Let's Talk About Hair

Hair. It's important to people of all cultures and it is just as diverse as the heads it grows on top of. In black culture, hair is not only about a way to switch up your physical appearance, there is a history behind it. 

During the fifteenth century in Africa, hairstyles were a way of communicating. With just one look, hair showed marital status, religion, economic status, and rank within society. Prior to slavery, Africans took pride in their hair. Hours were spent taking care of and styling the hair. Braiding, dreadlocks, Bantu knots, twists, and many other elaborate styles graced the heads of females in many countries.  

Once brought over to America, the ideology that European culture imposed about straight hair being the most aesthetically pleasing developed a negative attitude towards the natural beauty of Black hair. Centuries later, straight, fine hair is still considered "good" and thick, coarse hair is looked at as "bad". Many black women over the years have used chemical relaxers to straighten their hair for various reasons. Some for the purpose of manageability and others to confine to the standards of beauty. 

Black hair is beautiful and black so are black women regardless of the way they choose to wear their hair. They do not deserve to be discriminated against in their work places, appropriated by other cultures, or rudely asked about whether or not not their hair is "real". Straight, curly, wavy, dreaded, braided, or knotted, black hair is extremely beautiful. For the record, no matter how gorgeous it may be... look and don't touch.