I once worked for several different hair salons when I resided in Atlanta, Georgia. I have worked for upscale white salons and an all-black Aveda concept salon where I had never seen so many black women with beautiful natural long hair before in my life. I personally love weaves and wigs but decided to wear my own natural hair about seven years ago. In between that time, I went back to the straight hair relaxer only to decide again that I wanted to restart my natural hair growth once again. The process of going back and forth between straight hair relaxers and all-natural hair can take some time for full acceptance with deciding to never ever go back. I have now had my own natural hair for three years. While working at the white upscale salon, I remember two mixed kids with beautiful curly coils were drooped off at the hair salon to get their hair done and the stylist went on about how awful their hair was while combing their hair out at the shampoo bowl. I recount the sadness on the little girls’ faces and I do not know if it was because their head was hurting from the combing of their hair or if it was the negative comments made by the stylist about their hair.
Black women have been indirectly taught by society and that their hair is not beautiful, nappy ( derogatory term place by whites on black women but the meaning can be flipped for a positive description of what it really means), and should be straight to be accepted. For many years, braids were not an acceptable norm as a hairstyle for corporate America, but many black women are taking a stand and are choosing to express themselves with their natural beautiful hair. Madam C. J. Walker was the first black women millionaire that created a hair care straighter for women of color. Garrett Augustus Morgan was the creator of a white creamy hair product called “relaxer’ used to relax the curl pattern of thick, kinky, tight coiled pattern hair. Many black and brown individuals have used the white cream also referred to as “creamy crack” to relax their beautiful tight or kinky coarse curls. Today, many women are claiming their natural hair and curl pattern design as a way to fully accept who they are no matter what it takes to manage their thick, kinky, coarse hair. Some have even taken the negative term “nappy” into a positive with accepting and stating “I am nappy and happy, and now what!” including myself. Some say a person’s hair is nappy because it is not the straight flowing hair as Caucasians and that is what can make the connotation term “nappy” negative. Black women should always realize that their hair is beautiful just as it is with no need to alter it but just manage it no matter what it takes. Self-acceptance includes one’s own hair without thinking that your hair is a problem just because it’s not like someone else’s hair. Some black women still need to love and embrace the hair that we are in without feeling like our hair is ever a problem.
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