Dara Mathis says at For Harriet that the natural-hair revolution is showing society that black women’s beauty standards are not bound to relaxer kits, weave tracks or numbered curl patterns.
We take verbal arms and umbrage against the mentality that polices anything black women do with their hair. But not only that, we are fighting a war to reclaim our own self-acceptance. So when I heard about a kinky-textured weave company called The Heat Free Hair Movement, I gave a long side eye. Was this just another way for black women to shroud themselves, to cover up the unseemly? But after giving it some thought, I have done a praise dance at the epiphany I received.
Weave is the word.
If weave is the ultimate choice for women– meaning, you can choose your hair length, color, texture, and style– then surely, nappy hair weave is a sign that natural hair has arrived. If enough women have embraced the natural hair aesthetic to the extent that they have created a market for Afro-textured virgin hair, the war has been won. Remember when Chris Rock did “Good Hair” and said that nobody is buying African-American hair? Someone tell him, “Thank you.”
So does this mean that black women have nothing left to fight for? Remember: our mothers fought this fight for self-definition in the 70s. People will always be ignorant. But today, we will plant victory gardens in the strands of our daughters’ hair. We will show them that their beauty is not bound to a relaxer kit, a pack of Remi, or a numbered curl pattern. And the flowers of self-love that bloom in their spirits will show through the light in their eyes.
Because when it really comes down to it, our hair is the last thing that makes us beautiful if we feel ugly inside.
Read Dara Mathis‘ entire piece at For Harriet.
The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.