African hair was celebrated in Africa and much like in slavery the more outrageous or elaborate your hairstyle was, the higher on the social ladder you were placed.
Hair indicated other things other than social status, it also identified you as part of a specific family or tribe, imagine your hair playing that much of a significant role back then, almost as important as your own name.
These deep rooted cultural phenomenons are hard to shake. Most of us these days are proud of it and as such if you have ever had the pleasure of attending the Bronner Brother International Hair show, you will see a celebration of that heritage every single year.
This hair celebration has some bad effects as well, its not all fairy dust and glittery feather extensions(affiliate link) in the hair community. Black women are known for jeopardizing their health for the love of the strand.
The Huffington Post reported just last December in this article that two in five African American women avoid exercise due to concerns about messing up their hair. They have linked this to rising obesity rates, disease and all sorts of health misdemeanors just because we love our hair.
Though this might have some truth to it, many of us cannot deny occasionally skipping the gym because of a cute hairstyle that you don’t want to ruin, times are changing. As women we recognize the value of a healthy lifestyle and have found ways to incorporate healthy living along along with having fabulous hair. No compromises!
Another reason hair is important, is because it is our crown and glory. In other words the aesthetics of hair dictates how we how we feel, when our hair looks good it translates to other aspects of our being. For instance, we feel sexy, happy, free, energetic, confident, rockstar-ish and a ton of other great adjectives when we are having a great hair day. Even if you decided to go bald and only had a few specks of hair growing on top of your head, people might describe you as bold, brave, radiant, and ‘good different’.
There is emotional and material value in how we wear our hair and how we take care of it. Even when things are bad and we hate our hair, we still love it enough to go on a relentless quest to solve our hair problems that will bring us back to that state of hair euphoria. Product junkie-ism being a very real side effect of this, it’s not uncommon to hear a black woman proclaim that she has tried every hair oil(affiliate link), cream, lotion and potion out there.
Black women love their hair, there is no denying it, whether it is due to a cultural stain in our DNA, emotional attachment or just aesthetics we are without a doubt our own statistic. Just stand up raise your right hand and repeat “I am a black woman and I love my hair”.
Originally posted 2013-05-06 15:00:43.