The topic of “natural Black hair,” caused me to wonder (and not for the first time), why Black hair texture/Black hairstyles seem to bothers so many people to the extent that the Supreme Court had to rule on a recent workplace case. I wondered if non-Black people were loosing their minds! What was it about Black hair that made people uncomfortable?
I decided to share a few random thoughts about my hair in hopes that those who are not Black will obtain some degree of understanding, or find common ground about “hair.”
1. My hair is very coarse in texture, coiled tightly, and sometimes described by some as “4c” hair. Kinky, rough, thick, are word associated with my kind of texture.
2. I put a variety of oils, crèmes, and other hair products, on my scalp and/or hair weekly, to give it moisture, shine, softness, or to make it more manageable.
3. Depending on the style, my hair can be washed weekly, or biweekly. It is rare that it’s washed daily.
4. My hair is often knotted after washing, making it difficult to comb through. Most Black females are always in search of a shampoo or conditioner that will soften the hair to make
it more manageable especially after washing.
5. Because of its texture, my hair can stay in the style I choose to wear, for long periods of time. It does not require “touching up’ every few minutes.
6. My hair never lays close to my scalp without a lot of gel. Most often my hair will “stand” an inch or more away from my scalp, depending on the weather. Sometimes it shrinks,
sometimes it doesn’t. I often wonder about the science taking place but I don’t spend time investigating.
make me feel authentic, beautiful, and empowered. I can also maintain these styles for a few weeks or months, without much care, and that’s a good thing!
8. When I feel the pressure to conform, so as to feel accepted by, or less intimidating to others, I tend to flat iron, press, or perm my hair. I will at times even rock a weave or a wig but
that’s not a lasting trend. 9. I love all natural hairstyles for Black hair…Afros, braids, locks, twists, plaits, etc. They are the ways in which others and I easily manage thick, coarse,
tightly coiled hair.
9. I have spent most of the years throughout my career not wearing my hair the way I wanted to, but wearing it in its unnatural state, to make others feel more “comfortable” in my
presence. Co-workers have mentioned that I was less intimidating when my hair was not in its natural state and the result of me not wanting to be seen as “too ethnic, ” or
“socially undesirable,” is my now damaged hair.
10. My hair is just what it is, hair. No mystery! I sometimes like the feel of the texture, and sometimes I don’t. It’s ok though, because I’ve never had any psychological problem
accepting my natural hair.
11. More than anything, I want Black females, especially little girls with coarse hair, to love their hair and who they are. Black hair texture does not define who we are. Embracing all
parts of who we are is important. Feeling accepted, beautiful, and desirable are important and if others don’t give that to us, we need to give it to ourselves.
12. For other non-Black people, just know that Black people, Black hair, Black hairstyles are not mysteries to be solved. Put away the negative thoughts, have a conversation, and
13. I love me and love my natural hair.
#race #ethnicity #culture #nationality #diversity #naturalhairrules