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Black women please stop hiding your hair

by Cheryl E Preston about a year ago in hair

Its time to accept the tresses hereditary gave you and wear it proudly.

Diversity with black hair

African women who were enslaved in America wore head coverings and I’ve heard several theories on the reasons why. The first is that the scarf on their head identified the plantation they belonged to. The second is that there were female mistresses who were envious of the diversify of styles and textures of black hair and made their female slaves cover up their mane out of jealousy. The third is a lack of ability to care properly for their hair while enslaved. Whatever the reason hair textures began to change once the masters began raping slave girls who later produced biracial children. This is why there are so many different textures of black hair, which can be bone straight or extremely coarse.

I think of my own family where my grandmother's hair would be a mountain of curls, simply by putting a little water on it and brushing it. It did not grow long, but she only needed a little heat to straighten it. My mother had hair that grew down her back and did not need heat or relaxers. My hair was shoulder length but very kinky and I had to have ti straightened. My middle brother had smooth curly hair and my youngest brother had kinky hair like our dad. I recall three biracial sisters where the middle girl had coarse kinky hair, and wore it in an Afro. Her older and younger sister had "white hair." In the early days after slavery, all black women wore their natural hair because there was no other choice but all of this changed one day.

Madame CJ Walker comes along and invents the straightening comb and black women whose hair was not already straight now had the choice to make it so. Next came wigs, braiding hair then relaxers that chemically straightened the tresses. Curly perms and waves followed. Hair weave and extensions became popular and now women whose hair does not grow long can fake it. Along the way, African American women saw that dread locks allowed black hair to grow beyond what anyone could imagine and now natural hair is the order of the day. The bottom line to all of this is that not all African American women’s tresses grow long naturally, like the hair of women from other cultures.

Natural hair

This has caused psychological damage that’s not yet even been dealt with. Girls with short course hair are teased and called bald head or told they look like a boy. Those with long hair are often shunned and have their hair yanked out of jealousy. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve heard the phrase, “ Is that your real hair?” I know women who have tried just about everything to get their hair to grow but end up keeping it cut down to the scalp. The variations from coarse, “nappy” and unmanageable to silky smooth and straight have caused problems to women for decades.

What troubles me is seeing so many young women touching and twisting their fake ponytails and slinging the weave around as if it were real. This tells me they wish their own hair would grow the same way. I’ve stated in other writings that African Americans females are the only ethnic group whose hair does not naturally grow long and reverts to the natural pattern when wet. This causes a lot of issues and it’s time they are addressed. Some black women judge those who use relaxers and say they should leave their hair natural as God intended. Many of us grew up having our hair straightened and find that we prefer it straight, rather than in an Afro.

There is a difference, however, in choosing a style in which to wear your hair, and covering it up for a fake look. The wigs, weave, extensions, sow in, and glue ins don’t change the fact that you don’t like your real hair. Don't be ashamed, just find ways to work with what you have. Learn to embrace who you really are. Please note I am not addressing those whose hair has fallen out because of health issues, or medical treatment. I am not saying those hair accessories should never be utilized. I’m talking about women who are ashamed of what nature gave them and go overboard on expensive, elaborated extra’s as a lifestyle.

Beautiful braids and extension.

We don't see women of any other culture with their hair as high as Marge Simpson, or their little girl's hair filled with bows, ribbons. beads, and fake braids. There are probably boyfriends and spouses who have no idea what the real hair of their significant other looks like and that's sad. There is nothing wrong with you just as you are. Look at that mirror reflection and learn to love yourself. Little girls of other races can wear their hair straight, or in a long ponytail with ease. They are able to maintain their own tresses. No little black girl can keep her hair in those elaborate styles without assistance from an adult.

African American girls often have hair that is unruly and short. Braiding and plaiting is often necessary just to maintain resistant hair. All the extremes and elaborate hair doo's speak to a deeper problem inside. African American women have been taught to loathe themselves because of skin color and hair texture. Within the black community the good hair bad hair issue has caused much psychological damage. I dare you today to take out the weave, pull off the wig, remove the extensions, even if only temporary and get to know your own tresses.

If you desire longer hair there are ways to obtain it. Massage your scalp, and keep it oiled. Don't wear styles that have your hair braided tightly. Keep the ends clipped to prevent breakages and make sure they are moist. Less is best with black hair. This is why so many saw growth when curly and wave perms were in style. There was no need for a lot of combing and brushing or the use of heat or rollers. Less maintenance and handling of your hair along with no heated appliances will work wonders. All too often when black women do experience growth, th3e first thing they do is try to pull their hair back into a ponytail. All that pulling and tugging will cause breakage so wait until you can pull your hair back without the stress and strain. Time is the key factor and when it comes to your hair, good things do come to those who wait.


Cheryl E Preston

Cheryl is a poet, freelance writer, published author and former Newspaper columnist. She has degrees in Psycology and Biblical studies. She enjoys sharing natural cures, and Nostalgia related info. Tips are greatly appreciated.

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