Wednesday, 20 June 2012

I am not my hair

That’s the title of one of my favorite musician’s songs, India Arie. The message is clear; one’s hair doesn’t make them who they are. Really? Then why are hair extensions and hair products selling so fast? There are hair salons in every corner, a million different hair styles, colours and cuts. Does my hair really not make me who I am? This crossed my mind when I was enduring a hot blow drier after relaxing my hair this morning.

model Eva Pigford/ Marcel

relaxed hairsource

India Arie(in Fro and Braids) Amber Rose bald, relaxed hair(source
 I removed the braids I had for a month last night. I asked myself, why I am going through so much pain for something that’s so unimportant. I am educated, I have a good personality (I’d like to believe) and stylish, hair is just hair. Right? Not! My hair is a big part of me, it makes my outfit, it adds to the package that I present to the world as a reflection of how I feel about myself.

After years of chopping and changing, from afro, dreadlocks, short hair, braids and weave, I opted to straighten my hair last year. Like many black sisters, I use relaxer to straighten once every six weeks. In a nutshell, I have Eurocentric hair. It’s better to manage than my natural, very curly, kinky hair. Another topic for debate, a dreadlocked brother once said my relaxed hair means I’m not proud to be an African. My response, “brother, you speak English 80 per cent of the time, you don’t exactly go hunting for your next meal, nor do you walk around wearing animal hides in true African style”. Harsh? No, but true, I moved with the times, like the rest of the world. Evolution, why would one choose to drink river water when there’s running water.

I also have a friend who is always bald headed. She’s gorgeous, I wish I was as gutsy. She has stereotypes to deal with too. She says some people just assume she’s a lesbian.

Dreadlocks are cool too...
Yaya Dacosta; Chrisette  Michelle, Sanaa Lathan; conrows
 Meanwhile, a white friend of mine, born blonde, colours her hair raven black every two months. Not so natural huh, she hasn’t seen natural colour in 10 years. That came as a big surprise for me because I thought she’s all naturelle. 

 That brings me to another hair debate, extensions or natural? Not a day goes by that I don’t hear people discussing weaves. The debates are either on social networks or real reality. Surprisingly men get in on this one. You’d think men don’t care what hairstyle a woman has, but many do. Male friends shared with me their preconceived ideas about women’s hair.

 Phaks Mvelashe

I both love weaves and dreads
but I hate weaves in bed

Luzuko Phongoma

Dreadlocks have always been part of our society as back people back in the day in xhosa community it was called ivithana but it was limted to traditional healers and single people n there where few single people as most ppl were married ... single ppl had a tendency of not taking care of themself and later people pretending to be rasta so that they can smoke weed freely embraced dreads and were also known for not taking care of themselves and then dreads were associated with being dirty
as we moved on dreads became fashion and now u c beautiful black sisters with dreads and I love them
that is my 2 cent

Lux September

frankly, I don't really care...
but I love mine woman with natural hair and all Description:
me in a few of the hairstyles I've done! trust me theres more
With all the this said, I have reached a conclusion, which wasn’t influenced much all the opinions nor India Arie’s song. As a lady, you hair is your crown. It’s up to put jewels to enhance it or not, but it’s yours. It should be entirely up to you how you wear it. Just keep it neat and healthy. Not what's trending, or more appealing to men! just YOU! Now can we debate important matter rather than hair? Thank you

1 comment:

  1. I love this post very much. So from what I could gather from it that you are wearing relaxed hair now? If you are you defend your choice well. And we all do have the right to "wear our crown different" but those who become natural seem to demonise those continue to be relaxed. Which is wrong, some women prefer to cope with straight hair more manageable etc etc while others argue that your running from your roots, which is correct for our ancestors who wanted to liken themselves to white people - a survival technique which means they would be more accepted. That is not the case today, its just seen as another beauty tool, like dyes and curly perms.





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