Sunday, 10 July 2016

Lets talk about black hair

Hair in the black community is a complicated, volatile topic. Considering the amount of money spent in this industry, I am sure by now with that money I would have bought houses. Growing up I remember my mum shaving my hair so that I would not struggle every morning getting ready for school. In those days, the only thing we used on our hair was water and soap. So in my teens seeing the African American women celebrities with hair that looked like it was more manageable than mine, I wanted what they had and when cream relaxers hit the market in Zimbabwe, I jumped on the opportunity.

Historically, straight hair and curly/wavy hair has been seen as more socially acceptable. Curly/wavy hair is more acceptable than kinky hair because it's seen as closer to white. When growing up, a lot of black girls are fed a steady diet of media where the "good girls," the princesses, the protagonists, are blond and have streaming, manageable hair past their shoulders. It is only natural to want to emulate the hairstyles you grew up idolizing: but we need to make sure that girls of ALL physical types have access to media that tells them their hair is also beautiful, that they don't have to deny a portion of themselves as "unnatural" or innately ugly and irredeemable

Then I discovered weaves and wigs! Like many teenage girls at the time of growing up, one wants to look good. I wasn’t in for weaves to only look good but I had a theory that if I protect my hair from harsh weather elements and manipulation for 1-2 months, then definitely I was giving it a chance to grow long and longer hair is a dream for most young women. Another reason for weaves and other types of extensions is easy maintenance rather than emulating Caucasian women. We all lead busy lifestyles!

However, not every black woman with straight and/or blonde hair is wearing fake hair. There is such a thing as hair color, and relaxers or heating tools applied to natural hair will straighten it.

So, it's still their hair. And using a relaxer or a hot tool isn't any different from what many nonblack women do to take the curl out of THEIR hair. White women use flat irons to straighten their hair as well, relaxers for nonblack coarse hair do exist, and they color their hair all the time, but nobody accuses them of hating their hair.

I don't know a race of women that does not wear wigs, perm, color, and weave aka "add extensions" to their hair. 

Somebody said to me once, ‘Is that your hair or it’s fake?’ I told them it was of course my hair and not ‘FAKE’, but she could not believe it and kept on banging about how black women fake hair length by using extensions.

I wasn’t happy  because, I was actually rocking my hair and even if I wasn’t ,it was my business wasn’t it?

I personally know many women non-black, who wear extensions for special styles, or to add length or fullness, or to cover up a bad haircut, or dye job...whatever the reason. All cultures do it. Women of all races have done things to their hair for ages.

We are women just doing what women do ...anything and everything to be beautiful and sexy however that translates to the individual.

My hope is that every black woman will give their natural hair a shot; I've never felt as beautiful as I do wearing my natural hair.

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