The decision to wear your hair natural or straightened would seem like a simple one. But for black women and women of mixed heritage it can be much more complex. Recently Tyra Banks appeared on her show without any weave, completely natural right out of the shower. Women all over the world applauded her brave choice to strip herself of any extensions or weave. It would seem that Tyra exposing her natural hair was a momentous event. What was it that made this event so special and why did it hit such a nerve in women in general?
How a woman wears her hair carries a lot of weight in society. Black women, and black celebrities in particular might be under scrutiny for their hair styles. If she wears an afro, she may be looked upon as a militant or radical. If she chooses to wear her hair straightened or relaxed, her sisters may wonder if she’s ashamed of her heritage. You may ask, isn’t it just hair? Well unfortunately no it isn’t.
Hair has always been a sign of status and rank in society ever since the first cave woman ran a carved comb through her tresses. In the corporate world, a black woman may not feel she will be taken seriously if she wears her hair naturally. One example used in a recent article by Hannah Pool in The Guardian asks how would Michelle Obama’s reputation be affected if she chose to wear an afro? Many women in business and other areas of the workplace feel the need to have hair that is straight and without braids or texture. And will they be judged as selling out for a promotion?
Change is often slow, but natural hair is becoming more accepted, for women who choose it, in the workplace. For those who choose to go natural, we are learning to accept people, in some cases, without insisting they look like a particular cultural type.
If you are considering wearing your hair naturally, lengthening it with human hair extensions, or making it more full with a lace wig, ask your stylist for her advice. She can help you decide which solutions are best for you, and recommend professional products to keep your hair healthy, shiny and looking its best no matter how you choose to wear it.
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