Tag Archive | weave

Bringing Natural Hair to the Stage

It is quite common that when it comes time to slay whether it be at the club or at prom, wearing your natural hair is not what comes to mind.  Sure, you may get a curly weave or something that looks natural but it is still not your natural hair.  Even when it’s time to go back to school, women love getting a fresh install to feel good for class.  But why is that?

There is still a lack within our community to put natural hair as the top beauty ideal.  Unless the hair is long with “perfect” spirals, natural hair is hardly worn when it is time to look our best.  Our hair is constantly straightened, braided, and put away.  I would like to take a moment to recognize some women who proudly wore their natural hair in times where beauty is the highlight of an event:

Cierra Jackson – Miss DC in Miss America 2017

Image result for maria borges natural hair

Maria Borges – First model to wear natural hair in Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

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Yours truly, Stelly in my high school pageant in 2011

The “stage” in this sense is referring to any sort of spotlight.  Are you a manager?  A mom?  On the executive board for an org?  An employee in corporate America?  A wife?  When you are in these roles, you are constantly being watched by others and the way you wear your hair has more of an influence than you think.

 

It is important for women to continue to spread the notion that natural hair is beautiful when it is time to be beautiful.  Each time you think you look your best with hair that isn’t yours, just think that you are spreading that message to someone else.  Someone who may not feel as confident in their hair will see you changing yours and fall into the idea of changing theirs.  Or imagine if you were to have a daughter and she’s always watching you hide your hair.  Little girls or even women who aspire to be like you when you wear a business suit, in leadership positions, or even in a relationship will look at your hair and think “well maybe if I change my hair too, I can be like her.”

With that being said, what you do with your hair is a choice.  However, it becomes a problem when we have a headline for a black woman wearing her natural hair at a pageant or a black woman being the FIRST to wear their natural hair at a VS fashion show.  Just think about your choices for a second.

Side Note:  In the case of the Victoria’s Secret model, she asked if she can wear her natural hair.  Otherwise, they would’ve put a wig or weave on her.  With Miss DC, her stylists were against it but she pushed anyway.  Even if you are in a situation where your look isn’t completely in your control – ask anyway!  Be defiant.  

Why I Am Choosing Long, Natural Hair

What baffled me the most was when I wore a relaxer and people would comment on how “long” my hair was when it just fell down to my shoulders…I know what long hair looks like.  Long hair to me is mid-back length and below.  So why is it that when a black woman has hair down to her shoulders, it’s considered long?

Yes, this is me around 2008

Compared to this?!

I tell people all the time – as of right now, my hair is NOT long.  I really want to break the stereotype that black women cannot grow hair past their collar bone.  Hair has always been a hot topic among our community.  I see being natural as an outlet to have our hair grow and flourish to it’s full potential.  With proper care, the first thing girls notice when they go natural is how fast their natural hair catches up to their previous relaxed hair length.  It really only takes 2 years to go from bald to shoulder length.  Why is it that we speak about how long our hair used to be as a child but can’t seem to achieve the same lengths today?

Anyone can wake up and decide to cut their hair.  Short hair is easy.  Short hair is achievable by anyone who can grow hair.  But what about long, healthy hair?  It takes years, care, and patience to be able to achieve that.  There is nothing wrong with short hair but it becomes a problem when people are shocked that a black woman’s hair comes past her collar bone.  We.Are.The.Only.Race.With.This.Issue

One thing though that bothers me about hair is the division that happens among black women.   In the process of looking at other girls’ hair, black women start to compare and down themselves:  “My hair won’t do that.  My hair ain’t like hers.  My hair this.  My hair that.”  Or let’s not forget that dreaded comment: “She has good hair!”  I have numerous accounts with black women who will give me a compliment then proceed to tell me how they can’t get their like mine or how their hair is too nappy to leave out.  Honestly, these comments are sickening.  I believe all black women should be proud of what they have BEFORE they proudly rock inches that are not theirs.

Urban Bush Babes

Whitney (Naptural85)

We as a whole need to do better to break this stereotype.  I understand that however you wear your hair is a choice but it shouldn’t be at a point where short hair is the norm for us.  It shouldn’t be at a point where long hair on black women is thought to be fake before it’s even believed to be real.  It shouldn’t be at a point where women ask me where I’m buying my hair from or trying to dig their fingers in my scalp to feel for tracks.  It should not be this much of an issue.  Look at the shelves in the beauty supply stores.  Why are there so many products that promise hair growth?  Companies are preying on our stereotype to make money off us.  I repeat:

We.Are.The.Only.Race.With.This.Issue


Side Note:  I am aware of the health issues and genetics that can play a role in hair growth and I am excusing those cases.