Hair has always served a huge significance because of it’s ties to beauty, confidence, and expression. Like many other physical factors, hair is representative of a lot; whether you are or aren’t aware of your choice of styling. In today’s hyper-conscious times, hair has become a war that leaves those within the gray areas conflicted and subtly oppressed.
To be direct, the natural versus non-natural argument is one that has been building as black women embrace their natural coils and kinks. This beautiful climate of cultural appreciation and identification has subsequently created a new measure of divisiveness – providing some with ammunition to target women who still apply the creamy crack to their tendrils.
Why is something symbolic being used as ammunition in seemingly progressive times? I’ll walk through it based on my own experiences.
I’d say my conscious awakening, a.k.a the day I woke up, was in the earlier half of 2014. As a Media/Communications major, I study a lot of content that reveals things about society and its habitual practice. That eagerness for more depth and understanding transcended into my non-academic aspects of my life over time. Suddenly, I became more inquisitive; wanting to know everything about the origins of Black people. I’d look into my Jamaican heritage and ancestry thinking, ‘my existence has hybridity; it isn’t just on this island.’ I spent a lot of time reading notable black literature and watching informative documentaries.
At that time, my hair was transitioning (allowing the perm to grow out and revert to it’s natural texture) but I thought about taking it a step further. I had big-chopped (getting rid of all or most relaxed hair follicles in one hair cut). This was the beginning of something crucial because I had about two inches of hair – ready to start my life as this new “woke” individual. I noticed a lot about black hair amidst getting rid of mine. I realized we all had different textures, hair sensitivities, and most importantly, choice – we all have a choice.