The Hair Politics of Natural vs. Permed

This morning, I saw a post from that my cousin shared on Black women’s hair will always be cause for discussion whether you are wearing a weave, relaxing your hair or wearing your hair natural. My sister-in-law and I were talking about some very backwards guys that she has encountered who say they won’t date a woman who has natural hair or make comments that “you’re not African, so why is your hair natural?”

Ignorant, huh?

Anyway, we were both saying that people shouldn’t be judged because of their hair. Now, I do think that if we think about the history of Black hair, there are reasons why some people are only about the weave or perm and why some people are choosing to wear their hair naturally. But I disagree with judging people solely on their hair and their hair choices. Am I going to put some Indian Remy in my hair? Not today, but who’s to say I won’t chose to in a couple of months. It’s all about knowing you have choices. It’s also about be confident in who you are whether your hair is permed, weaved or natural.

Here’s a quote from the article:

I truly understand why Black hair can be turned into a political issue. But that doesn’t keep me from questioning the dogmatic attitudes of some women and men when it comes to the strands growing out of someone else’s head.

I’ve heard comments that range from, “Weave is the bane of the Black woman’s existence” to “It’s hair, but it’s not just hair. It’s about pride.” There’s also  “Look at that nappy afro. She needs a perm,” and “Black women who don’t rock their natural hair are subscribing to the European standard of beauty.” These generalizations sound incongruous; and if they are going to be applied, must be done on an individual basis.

You can read the entire article here.

Share your comments!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. OK I just had to laugh at the “you’re not African” comment.

    I know plenty of African people and trust, they have even deeper rooted hair issues than we do! Contrary to popular belief, Africa is not a natural hair mecca lol Weaves and braids abound!

    1. urbansista says:

      Some people are ignorant. That was an actual comment that a dude made to my sister-in-law when she said she was going to transition to natural hair. SMH.

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