Black Women With Their Hair In The History And At The Present

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Black women have faced bullying in the past for their unique texture of hair.
St. Clair Detrick-Jules
St. Clair Detrick-Jules "My Beautiful Black Hair" ( Image Source: allure )

Hair is seen as a reflection of women's identity in almost all cultures. It holds even more value to women. So many women equate a bad hair day to a bad day. Bad hair day is when a woman's hair is too fine, too frizzy, too dry, turning grey, or blatantly falling out.

Hair has this deep and direct relationship to the self-esteem of a person. This fact is made apparent through history, philosophy, and sometimes even religion. Hence, we can assume that hair is both personal and public.

The talk of the hair is even more important among black women. Most black women have such unique as well as voluminous hair. Here are the stories of such women who have an unforgettable bond with their hair:

What Does Hair Symbolize Among Black Women?

Hair equals Identity, Freedom, and beauty among black women. It also signifies liberation among them. Female communists and soldiers in China used to flaunt a short bob cut just below the ears in the '50s. There was even a hairdo named the Liberation Hairdo.  It represented those women who used their hairdos to express themselves.

My Beautiful Black Hair

St. Clair Detrick-Jules (Image Source: allure)

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Lauriel Cleveland 

Lauriel had shaved her entire hair off when she was a junior in college. She got faux locks in an attempt to grow her hair back. Her locks were long and heavy. She used to work in an administrative office back then and her boss had never seen her braided hair.

Her boss went on to ask her if she took showers regularly. She had to ask as she didn't understand how she could get wet if she had so much hair on top of her head. Lauriel remembers explaining that she used shower caps to maintain her hair and not get the braids wet.

It was a very demeaning moment for Lauriel. The fact it happened in front of other students that worked in the office made her feel even worse. Remembering the incident, she has said:

That's just one of many instances where my natural hairstyles have been demeaned by non-Black women 

St. Clair Detrick-Jules

St. Clair Detrick-Jules is a documentary filmmaker. One day she received a call from her father to tell her that her little sister Khloe was crying because she didn't want to go to school. Her classmates had been teasing and bullying Khloe about her natural hair. The Detrick-Jules sisters are bi-racial. Their mother is white and their father is from Saint Barts.

Khloe had the tightest curl pattern of her hair. She had always attempted to make her little sister feel good about her hair by complimenting it. She has also expressed her anger towards her sister's teachers for not taking a stand for Khloe.

Janibell Rosanne 

Janibell Rosanne grew up in a Hispanic household. Straight hair is considered good hair, and wavy and curly hair is considered bad hair in the Hispanic community. Although things are changing for the better, textured hair has yet to be accepted as normal and beautiful.

Janibell has stated:

My hair is not a fashion statement; it is a part of me in the most literal and figurative way possible

Aasha Benton  

She once was asked if her hair was real at a nail shop in Richmond. She then just decided to lie about all of the questions. She used to have long box braids. She was also asked questions about how long her hair took and how much her hair cost.

The questions about her hair never stopped during her pedicure and it was awkward. Aasha says that the inquiry made her feel like she was on display.

Bianca Alexa

Bianca has had so many encounters with discrimination from strangers who had ignorant thoughts toward her natural hair. She still gets random strangers reaching to touch her hair without permission. Some even assume that her hair is fake or a wig.

Bianca Alexa

Bianca Alexa ( Image Source: WWD )

One Christmas Day, she was talking to a group of people who were mostly Caucasian. Their conversation shifted towards the texture and volume of her hair. It began as just plain curiosity but all of a sudden five different hands were reaching toward her hair and petting it.

She recalls how uncomfortable it felt to her. She was experiencing people that have zero regards for her personal space.