North Texas Daily

Why wearing natural hair is a big deal

Why wearing natural hair is a big deal

Why wearing natural hair is a big deal
August 03
21:21 2020

Ugly, unmanageable, unprofessional, a distraction, inappropriate and nappy. These are all terms that have been used to negatively describe afro-textured hair. 

No one should have to think twice about wearing their hair how it naturally grows out of their head, yet some people have and still do. For many Black people around the world, especially women, who have afro hair, wearing it is a big deal because for many decades they have been taught not to from society, friends and even their own family. 

Expensive and time-consuming measures have been taken to change the appearance of afro hair or to cover it up altogether. From things like relaxers, flat-irons, hot-combs, wigs and weaves. Some of these methods and styles can even cause serious damage to your natural hair after a while, but they say beauty is pain right? 

The idea of people with afro hair not feeling like they can wear it naturally doesn’t just bring pain in the physical sense of changing it, but it’s mental too.

After being told something for so long, you start to believe it and become mentally captive to what you’ve been told. Then you begin passing it onto others, consciously and unconsciously, which allows the cycle to continue. This is exactly what has happened when it comes to views on afro hair.  

There have been movements to support natural hair in the past, however, it seems like none of those efforts really stuck or made a big enough impact until now. Finally, attitudes towards wearing natural hair are changing. Power is being taken back and conforming to Eurocentric beauty standards that aren’t inclusive isn’t being tolerated anymore.

On July 3, 2019, California passed the “Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair” Act or “The CROWN Act”, which bans hair discrimination at schools and workplaces.  

Although “The CROWN Act” is a great thing, it also shows how we are currently living in a world that has to set laws in place to protect people who simply want to wear their natural hair. You would think nothing could be more simple, but look how complicated others have made it. You would think it is common sense, but it seems like people don’t get it.  

There is absolutely no justification for anyone being sent home from school and work because they have chosen to wear a natural hairstyle. What can be said is so many of those with afro-textured hair have been accommodating and bending to certain social norms for so long and now because they aren’t anymore, it’s like a strange form of culture shock for others around them.  

Just because afro-textured hairstyles make some people uncomfortable or unhappy doesn’t mean those who have it should cover it up like it’s something to be ashamed of. Instead, they should continue to wear it proudly whenever, wherever and in front of whomever they would like.

Today it seems like more people are confidently wearing their natural hair and supporting those who do the same. It is important to instill love, desire, security and appreciation of natural hair into the next generation because they are the future. They need to see people that are like them who are being themselves and not what the world expects or tells them to be.   

Everyone likes to switch up their hair sometimes, and in today’s culture, people do that just about every day. Not a thing is wrong with versatility of hairstyles, but when a person decides to not wear their hair naturally, it should not be out of pressure to fit in or be accepted. It should only be because they want to, not because they feel like they have to. 

Afro-textured hair is beautiful just the way it is, it always has been and always will be.

Featured Illustration: Olivia Varnell

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Alexandria Northington

Alexandria Northington

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