At a recent hair conference the question was posed, do black women really love their hair? The premise for this discussion is the thought that if black women truly loved their hair they would see more growth and less hair loss.
If we took the stance that this premise is true, what would be the things that a black woman would have to do to show ‘love’ to their locks. Here are a few suggestions for indicators of that you love your hair:
‣ Getting to know your hair intimately – by intimate we mean knowing how your hair responds to the various hair care routines, products and treatments even before you try them out. This sort of intimacy takes time and practice but will allow for a wealth of knowledge about how your hair works and what you can do with it as you care for it.
‣ Not being afraid to enjoy your hair with confidence – When you love something, it’s almost inevitable that you might want to show it off a little. Trying different styles that compliment you and keeping it interesting with your hair is a sure indicator that you are not ashamed of the locks you have.
‣ Protecting your hair – With love there is a natural need to protect. We all know that our environment has many harmful effects that can inadvertently cause damage to our hair and as a result caring for it means finding consistent ways of protecting it from anything harmful, such as the sun, high levels of manipulation, clothing or excessive chemical use.
‣ Choosing only the best products for you – choosing products that are best for your hair is very relative. What works for you may not work for another person which means there is no judgment as it relates to what you might think you need to use on your hair. There are some women who prefer products that are all natural, there are some that don’t mind a little ‘manufacturing’ when it comes to product choices. In both cases the hair may respond positively!
‣ Avoiding harmful hair care practices – Harmful practices can be defined as anything that would damage your hair to the point of having a set back or permanent loss. This could be almost anything done in excess, for example, consistently using hair bands* that pull the hair so tightly that the hair line recedes. Another example would be excessive use of heat causing breakage and over shedding.
Chemical treatments can also be seen as harmful depending on what side of the argument you may fall on. There is evidence of women who chemically treat their hair either for color or to relax their curls that have what can be considered ‘great hair’!
This point could be considered controversial as some may argue that to alter the hair’s structure in anyway even if its ‘healthy’ and does not cause damage, can be considered as resentment towards your own texture. To others it is not that deep; it is just a matter of choice. How do you feel? What about wearing a weave? Is it logical to say, I love my hair but I just prefer to wear a weave, 99% of the time.