West African Facial Features

West African Facial Features: A Comparative Study

West Africa is a region on the African continent made up of 16 countries, including Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Togo, and Benin. The region is known for its cultural diversity and rich history. One of the most notable features of the people from this region is their unique facial features. In this article, we’ll delve into the West African facial features and compare them to others. Additionally, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about these features.

Characteristics of West African Facial Features

West African faces are notably different from other facial features around the world. Some of the distinguishing features include:

1. Broad Forehead and Narrow Chin

West African facial profiles usually have a prominent forehead and a small chin. The forehead is usually broad and slightly arched while the chin area is less defined. This feature is common among African Americans, who often have triangular faces.

2. Wide Nostrils

West Africans generally have wider noses than other ethnic groups. The nostrils are often flared, and the bridge of the nose is flat. This type of nose is known as “thick nosed.”

3. Full Lips

Full lips are a common feature among the West African people. Both men and women have full lips, though women’s lips are usually fuller. This feature is often associated with beauty in African cultures.

4. Prominent Cheekbones

West Africans have prominent cheekbones, which make their faces appear fuller. The cheekbones are often wide and high, giving the face a distinct look.

5. Dark Skin

West Africans have darker skin than most other ethnic groups. The skin color is usually deep brown, black or dark chocolate. This feature is attributed to the high levels of melanin found in the skin, which protects it from harmful UV rays.

Comparing West African Facial Features to Others

Many people are of the opinion that West African facial features differ drastically from other ethnic groups. Below are some comparisons between West African facial features and those of other groups.

1. West African vs. Asians

Asian people have different facial features from West Africans. Asians usually have a narrow face with a flat and small nose, small nostrils, and smaller lips. Also, they usually have more defined cheekbones compared to West Africans.

2. West African vs. Europeans

Europeans, too, have a different facial structure than West Africans. They usually have a narrower and longer face with a longer and curved nose. The size of their nostrils is smaller with thin lips, and their cheeks are sunken in.

3. West Africans vs. Native Americans

When it comes to Native Americans, they also differ from West Africans. Native Americans usually have round faces, with prominent cheekbones and a flat top nose. Their nostrils are medium-sized, and their lips are usually smaller compared to West Africans.

FAQs about West African Facial Features

1. Why do West Africans have wide noses?

West Africans have wider noses to facilitate the intake of air, which they need in hot and humid climates. The wide nostrils also help to regulate the temperature of inhaled air to the body. This adaptation helps to prevent overheating when the body is active, and the outside temperature is high.

2. Are West African facial features considered attractive?

Beauty standards are subjective and vary from culture to culture. In West African cultures, full lips and prominent cheekbones tend to be considered attractive. However, what one culture finds attractive may not be the same for another.

3. Can West African facial features be altered?

Yes, through plastic surgery or cosmetics, but it is important to remember that it is not necessary to change your appearance to feel confident and beautiful. It is more important to embrace and celebrate your uniqueness.


West African facial features are unique, with broad foreheads, wide nostrils, full lips, prominent cheekbones, and dark skin being some of the primary characteristics. Such features differ from those of other ethnic groups like Asians, Europeans, and Native Americans. However, regardless of any differences, it is essential to celebrate and embrace our uniqueness; after all, it makes us who we are.