Black Women Can’t Even Call Their Hair JUST Hair

(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

A lot of things have opened my eyes since I found the black conscious side of the internet and around 2010-2011 when I found the natural hair side of YouTube. People from both of these communities encourage black women to wear their own hair the most. Some black women’s response to this is that it’s “just hair” and it “shouldn’t be that serious”.

I believe it’s NOT just hair. Thinking about the history of how black men and black women have been disrespected and discriminated against for their real hair is enough for me to see that, already. But there are a lot more examples that show me that it’s not “just hair”.

Many black women can’t even call their hair JUST hair. We always have to put a descriptor or something in front before we say hair when we talk about our hair. For instance, instead of calling our hair JUST hair, we call our hair “natural” hair or “4a/b/c” hair. Black women are literally the only group on the planet that has to call our hair “natural” or refer to our hair as subcategories. I don’t hear white, Asian or any other race of people, calling their hair “natural” or referring to their hair as “1a/b/c” and so forth.

I also hear a lot of black women calling their hair a “crown”. Our hair isn’t a crown! It’s HAIR! I believe we call our hair a “crown” because we’ve been made to think negatively about our hair for so long and we say that so we can feel better about our hair. Crowns are associated with royalty. So if we call our hair “crowns”, we can feel like we’re associated with kings and queens when we wear our own hair. Honestly, I feel like that it so unnecessary. We shouldn’t have to think of our hair that way just so we can be happy with it.

This reminds me of a children’s book I saw on social media a few years ago titled Penny and the Magic Puffballs, where a black woman wrote a book to help her daughter, I believe, feel better about her hair because she wanted straight hair like all the other girls around her. She styled her daughter’s hair into puffballs and called them “magic”. I understand the message, but I just think that it’s sad that a little black girl’s hair has to be called “magic” just to get her to be happy with it. It can’t JUST BE hair.

Whenever black women are finally breaking away from wearing weaves, wigs, and relaxers, and are started to wear and take care of their real hair, they refer to wearing their real hair as a “journey”. Wearing the hair you were born with exactly as it grows out of your scalp without altering it shouldn’t be a “journey”. It should just be you finally not being afraid of wearing your hair.

When I go into the hair products aisle in every store and see every product labeled as JUST hair products, but the black hair products have to be called “natural” hair products makes me sick and angry.

Most black female cartoon characters and dolls are depicted with straight hair and they aren’t even real. If it’s just hair, how come most black female fictional characters and dolls don’t even have our textured hair?

This society made us feel that we have to call our hair something different because they’re uncomfortable with it. This is why I believe it’s important for us to get rid of the fake hair and hair straighteners anyway just to give a FUCK YOU to this obviously racist society that tries so hard to make us hate everything about ourselves.

We are constantly calling our hair everything except JUST hair. So, the next time I hear someone say it’s “just hair”, I will know it’s a lie. I think people only say that because they know that the encouraging people are right about black people embracing our own hair, but they don’t want to listen. They just say that because they don’t have a better rebuttal. Black people and this society as a whole clearly have an issue with our hair.

Author: mysparkingthoughts

I am a young woman with a whole lot to say. I see myself as some type of messenger.

8 thoughts on “Black Women Can’t Even Call Their Hair JUST Hair”

  1. @mysparklingthoughts

    “ I also hear a lot of black women calling their hair a “crown”. Our hair isn’t a crown! It’s HAIR! I believe we call our hair a “crown” because we’ve been made to think negatively about our hair for so long and we say that so we can feel better about our hair. Crowns are associated with royalty. So if we call our hair “crowns”, we can feel like we’re associated with kings and queens when we wear our own hair. Honestly, I feel like that it so unnecessary. We shouldn’t have to think of our hair that way just so we can be happy with it.”

    “ I understand the message, but I just think that it’s sad that a little black girl’s hair has to be called “magic” just to get her to be happy with it. It can’t JUST BE hair.”

