I am in love with the freedom of natural hair, protective styles that is prevalent in social media, mainstream media and the workforce. The message is clear, you can now be comfortable being the beautiful being that you are! Hooray!! Fading are the days where your intelligence and business acumen are judged in the halls of corporate America because you wear a twist out and not the tight IBM style bun in your hair. No more is it assumed that because you have lovely locks adorning your crown that you are rebellious or ubber-mega militant. FINALLY a freedom has been bestowed upon us! PERMISSION has been granted! YOLO! I’m doing me! Keeping it one-hunnert (I just saw my kids roll their eyes at the YOLO and 100 references….you’re welcome children!) Continue reading
Let it go people! Live and let live. To each his/her own.
I’m talking about the judgment. More specifically the hair judgment that is passed on those who choose to be themselves and rock whatever style they want. There always seems to be a contingent that has an opinion based on their choice. The Permed Hair Crew vs. Protective Styles Camp and why one is better/worse than the other one. I am sooooo tired of it. Live and let live. Whatever your style, texture, process, products or length – keep your hair healthy and do you! Celebrate the beauty in our differences and not tear one another down. Don’t waste your judgment on me because like India.Arie I know that there is more to me Under my Brim than my hair.
YUP!!! Had that insult loudly hurled at me out on the playground and since I thought he was oooooo soooo cute, it really cut me deep. I was so angry with my Momma for sending me out into the world looking like a Q-tip. Don’t judge me, 6th grade is rough!!! It didn’t get better as I went to high school and almost flunked gym because I did NOT want to get my hair wet and spend all of my lunch blow-drying it and trying to smooth it out with my butane curling iron (that would NEVER get hot enough). Oh stop looking like you didn’t have the butane clicker.
NATURAL HAIR IN THE BUSINESS WORLD –
“SO ARE YOU REALLY GOING TO WEAR YOUR HAIR LIKE THAT?”
Sharing an article with you that I read here: SOURCE: http://www.curlynikki.com/2013/10/natural-hair-in-business-world-so-are.html
Dr. Kimberly Nettles writes:
I will never forget my first time preparing for a pharmacy job interview. “So are you really going to wear your hair like that?”, my fellow colleague asked peering into my Afro as if it were a foreign object. I had never given a second thought to the idea if my hair would be “acceptable” to wear to a job fair. I always put more emphasis into making sure my makeup didn’t look too bright, my business suit wasn’t too tight, or that my heels weren’t too high. Professionalism was something I always took pride in, but the concept of how I would style my hair was never a concern.
Posters of African-American women with long, sleek hair fill the window. Round jars of shea butter belly up to slender boxes of hair dye on the shelves. Wigs perch on mannequin heads.
What makes Black Girls Divine Beauty Supply and Salon’s visitors do a double-take is the skin color of the proprietors. “I go, ‘Look at all the faces on the boxes,’ ” said Judian Brown, recalling other shopkeepers’ and customers’ surprise when they realize she is not an employee, but the owner. “Who should be owning these stores?”
The Brown sisters’ is one small shop in a multibillion-dollar industry, centered on something that is both a point of pride and a political flash point for black women: their hair. But the Browns are among only a few hundred black owners of the roughly 10,000 stores that sell hair products like relaxers, curl creams, wigs and hair weaves to black women, not just in New York but across the country. The vast majority have Korean-American owners, a phenomenon dating back to the 1970’s that has stoked tensions between black consumers and Korean business people over what some black people see as one ethnic group profiting from, yet shutting out, another.
A growing awareness of this imbalance has spurred more black people to hang out their own shingles. The people producing the products have changed, too: As “going natural” — abandoning artificially smoothed hair in favor of naturally textured curls and braids — has become more popular and the Internet has expanded, black entrepreneurs, most of them women, are claiming a bigger share of the shelves in women’s medicine cabinets. Continue reading
We’ve all read stories and hair-tales of women who decided to grow their hair natural (meaning no chemical relaxers). I am
Though I have to admit, my initial reason to embark in this “journey” wasn’t entirely for deep and profound self-enlightenment. Yes, I wanted to embrace my natural beauty and appreciate the attributes I was born with. But in essence my main reasons for going natural were cost and the Afro-Centric social awareness which was happening around 2009; awareness such as, Chris Rock’s movie “Good Hair”.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a genuine desire to express myself as GOD has created me. But to “keep it real”, without the economical incentive, I may have never gotten over the hump from a thought to actually doing.
Nevertheless, regardless of how I got here the fact is that I am here. And I couldn’t be prouder for making the decision. The experience has been surprisingly empowering. My smile is a little bigger and my head is raised a bit higher. And yes, I know it’s not my natural hair giving me special powers. Lol can you imagine (Natural Woman!!). I think it’s simply being able to step out of my comfort zone that gave me the ability to say “hey I accept myself as I am” and THAT had a reflective effect on my self-image.
But I wouldn’t be telling the whole truth if I didn’t share how loving my kinkiness has come with its own set of challenges along the way. What challenges you ask, well…
–Like many young girls of color, my mother started straightening my hair when I was young. The idea of caring for my natural hair was foreign to me and I had to get reacquainted with my hair texture
–Although, natural hair care is suppose to be more cost effective, when you’re not knowledgeable of taking care of your hair you still end up spending money on services and products. And depending on where you go, natural hair services can cost more than regular services.
–Textured hair comes in many different curl patterns, I learned the hard way. Oh yea, I’m a mix of 4B and 4C texture
–Contrary to popular belief, kinkier hair is more prone to tangling and breakage. Making it more sensitive than any other hair texture
–Last but not least, HAIR SHRINKAGE!!!! (this is when moisture comes into contact and hair retracts from its elongated state to a tighter curl pattern.)
All in all, it took some trial and error. But ultimately after lots of patience I learned to care and LOVE my hair. I adore my curl pattern, my thickness and the styling versatility.
This is a decision I’m glad I made. One thing that has become abundantly clear to me is that everyone has an opinion about hair. Whether natural, chemically treated, weaved-up or whatever — do what makes YOU happy.
I’m proud to be an Afro-Latina. This is who I am – every kinky, thick, curly part of me.
Written by: Paola Gonzalez
Under Her Brim extends special Thanks to Black Latina Movement for permission to share this with our readers!