This article hit home for me ! I have had this conversation so many times I can’t count. It’s like this sista was reading my mind when she wrote it LOL Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Peace 🙂
Healthy Scalp, Healthy Locs
But there is one area where many black women want to change about themselves. Their hair. The black hair care industry is one of the biggest and most profitable in the country. Black women go through great lengths and huge sums of money to take care of their hair with topical products, relaxers, weaves, wigs, and the regular use of hair dressers.
There are many reasons that black women decide not to wear their hair in its natural state. Some of them include many myths. These myths seem to be used in an effort to make black women feel that they are not straightening their hair in an attempt to look like white people. Some of these myths include:
Relaxed hair is easier to manage
If you ask most black women why they have relaxers it is because it is easier to maintain. I cut off my own relaxer when I was 20 years old. At that time I only knew how to take care of relaxed hair. After cutting off my relaxer, I learned that it was much easier to take care of my natural hair. I didn’t have to buy a relaxer every 6-8 weeks or go to the salon and have someone put one in for me, which means I saved lots of money. I didn’t have to curl my hair with curling irons every day or wrap it at night, which means I saved time. I didn’t have to fear rain or humid weather. I didn’t even have to comb my hair as much in it’s natural state versus my relaxer so I have never understood this reason. It is different to care for natural hair, but not more difficult.
Natural hair does not retain length
Instead of using these myths as reasons why black women keep putting chemical relaxers in their hair we should admit the truth. Relaxing black hair is a way to try to look like white people. This hair dilemma is one of the last negative images that black people have maintained about themselves. There are so many negative views of nappy hair. Nappy is bad. It is ugly. It is undesirable. Silky, straight hair is more beautiful. Because we are not born with silky, straight hair, our hair must not be beautiful. This is more of an historical perspective, but because chemical relaxers are so entrenched in black culture, this historical attitude remains.
I admit that I never thought about being like white people when I was a child, teenager, and young woman with a relaxer. This is because I was raised with hot combs and chemical straighteners. These items were just part of being black. But why? Why can’t we love the hair we’re born with, its textures, its thickness. Why must we continue to call a part of our biology ugly? Just like we know that our bodies are not built like a white woman’s body, we should accept the fact that our hair is not like a white woman’s hair. We should stop making up excuses to keep applying harsh chemicals to our and our daughter’s scalps in an effort to attain mythological manageability, length, and other unfound reasons for relaxing our hair.
By ET Cameron