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Black Hair – How do you-do your do?

Afro
Afro

Weave
Weave

Short
Short

I have been looking around for someone to do me some commentary on black hair and the relationship that black women have with their hair. No one has stepped forward so I’ll just go ahead and kick the question off. Does it matter how you wear your hair? There has been for some time this debate about natural, relaxed, weave or whatever. should a black woman wear her hair in an Afro or should she use her economic wealth to purchase any style she chooses.

If she does choose to relax her hair is this pandering to the White led fashion industry, is it selling out?  Or is this whole conversation out of date now? Let me know what you think Ladies. Men too, feel free to chip in.

7 thoughts on “Black Hair – How do you-do your do?

  • 5th March 2009 at 5:15 am
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    Yes of course one uses one’s own buck to do whatever one wishes with one’s hair……BUT I would question why the choice is predominantly European. If there was an ease with oneself you would see Black girls mixing and matching more. One day trying an afro say, the next day rocking a weave, the next trying corn rolls.

    We have young girls not comprehending the politics of Black hair and how it was used in the 60’s who are repulsed by their own natch hair. They won’t be seen dead without a weave. That can’t be right.

    Reply
  • 5th March 2009 at 6:37 pm
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    I wrote about this over on my blog today! I don’t think this conversation is out of date at all! The relationship between black women and their hair is still very complicated and (in my opinion) deeply intertwined with European/Anglo standards of beauty. I’m talking from the perspective of a chick who rocks natural hair (my wee ‘fro as I like to call it), but I previously relaxed it. I hated the entire process of relaxing my hair and it went against my cheap sensibilities to keep paying for it…so I started examining WHY I kept relaxing if I hated doing it so much. For me, it was one of those things I did because women in my family always straightened their hair…I can’t think of any other female in my family who has voluntarily gone/stayed natural. Once I really examined why I was relaxing, I decided to chop off all my hair and go natural.

    I’m not hating on women who decide to go with the relaxer/weave/wig. At the end of the day, I don’t think it matters how we wear our hair, as long as we understand the reason behind it. That being said, I think it’s a shame that there are so many black women who wouldn’t be caught dead without their weave/wig/straight hair, as if our natural hair is ugly. I think sometimes in the black community we neglect to emphasize that there are a diversity of looks/styles that are beautiful, not just the European standard of beauty. Please note, I’m not knocking either white/non-black women or more Euro/Anglo looking black chicks, I’m just pointing out that long, straight hair is not the be all end of hair beauty…it’s just one of many beautiful looks.

    Reply
  • 6th March 2009 at 10:21 pm
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    Of course it matters how you wear your hair! People will make assumptions and judgments based off of appearances alone. Natural hair makes a statement (whether you want it to or not) because it is still seen as out of the ordinary. I’ve found that some women who straighten their hair become defensive because they assume the natural hair woman has something against them.

    Personally, I don’t really think about how my hair comes across to others because it’s been this way for so long! I don’t base my identity on being a “natural hair woman.” I don’t assume that every woman who wears her hair chemical free does so for the same reasons or even thinks the same.

    I would love to see the day when Black women feel FREE to wear their hair however they choose, relaxed or natural. I don’t think relaxers are a choice for most Black women-they are seen as a requirement. To many, not relaxing their hair is like not brushing their teeth or taking a shower- nasty and unacceptable in public. It’s not truly a choice if you fell pressure to do it. But if it comes from a place of freedom, then it’s fine by me.

    Reply
  • 10th March 2009 at 8:30 am
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    Most black people, women in particular and increasingly men, are so psychologically damaged and prejudiced against their own selves that they'll do virtually, anything rather than wear their own natural, afro hair. If ever a people were pathetic then it must be us, all black people who're ashamed of their natural hair!!

    Reply
  • 11th February 2011 at 6:26 pm
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    Although I do come across posts from people who genuinely hate their curly hair and their black skin, I think it is a bit of a generalisation to say that everyone who straightens their hair wants to look White. That’s just the fashion at the moment and when the Soul Glo gherri curl comes back into fashion everyone will be trying to make their hair full and curly.

    Educating our children about the beauty of our hair and how versatile it is, is extremely important!! I love that I can change my hair depending on the day of the week and I have. However I do love my hair and my skin and my body on a whole. I am not self conscious about it anymore, but that took time and education and I can’t imagine it is any different for a girl of another race hating some other part of herself. Black people are just fixated by hair and that is what we are most self conscious about! Loving yourself on a whole is the start and appreciating our diversity is the next step.

    Reply
  • 13th February 2011 at 2:06 pm
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    my hair is and has always been natural. as a young person it does make me sad that a lot of girls seem to relax their hair or wear weaves to hide what they feel is inadequate in comparison to mixed race or european hair.
    i think its about black women learning how to take care of their hair for it to reach its full potential in order for us to really feel like our hair is equally beautiful.
    people think black hair is short, dull and hard to manage. but this is due to a lot of black ppl not taking care of their hair so it doesnt grow or look good so they cover it up with chemicals or false hair.
    not all ppl with weaves or relaxed hair are doing it for those reasons. i think everyone has the right to do what they want with their hair.

    Reply
  • 15th March 2013 at 5:42 am
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    I believe this is not an issue for black women, it’s an issue with black people. From relaxing hair to having a Mohawk it’s a problem. There is nothing wrong with western influences, but lets not forget how black culture has changed and moulded the western world too. The problems lie once again with institutionalised racism that looks to undermine and make a mockery of other cultures in order for “white” culture to survive/dominate. One has to fight against the propaganda forced down our throats. The more we watch the more we are influenced. So change what you digest in order to change your point of veiw. Take pride in researching about your people our people. This will frequent your psyche thus promote a sense of belonging and pride for your/our race and culture. It’s simple but takes time. I have dreadlocks down to my bottom I’m 40 and mixed race with fantastic Afro style hair. I love it!!

    Reply

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