Is it really ‘just hair’?

There is a big debate over whether or not hair is ‘just hair’. You may probably realize by now that hair makes up a big part of a person’s identity.

So……..

Is it really just hair when black women have donated over a billion dollars to the hair industry, neglecting their health and bills just so that they can look “fly”???

While we would like to think that it’s “just hair”, it’s more than that due to its past. For centuries black women have been taught that our grade of hair is unacceptable and should be masked. Since then, we’ve been introduced to hot combs, relaxers, weaves, and any other vehicle to tame our mane. Sadly, the European standard of beauty is still praised and it’s harder for young black women to return natural because we are subject to external pressure. The notion of “light skin and long hair” is still very prevalent.

People can wear their hair however they want. I’m not a “Natural Nazi”, however it is stereotypical to think that once someone has return natural they have finally come to grips with reality and found some self-love. While that might be so for some people, I don’t think that it’s fair to all those concerned to be fit into that category, especially those who think “it’s just hair.”

People go natural for different reasons. Some do it for health reasons; some for the convenience of not having to spend a fortune on wigs and weaves. Others do it because the health of their hair has been compromised and also because they just want to experience the natural texture of their hair. Likewise, people wear weaves and wigs for different reasons; some for the convenience of not having to comb or style their hair daily, while others because they have some underlying scalp problem. Then there are women who just like to have fun and experiment with their hair. I will agree that there are some natural hair females who think they are better than females with relaxers. I can assure you I’m not one of them. Whatever our reason for being relaxed or natural, the belief that one hair is more dignified over the other is a matter of public opinion.

I’m all for freedom of choice and I’m not anti-relaxer or anti-weaves but people should use their discretion. Why would you want to perm a 3 year old’s hair?  Why would you want to continue to apply relaxer to a head of hair so thin that you can see what the person is thinking?  Why would you want to continue to glue and sew tracks in your hair and damage your beautiful hair line? I’m not saying that having natural hair will solve these issues but it’s a start.

One day natural hair will be the norm and cease to make headlines and people will embrace it and move on. Given the history of our hair, I don’t believe that natural hair should be downplayed just because it may not tie into your personal experience. Although hair should just be hair, it will never just be hair until a black woman can walk into a boardroom with a massive fro and not be condemned for wearing one.

You don’t need a weave to look good and you don’t need to be natural to feel good. We just need to learn to take care of our hair and teach our children to do the same. Maya Angelo said, “When we know better we should do better.” Let us form a new blueprint for our younger generation. Stop killing the kinks just to embrace society’s concept of beauty and let us accept the hair that God blessed us with.

So what do you think? Do you think that hair is “just hair”?

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10 thoughts on “Is it really ‘just hair’?

  1. I think we should appreciate the hair God gave us. Hair is not just hair for all of the reasons you mentioned. I have always wanted straight hair when I was younger because my sisters were getting theirs straightened. Mine was always curly and silky. I wanted a change. Now that I’m older, I would like to be natural because my hair is beautiful, and I havelearned

  2. As a young girl growing up in church making ur hair look good was considered a sin. First for me was my natural hair thick n healthy then I discovered the ironing comb. Well when ur hair is ironed especially if its thick try na get it wet or na let perspiration kill u with sweat cause ur hairstyle gone. Well sis brown used to testify that she had a vision of the hair pressing in d church it should stop. No more pressing for me that’s when the afro became my hairstyle. There goes sis brown again d afro style of d world in d church there goes my afro. What else can I do? Plait ur hair I was told oops there goes sis brown again. D plating is a sin. What is a girl to do when mom is gullible to sis browns visions n ignorant to the bible?started to work now so I could do as I please with my hair. Ironing started again this time every might untill I decided back to my afro then d perm ,cut off jeri curl, perm, natural,perm,weave braids. U c I’ve tried it all n like it all. Love to change my hair style. Even studied cosmetology. I love HAIR

    • Hilliriah, Iol, I see ur dilemma. I know how these older church members can be at times. And parents back in the day were extremely gullible and didn’t know any better. We now have a new hope. One that I pray is taught to our offspring in a well guided manner. But the one thing that stood out to me was the fact that you liked it all. There is nothing wrong with a lil versatility.

  3. I think that society made it more than just hair because there is so much emphasis on the way we wear it, so we have been made to believe that you can only be accepted or normal if you carry your hair a certain way.

  4. I have been natural for ten years without a perm or straightener that is. However I have Alopecia and unless I am boy short wearing my natural hair out is not the look I desire. I am not a boy so I hate boy cut, even though I have one now. I have never learn the art of styling my natural hair outside of platting it and due to constraint with a pinch nerve in my neck I can no longer do that, so with that said, I embrace a weave or a wig. its my preference and the look I love. The fact remains I am natural because when I remove my extensions or my wigs, what is left is my natural hair. Its a personal choice one which is not dictated to me by society but one I choose to embrace. We sometimes forget as black women that most of what we do is all in the line of fashion and putting our best foot forward. For many years we have been led to feel that we are the only ones who wears hair extensions, and wigs and the hair on our heads are in some ways not ours or fake if we do something, anything which is not in the line of natural about it. The truth is all women of every other race does exactly the same thing, they wear wigs and extensions for fullness, and length, they color their hair and they also straighten their hair or use chemical treatments of some sort to achieved the texture or the look the want. The irony is that when a black woman tries to be someone else instead of trying to enhance her appearance, due to her insecurities about her race or herself. It is not just hair when it pertains to my hair. Its my hair and I have the choice though I an naptural to wear it how i want it. Kudos to the sisters who walks around with dread locks, or their kinks showing, their fros, their twist, I respect you all and in Carons case I thinks its lovely, it embraces her face and features and compliments her looks. But for the rest of us who chooses to do something different, respect still for having choices and utilizing them, it does not make us less black or less proud of who we are.

    • Awww…Thank you for the compliment Rose! And I do understand your perspective. Like I said, we are natural or not for different reasons. And in your case its Alopecia. I won’t pretend I know what it is because I don’t. Matter of fact, I had to google it to get an idea of what it is. And its fine if you want to wear a weave or wig. I don’t discriminate. I know there are tons of disease out there that causes a person feel self conscious and results to have to wear artificial hair. My motto is “do you”. I agree that we are trendy beings (some of us) and yes some of it is done in the name of fashion. However, I don’t think natural hair is a trend. I believe its here to stay!

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