I recently completed Chimmanda Adiche’s new book Americannah and I must say it is the most down to earth book I have ever read . One of the issues she got me thinking about is the issue of hair versus identity.
The hair believe it or not is one of the most emotional part of our body. There is a direct relationship between our hair and our self image. Just a slight change to our hair- new hairstyle or haircut, our friends can tell the difference a mile away. I’m not quite sure why we tend to be so self conscious when we have something new on our hair. We tend to peek into any mirror we see (even reflections)just to remind us I guess, of what we look like. We tend to run our hands over the new hair more often than necessary. And we often find ourselves taking more pictures, compare them with older pictures, post some on Facebook and wait for comments virtually or physically.
If our hair is so crucial to our self image should anyone prescribe to us what hair we should have on? Well there sometimes tend to be an ‘argument’ among black women whether or not it is okay to have natural hair or weaves. In the end, these arguments tend to collapse in to preferences and orientations.
For #teamweaves or #teamperm they often believe that the quickest way possible to look good is what they want on their hair. They often don’t care so much about the cost of this decision. Looking good is all that matters. So there’s nothing wrong with putting chemicals in the hair if it will make it look good. There’s nothing wrong in rocking a 22inch Cambondian weave. Anything that looks good, they don’t mind having on. They often crown it all by saying, ‘I am not my hair’
The second end of the argument #teamnatural believe that the best thing to do is to give their hair a chance. So they are not worried about the texture or uncanniness… They pick up the challenge and work their hair. What I have often noticed however, is that #teamnatural (not on purpose) tend to be critical of others who don’t join in the movement. They obsess about hair- research about products and talk a lot about hair. You know how people obsess about food are called foodies, I call those who do the same to hair ‘hairist’. If u meet a real hairist you might just become one! Usually, #teamnatural women mostly have had bad experiences when they were in the other teams I mentioned and vowed to love their own hair.
So now you know a little about these two teams. What do you think? Is hair really a means of identity or it is just an accessory like clothes?
I would really appreciate your opinion.
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