March 16, 2017
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Believe it or not, hair is a controversial topic, especially for African American women. In early African civilization, hairstyles could indicate a person’s family background, tribe and social status, and throughout history, black people felt pressure to fit in with mainstream white society and adjusted their hair accordingly.
Many black women of today have weaves, sew-ins, extensions, and wigs. The case isn’t the same as in the world of white woman, where these items are often used because of thin hair or balding. In fact, most black women wear these hair pieces because they don’t want to deal with their natural hair.
“I hate when people assume I don’t have natural hair [when I wear a wig]. I have natural hair, and sometimes I want to give my natural hair a break from straighteners,” explained sophomore Tasianna Battle.
According to BBC News, the controversial of hair has become a political issue across world because hair also has to do with race. For centuries, black women around the world have been discriminated against because of their skin, hair, and culture. Straight and curly hair have been seen to be more socially acceptable than “kinky hair”.
Some African American women believe their hair isn’t acceptable in this day and age because their hair isn’t particularly straight or curly. They are ashamed and don’t want to face the judgement of others.
“You’re always battling to make your hair do what is wasn’t meant to do” explained Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi.
CHS students share these stories, too.
“I always hated my hair as a child because all my friends had straight or curly hair and I didn’t think they would accept me because my hair was different,” explained freshman Kiara Johnson.
Something people might not understand is some women don’t have the time and energy to style their natural hair and decide to wear weave, sew-ins, etc. It takes a lot of time and effort to look after natural hair. Some people don’t know how to care for their natural hair so they decide to cover it. The tending becomes too much to handle, so they get tired of it very fast and decide to take the easiest step and get weave.
“Sometimes I just don’t feel like struggling with my hair in the mornings and being late to school. I would have to wash it, condition it, and detangle it and put leave in conditioners so it wouldn’t be poufy. Why not just get something that’s easier to maintain?” explained sophomore Arin Waters.
One of the biggest factors people fail to realize is that not all people wear weaves because they are self conscious of their natural hair. Some women like how weave, sew-ins, and other hair look on them. They wear it not to please others but because they like the look. Some like the natural look and some like the weave and different options.
“I like to wear both my natural hair and weave depending on my mood; to be honest. I like the option,” sophomore Tori Myers explained.