Whilst trying to avoid any moisture getting onto my afro the other day, I thought of how I envied the European, Asian etc women with their silky long locks swimming showering from head to toe without a care in the world. I realized then that black women have for generations suffered from white people’s hair envy. From the moment we laid our eyes on that hair we were captivated, mesmerized and envious we were hooked like a junky on crack and we had to have it.
I decided to go Natural, after years of damage from relaxers, bad hair care and weaves. I didn’t think twice about my decision and am still waiting for the regret to set in… its been over a year. This however does not stop me from hating my African roots for giving me this kinky unmanageable slow growing fuzz I call hair. It’s going to be like forever before I have the kind of luscious afro worn by people like Erykah Badu, I am however patient and I will wait it out.
But, is it wrong for black sisters to put weaves on their hair and wigs and all things long and flowing? I don’t really think it is. I am of the strong opinion that my hair does not have any effect on my personality, like India Arie famously said.. “I am not my hair”. There are many assumptions made about women according to the different hair they have such as:
1. Natural Hair – African, in touch with her Africanness, natural, real but also unattractive, untidy not professional, rural.
2. Afro – Rebellious, Radical, Black pride.
3. Weaves and braids – Sophisticated, beautiful, well groomed but also high maintenance, cheap, trashy and fake.
4. Dread Locks – Natural, in touch with Africanness, Rastafarian, but also unprofessional and untidy.
Most of these assumptions stem from one person’s analysis of a small group of people resulting in incorrect judgment. In an average black woman’s life she will wear all of the above hairstyles and more, if who we are changes with every hairstyle we would all be in mental institutions for Schizophrenia! Hair is an accessory which you can choose to wear any which way you want to, like clothes, it depends on your personal style and what looks good on you. It’s not a political statement or a status symbol, It doesn’t reflect on your professionalism or capabilities, it’s just hair. I’m amazed at how passionate some groups are about their choice of style, the Naturals swear it’s the right thing to do and the way to go but the multi million dollar hair care industry I’m sure will have a different opinion.
Since Madame CJ Walker came on the scene and invented the first hair relaxer black women have never been the same! Always accused of trying to alter our appearance to imitate white women we have ignored the ridicule and the snide remarks and gone onto develop hair technologies that make fake hair look as natural as if we were born with it, we change our hairstyle as often as we please and can go from a short cropped bob to a waist length wavy do in a matter of hours. Sure some hairstyles take 20 hours to put in and can give you sleepless nights afterwards from the pain that may lead to permanent hair loss! And sure some women wash their hair every 3 months for fear of ruining their hair not forgetting the cost of some of the hair pieces could feed a small village for a month! But at the end of the day we have a choice and we use it to do what we want with our hair. Be it real or fake just remember, if you paid for it…. its yours!!!
That’s my hair raising opinion!