Have you ever heard this phrase? Me yes, and many more than once. So first, let’s start with the analysis of the term “beautiful hair”. What are the criteria determining that one type of hair is more beautiful than another? The length, the volume, the ease of combing them, the texture? In my opinion, well-groomed hair of any type is beautiful hair. But let’s be honest, for many people, good hair often means straight or curly (easily straightened) hair, even, if not especially, within the black community.
I’m not going to come back to the phenomenon of alie
nation that black women have been victims of for too long. Today, thank God, mentalities have evolved, the Nappy movement has taken over, and more and more of us are coming to terms with our hair type. The path has been difficult, everything is not yet fully won, but we must recognize that it is easier for our generation to take care of our natural hair than it was for that of our mothers. .
On the other hand, I will again mention one of the disastrous consequences that this has had on our community: the rejection of frizzy hair. Non-black people already have a very critical view of frizzy hair and most of them don’t know how to maintain it. But why have we also made the choice to lean on their side and reject frizzy hair when many of us have this type of hair?
I am of Martinican origin, and as you know, the Caribbean islands have been the subject of many mixtures of different peoples. First of all the Native Americans already present during the arrival of European settlers, the importation of African slaves, then after the abolition of slavery, the importation of Indian workers. All this therefore created the Afro-Caribbean people that we know today, from various origins. Because of this, the image of the West Indian woman tends to be that of a fair-skinned woman with long, curly hair. Of course, these women exist, but quite honestly, I would say that the population with dark complexion and frizzy hair, is still superior. But it’s never this image that comes to mind
In my family, there are all types of skin tones, and all types of hair textures. However, I am the only one (along with my brother) who has my skin tone and hair texture. That is to say, we are not fair-skinned, but do not have frizzy hair. I have curly hair. Already there, for many people, it’s not normal lol. Yes, we tend to associate skin tone with hair texture, and with this “logic”, the lighter you are, the softer your hair. Which is absolutely not true, I have a lot of fair-skinned, frizzy-haired women around me. And also, I would like to point out, mixed-race children (white/black) can also have frizzy hair, they won’t necessarily go out with curly hair, and that won’t take anything away from their beauty!
So yes, I have curly hair, I even prefer to use the term “curly”, because my curls are still tight (type 3C/4A). Why am I stressing that my hair isn’t frizzy? Because sometimes I’m tired of dealing with my hair, but I don’t know the struggle of type 4C hair maintenance, and I’m not afraid to admit it. Does this necessarily mean that my hair is more beautiful? HELL NO!!!! Again, it’s all about health. Well-groomed, healthy hair is beautiful hair, period.
As a teenager, I swore by straighteners, so I wore my hair straight and long most of the time, while many of my black friends wore weaves. So I had the right to sentences like: “Is that your real hair? Wow, you have beautiful hair for a black girl!”. Then, when I decided to stop straightening my hair, I was very encouraged by my mother and my friends. However, they themselves were hesitant to stop straightening their hair and said to me “yes, but you have beautiful hair”, implying that you don’t have frizzy hair. I tried to explain to them that my hair is no more beautiful than theirs, and that a texture does not define the beauty of hair.
In fact, even before claiming that society recognizes that any hair texture is beautiful, I would like our community to do this internal work because it has severe consequences on our own image but also on future generations. If my future daughter has frizzy hair, should I say words like “oh I wish you had beautiful hair like me?” How would I make her feel? We need to stop putting curly hair on a pedestal and despising frizzy hair. I am aware that the bad image of frizzy hair has been established by Western society, however, it is up to us to defend and restore its beautiful image to our hair type, and it starts within our community. .