn't apply to all d women