Around this time, I began to wear hair extensions, which are commonly referred to as weave. My real hair was braided and a hair net was sewn onto these braids. Then, the weave would be sewn onto the net. Prior to this style, I was constantly applying heat and chemicals to straighten my hair. However, wearing weave allowed for my hair to be protected for months at a time which caused for the disuse of heat and chemicals on my hair. It also allowed me to wear straight and dyed hair. I would continue to get the ends of my hair clipped multiple times throughout the year which gradually cut out the damaged parts of my hair. Not only did my hair grow in length (or you could say that my afro became larger), but my curls went back to their natural state. Without cutting all of my hair at once, I too became a part of the trend of “going natural.”
There are various social agents that have encouraged African American women to embrace a part of themselves that they felt needed to be altered in order to be considered attractive. Huffington Post has dubbed 2012 as the year the natural hair movement was conceived (Wilson, 2012). They gave a comprehensive timeline of events of actresses, singers, and social media gurus...
... middle of paper ...
...e, straighten, and curl it as you please.
In the different explanations of these hairstyles, one point is made clear by the participants and myself. We style our hair the way we do because that is what we want. We may have our jobs, our education, and even our loved ones at the opposing end which has and continually create safe spaces with women who are in similar positions. With this newfound love for this part of ourselves comes a newfound interest and appreciation of our culture. Hardships and perseverance are a part of our history with hair playing a small but elaborate role. I cannot accurately express how grateful I am for those who have paved the way for black people to express themselves unapologetically. I hope that with gestures such as embracing natural hair, that I and others can inspire the generations after us to continue on this journey of self-love.
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