So I mentioned before that nourished and healthy hair does not have to be a fantasy for the Contemporary African Woman. So what’s next?
We are in an era that encompasses both unfamiliarity and knowledge regarding African women and our hair. Many times we seem to believe that we are all-knowing when it comes to African hair. We believe we know what it looks like and how it behaves. We retain these images as stereotypes and what does not fit this mold is often regarded as counterfeit or inauthentic.
Before, I asked what was fantasy and what was reality when concerning black beauty? Well, here, I would like to pose the question of ‘why is it necessary to stereotype Africa and its women?’ This is significant because we are often stereotyped and stereotype each other quickly and effortlessly. If we do not fit in a particular category then our authenticity and ethnicity is often questioned. ‘Why ridicule one another, demanding answers from those who appear different than us?’
Inquiries involve the nature of our skin colors, to the way we speak, but the biggest conversation starter involves the grade of our hair. Well, if we really open our eyes, we see that African hair doesn’t look any one way. Our hair is as diverse as our genes and this is key when excepting Africa and its beauty.
African hair is thick, coily, wavy, nappy, short, long, slick, dry, wooly, unruly and it is OK! We are all different, yet, the same.
My own sister (fraternal twin) and I even have very opposite hair textures. Her larger, more curly strands fall to her waist when straightened and my smaller, more tighter z-spiraled curls shrink to a third of their true length. We both have pure igbotic blood running through our veins and arteries, however, the diversity of natural naija hair is well represented amongst the two of us.
Collectively, as a people, we can embrace our differences and similarities. We can expand both our hair and our minds. We can start hair journeys and see our uniqueness shine from within or we can forgo our hair all together and be bald if it fits our hearts’ desires. However, regardless of our personal traits we have to learn to except what makes each of us unique.