    100% agreed with your post especially these statements. I know these statements are trying to uplift our people self esteem but it makes us look like we’re some magical supernatural humans that keeps us in fantasy land. It’s the same way I feel when I constantly hear we’re the original queens & kings of the universe, melanin is power, & Afro texture hair is magic. Mysparklingthought I wish you do a blog about these magical supernatural human quotes that are being use to describe our people because sometimes it make us live like we’re in fantasy land.

    P.S I’m glad to be back writing on your blog it’s been a minute.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much. I have been thinking about writing about people saying that type of stuff for a while. I’m just looking for the right things to say. Once I figure out exactly what to say, I will write about it. I do believe it makes us look like we’re superhuman and keeps us living in a fantasy land like you said.

      Like

  2. Sadly, we are ‘conditioned’ from an early age to hate our hair. My mother had three girls and every other week, Saturday was ‘hair’ day when she would wash our hair, blow dry it, straighten it and put up in curlers; the screams were ear piercing because of the naps she’d pull when she’d rake the comb through it. She didn’t use a pick and so you know that on dry hair, combing it hurts horribly. As soon as I can remember, she started sending me to a beautician to get her to straighten my hair. We were rarely encouraged to wear Afros. I only have a few pictures of me from junior high school days with my hair in an Afro. And so when I grew up, I naturally gravitated to getting my hair straightened and from there, came the relaxers. People used to call my hair ‘beautiful’ when I would get it relaxed and after it had grown so much that it was hanging down my back, the more compliments I got, even from Black beauticians.

    Only after moving to Minnesota and finding that no one in Minnesota knew how do to ‘our type of hair’ is when I started having problems to the point whereas I had to have all my hair cut off and wore wigs until it grew back. From then on. I started wearing an Afro again. I don’t buy a lot of special hair care products. I just use a simple 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner, pick it out and go. Do people look at me strange? Yes, but I don’t care. This is MY hair and I embrace it.

    I will never buy a wig again. I never used weaves, sew-ins or whatever else Black women use in addition to or other than their hair. Black women are the reason why the Asians are filthy rich; if we did not give them so much business in buying hair for braids, weaves or just flat out buying wigs, they’d go out of business because the whites don’t buy that mess. Black women today, feel as though they must look like the whites or every other group, I guess, in order to fit in, I don’t know. But it is a sad shame that many Black women look to Hollywood and emulate that mess and how often do you see a Black woman playing a role and she doesn’t have a weave in? Exactly. Some people need to ‘follow’ celebrities. Why, I don’t know, but thankfully, I have never been one.

    Great post, btw.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much. I never liked weave because all throughout my school years, so many people would ask me if my hair was weave because my hair was long. I hated so many people thinking my hair was fake. And I, too, remember how my mom used to comb my hair when I was little. It always hurt so bad. A couple of times, I took the combs and buried them in the yard. She would try to get other people to do my hair, too, but they weren’t any better. It still hurt badly. I hated getting my hair done. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized most women around me just didn’t know how to care for my hair properly. They rarely if ever washed it and when they did, they didn’t use conditioner. If you shampoo your hair without conditioner, it will be dry, especially if you’re not using a gentle shampoo, which I’m pretty sure none of them used. They never used any hair moisturizers either. Just a ton of grease. I’ve always hated how grease felt in my hair. I’m so glad I no longer use it anymore. And combs are very bad for our hair, especially the ones that have skinny teeth, which is what everyone who ever did my hair used. They used to comb my hair like it was straight. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that you’re not supposed to rake combs through unstraightened hair like that. Looking back on that, I find that very sad that so many black women don’t know how to care for their own hair, so they straighten it or throw in weave or a wig and call it a day. They’ve done that for so long, they’ve been conditioned into thinking that was normal.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh lord, you reminded me of the grease. Our pillows suffered for that grease coating, indeed they did. It really is no wonder that Black people in Amerikkka are so messed up and we really are. I do believe that most of us actually need therapy in order to learn to love ourselves because we have been taught to hate ourselves by our own families and society as a whole, i,.e., colorism, hair issues, etc. The only problem with ‘therapy’ is that there aren’t enough Black therapists to go around and even they have issues.

        Thanks again for this post and for your response to my comment.

        Liked by 2 people

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