Black Hair: The Missing Education

“Why does she wear an afro?” “Why is her hair styled that way?”

These questions spur a conversation about Afro-textured hair that should be occurring. The lack of this conversation has resulted in discriminatory events, for example, this past week Tiffany Bryan, a 27-year-old cancer survivor from New York, was fired from her job for wearing an Afro. This event is not the first: Within the last 12 months soldiers in the military, grade school students, university students and hard-working members of society have been discriminated against because of their hairstyle.

These women wore their hair in Afros, twist, dreadlocks and braids not because of some hair fad, but because these styles are essential for their texture of hair. Each of these events, created by a lack of fundamental knowledge on Black hair, offers an opportunity for us to talk openly about the hair of women of color. If the people that committed these acts of discrimination understood that the morphological differences of Afro-textured hair requires a different type of hair care and hairstyles than other ethnic groups, future events of discrimination can be avoided.

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Healthy Scalp, Healthy Locs

Nyesha Samuel, Publisher/Master Loctician for

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2 thoughts on “Black Hair: The Missing Education

  1. Can future acts be avoided? African-American women endure these discriminatory practices in the 70s and 80s. One reason for the weave explosion in the late 80s.
    Blacks were more Natural prior to the late 80s and with all the social, political and economic issues going on, the last thing Big Poppa needs is a Black chick in his face with more common sense then him, rocking an Afro. Although times have changed, the past can still bring fear. Wigs and weaves help put them at ease and visually they see familiar hair. Skin color is Race based, As a Mulatto, hair discrimination is based on more…you are different and jealousy. African-Americans rock numerous hair styles. Long or short. Whites are expected to conform to certain standards and if they fail to meet the requirements they too are viewed as different. Whites with green or purple hair color could be fired too. Discrimination is wrong in any form, just dont be confused. Its not RACE based. Its discrimination based on differences. Differences that dont met the “uniformed” standards.
    I’m on a HHNJ NL hair and my hair Natural hair Afro would shrink before the morning meeting was over and would look dull before I got off work. Botton line, grooming is in the eye of the beholder and if you want to assimilate, you have to conform. Even going back Natural will raise the question WHY. Not just for Black women, but Asians who mainly sell us the product, Black men, who like or don’t like and white men who associate Afros with Revolution. FYI, I’m 52, so I’m giving you some background on the Afro journey. In the 70s, the Afro was part of the Revolution. After 9/11, and fighting a war on terrorism, the last thing white Americans need to see is an Afro. We changed, so if we return its brings about fear as to why. JMO on the subject matter.
    Would love to read other comments on the subject.

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