A Black Woman’s hair is the one thing that sets us apart from other women. There’s nothing like the natural curls we wear, which often grows up and out of our heads. While some of us are wearing braids, straightened hair, weaves or wigs, many Black Women choose to wear their hair natural.
Being different makes us beautiful
We know that the white Western world still doesn’t recognise or fully accept our beauty. When it comes to our hair, we’ve seen the mainstream beauty companies ignore our beauty needs. So for a number of years, some of us also questioned our beauty; not wanting to see that being so different makes us more beautiful.
An army of natural hair women
It truly feels now like things have come full circle. The Black Women loving and wearing their natural hair, creating hair products and brands is a movement. I’d say it’s an army of Black Women who are leading us to renew our pride in our natural hair. It’s long overdue and time for us to be empowered by every curly strand, no matter how long or short growing out of our heads.
So I hope you’ll enjoy these brief videos and stories below from Black Women who are telling us why “I Celebrate My Hair”:
Kate Isichei: Communications Professional
My name is Kate Isichei and I run a boutique Internal Communications Consultancy called ‘Where to Look Communications’. I work with clients to support their engagement priorities. I also host the Engagement Express podcast and I’m just about to release a collection of short stories on Amazon.
I used to relax my hair for many years but suffered from breakage at the latter part of this period of time so decided to grow my hair out and go natural. It took a long time for the relaxed hair to grow out but once it did I had a good amount of healthy, natural hair to start grooming. I started twisting and braiding my hair with extensions to help it to recover from the chemical processing it had suffered and to help it grow.
During the first 3 years my hair did not grow very well but since I have started to understand my hair better, buy products that suit it and to treat it in a way that suits it (e.g. washing every 2 weeks, not manipulating the hair very often and avoiding strenuous styles) , my hair has started to thrive and the growth has picked up significantly with the help of supplements that I also take for general health and wellbeing. I now style my natural hair myself and can be quite creative with it e.g. dividing the hair down the middle and doing one side in a completely different style to the other. It makes people do a double take!
Watch Kate’s video:
As I look after my hair myself and lockdown took place mostly during the warmer months, I was able to treat my hair and style it without the help of hairdressers. However, now the weather is getting colder I will need to put my hair back into twists to protect it from the wind, rain and cold.
Yvonne Witter: Management Consultant
I’m a self-employed management consultant and business advisor I help people to build and sustain businesses and social enterprises. I have been working in this sector for over 20 years. I am a writer of mainly non-fiction. I am divorced and the mother of an adult male.
The last time my hair was permed was over 30 years ago. Since my teens I moved between a perm and an afro using braids during that awkward period of regrowth and cutting off the perm. My mother straightened my hair as a child and as soon as I had more control I veered towards an Afro. My hair is a political statement since my youth. For 25 years my hair has been natural veering between locs and various natural styles when I have removed my locs.
I have never worn a weave. I wore a wig once and felt so fake and unnatural I felt like everyone was looking at me and knowing its not my hair. It was a simple bob style to my neck. What was even worse for me is when I wore it, the wig to work all my white colleagues were complimenting me on my hair. I was again in-between that phase of cutting my locs and waiting for regrowth I don’t like a boyish look as I don’t think it suits me. Today I wear sisterlocs which is a very thin loc. Slightly different from my usual locs which are bigger.
I had a woman come to my house to re-loc my hair I paid her £60. When lockdown happened I paid more attention to my hair and noticed that she had not been taking the fluff out of my hair and had been doubling some up. I cut the locs at the nape of my neck and started maintaining my hair myself.
I saved myself a lot of money because although it takes me ages I now have the tools and do it all myself, so thank you corona. I used to visit the hairdressers years ago, Morris Roots to have my locs groomed and styled. It is important to me to have my hair styled. My hair is a part of who I am, I like to live an authentic life and part of authenticity is my hair. Plus I would hate anyone to think that I want to be like another race of people by wearing my hair bone straight.
Visit Yvonne’s website
Abigail Oyekunle – A-FROyé Hair – Mobile Hairdresser
I’m a secondary school science teacher, and in my spare time I run a mobile hairdressing business called A-FROyé Hair (FB: @afroyehair, Instagram & Twitter: @a_froyehair). I specialise in braids, cornrows and crochet hairstyles, and this month I will be launching The A-FROyé Hair Club which is an after-school programme where I teach young people how to braid.
My hair has pretty much always been natural, apart from a couple of times when my hair was relaxed when I was a child. I’ve always had long and thick hair, so it was relaxed to make it more manageable and to prevent me from crying when getting my hair done. Luckily, my hair wasn’t damaged by the relaxers and reverted to its natural state with no problems. Over the last few years, I have made a conscious effort to pay attention to what does and doesn’t work for my natural hair – particularly with regards to creams and hairstyles.
I’ve come to accept that just because something works for someone else, it doesn’t mean it will work for me too. As a result, I don’t experiment too much with my hair and tend to stick to products and hairstyles that I know work for me (“if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”). So, if you bumped into me on the road, you’d either see me in some type of braids that I did myself, or rocking my ‘fro in a twist out.
As mentioned above, I’ve always had long and thick hair, but during lockdown I decided to finally cut my hair. This came as a big shock to those who know me, but it was something I had been contemplating for a few years. So, on a random day in April, I washed my hair, picked up the scissors and snipped away! Once I cut it, I felt sooo liberated, and haven’t regretted it since! I’ve been able to style my hair much quicker and in ways that I couldn’t do with long hair. It’s also been really nice to actually see my hair growing.