Dr. Nicola Finley (Internist)
Love for Black Hair
Every person has their own hair journey. In many communities, hair is an element of a person’s culture and identity. This also is the case for Black women. There are distinctive ways that hair plays a role in a black women’s life. On the other hand, there are ways that hair is similar to those in other populations. Let’s explore the uniqueness and commonalities of marvelous hair for Black women.
The beauty of Black hair is how versatile it is. Just like there are different skin tones within the Black community, there are different hair textures with a wide variety of curl patterns and various degrees of coil. An exciting part of a Black woman’s hair journey is how many hairstyle choices she has. For instance, she may decide to keep her hair in its natural state. If she wears an afro, then she can grow it out big or maintain it short. Other examples of natural hair styles include locs, curly, silk press, puff balls, or twist outs. Also, she may decide that she wants braids with its multiple forms. The braids could be box braids, cornrows or microbraids to name just a few. In addition, she has options with the color and length of the braids. Alternatively, some Black women decide to alter the texture of their hair by using chemicals to straighten her hair. Some options include a relaxer or keratin treatment. Further, she can achieve a different look with a weave or extensions. Perhaps the quickest way to change a hairstyle is to wear to wig as wigs can open up endless options. Lastly, a hairstyle that should not be forgotten is to completely shave all of her hair off. Hair for Black women can been seen as a celebration of diverse hairstyles that can change with her mood, outlook on life, current trends or with what’s happening in society at large.
Indeed, hair is special way a Black woman can express herself and her personality. Similar to any other part of her body, a Black woman may go through periods of cherishing her hair as well as struggling with it. At times, she may feel pressure from friends, family, the media or work to conform to a specific hair style that either isn’t in alignment with how she wants to express herself or isn’t healthy for her hair. Also, there are often a range of emotions attached to hair for Black women that tend to evolve over time. These emotions may include delight in finding a cute hairstyle or frustration in the amount of time it takes to do her hair. Often, there is experimentation with different hair products to determine what will work best for her. Hopefully, Black women’s hair journey includes empowerment and a lot of love.