Guys, feel free to skip this. I won’t be offended. Ladies, let’s talk about hair. How do you wear yours? Short, permed, straightened, dreadlocked or natural? Does it even matter? It’s just hair, right?
Students at a South African High school recently protested against what they termed their school’s “racist hair policy” which requires Black girls to straighten their hair.
For the uninitiated, straightened hair is when you apply chemicals or what many of us know as relaxers to your hair and as the term suggests, your “nappy” hair is then straightened out and for most people, the results are actually good and while your hair may still not look as beautiful as a White person’s hair, it does look better.
The problem with relaxing hair is that it then becomes a continuous process that has to be done every three months or so, making it not just costly but damaging to one’s hair health from the repetitive application of chemicals and heat it’s subjected to at the hair salon.
In my opinion, I think girls and women should have the freedom to wear their hair whichever way they want. I’ve seen women rocking all kinds of hairstyles; from extra long dreadlocks to purple and green hair and my thoughts are always, “well if the wearer is comfortable with it, I’m not going to go out of my way and ask why they chose that style.”
Personally, I don’t have good hair and it’s been a struggle for years to make my hair look presentable. I guess bad hair is in my genes because both my paternal grandmother and my Mum had hair issues. Credit to my Mum though for trying to “save” my hair.
At one point, it was hot combed then dyed jet black before we settled on keeping it natural. It’s what all the schools I attended stipulated anyway. Many of today’s mums braid their daughters’ hair while others relax it, now that kids’ hair kits have flooded beauty stores.
They just want their girls to look beautiful. Wish we had as much freedom when I was still in school because we weren’t even allowed to grow our hair long enough to hold it in buns or puffs. In fact you would be punished if your hair grew beyond 3 inches because hair was considered a distraction and I remember our Headmistress always saying we had plenty of time to try different things with our hair once we left school. She was right.
When I got to University, I took full advantage of my new found freedom and tried everything with my hair. I had it tinted, flat ironed, braided, straightened, wore weaves and wigs and then I got bored.
Now, I don’t really care about my hair. As long as it’s clean and smells good, I don’t fuss over what it looks like. I’ve even considered chopping it all off and if these salon costs keep rising, I just might. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that every woman should be allowed to wear their hair however they like because at the end of the day, it’s on their head.