Afros, twist-outs, dread locks and flat twist have become increasingly popular within the last couple of years, primarily in the black community. Black women are starting to realize that the up keep of their natural hair is just as important as the up keep of an expensive weave. As the natural hair movement keeps progressing, those outside of the black community may be intimidated by the kinkiness and largeness of some black people’s hair.
To be natural means to be heat free, no blow drying, no straightening, and no perming. Society has always portrayed that a woman must have long flowing hair down her back in order to be successful and beautiful. For a long time black women tried to copy that image by investing in $500 weaves and constantly perming and straightening our hair.
People do not realize the strain that is placed upon our hair when we alter it so much. If we constantly straighten it, it breaks off. If we continue to perm it, it falls out. When we wear
weaves, which are fake extensions that are sewn into the braids of our real hair, the braids tugs and pulls our scalp, causing hair loss and thinning.
The best thing to do for a black woman’s hair is to leave it be. However when our hair grows it does not grow down, it grows up and out. Which may be a distraction in some people’s eyes.
Society has a standard image of how a woman should look, how she should wear her hair and how she should dress. Not only in our everyday lives but in corporate America as well. With the image that is already ingrained into our minds of how a woman should look, does the natural haired black woman fit the standard?
Is it appropriate to go to a meeting with an afro or a twist out? Will black women be taken seriously at a job interview with natural nappy hair? Now I’m not saying that all natural hairstyles are large and unkempt but a lot of them are. It’s sad that we cannot embrace our natural locks without a diminished sense of femininity or beauty.
Yes, in corporate America I understand that you’re supposed to have some professionalism about yourself, but who wrote the handbook on what’s acceptable and what’s not? Obviously the handbook was not written with the success of black Americans in mind.
There is indeed a place in corporate America for our beautiful, full, thick and large hair. There just needs to be someone who can look past the afro and see the work potential. My hair does not
affect how I complete the task at hand.
Black Americans have had to overcome a lot of obstacles, and we have many more to overcome.
How are we supposed to overcome these challenges we face when we don’t even wake up and embrace the natural kink that was placed upon us?
We should have the option to wear weave or wear and afro and still receive the same treatment from society. My way of being beautiful is just as beautiful as yours.