Hair to stay.

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!

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3 thoughts on “Hair to stay.

  1. KISSING UP says:

    I agree — there’s so much pressure to wear your hair every way but natural. Love your blog. Thanks for the positive, healthy ideas about our hair.

  2. Hi there… I got a friend request from you via FB today. My current policy is not to accept, especially if the reasons for the friend request are not stated, or I can’t figure out how I know a person. NO, I am not being cruel… but it’s just that lately I accepted some people on the basis of mutual friends and let’s just say their motives were not always entirely geared towards honest friendship…

    So I skipped over to your page and noticed your blog and oh, I am loving this topic. The hair affair is something that has kept me up many a night. What’s the acceptable hair standard for African expression? Why would be buy other women’s hair and use it as if it were our own?

    I have never had relaxed hair although I have fallen into the trap of tong irons. Talk about losing your entire back hairline in less than a week! I used tong irons because I wanted the straight and glossy look (which I suppose in many ways is what women who relax their hair are after)… So I suppose I too ‘sold out’ that way.

    I want to believe that I will never resort to these measures again, but it only takes a sister wetting her Afro and trying to run a comb through it after it dries out to realise that maintaining this hair is painful, frustrating and time-consuming. It’s just not practicable for many women to go through the combing and styling process on a regular basis (although it’s somehow different when it comes to makeup – many women are willing to sacrifice sleep to get up early every day to doll themselves up!).

    Somewhere deep within me, I do think that it’s selling out when women give up the natural look. And sometimes I feel ‘ethically superior’ to the permers when I prance around with my big kinky hair on show…. But the truth is that at the end of day, we really are not our hair, as India Arie observed. All those things they say about dreadlocks and natural hair being untidy is due to a system of socialisation. From the time that colonisation came to our shores, we were told that black skin was ugly, so we tried to bleach it, and that that nappy was horrid, so we bought hot combs and did our thing.

    There’s no going back now to how we used to be ‘back in the day’ so it’s best to accept that weaves and everything else are here to stay. What we need to reclaim, though, which was corrupted, is our pride in ourselves and who we are!

    • fadzayi says:

      Thanks Fungai! Firstly regarding FB, I too have a strict policy and usually handpick those who can be my FB friends and thats the reason why I opened a seperate account for “According to Fadzi” as I would like this to be a free and open forum for discussion, thats not to say haters are tolerated as they will be deleted blocked and reported lol!

      Thank you so much for your comment and I totally agree with every word!

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