There was a time when coiler textures' ability to grow towards the skies was seen as a symbol of high status, and portrayed closeness to the divine.
But in contemporary times, despite the vast influence of the second wave natural hair movement, the texture caste system they were forced to conform to - where straight hair is seen as "good," while tighter coils are seen as "bad" - during the colonial era still persists today.
When a black woman graces our screens she is usually wearing either a weave or has bone-straight, relaxed hair. But believing that all women who relax their hair or wear weaves do so because they are trying to be white would be simplistic.
Because natural hair is hard for many women to manage on a daily basis, and they also want to feel beautiful in a society, they wear weaves on several occasions.
Every black person has their own hair story and relationship with their hair and if there is someone who chooses to wear a weave, wig, their natural hair, or anything else on their head, it's their personal choice and business. Weaves and wigs offer a lot of black women an opportunity for versatility.
However, there are black women who do no like wearing weaves. Black people have been on a collective hair journey since being introduced to chemical treatments, such as the relaxer, and living among radically different hair types throughout American history.
Though treatments like these are controversial in the African American community, everyone’s hair journey is their own. It’s important to know that whether a person decides to wear their natural curly hair or chooses to use relaxers, there is no wrong style.
Natural hair has gained popularity in the black community in recent years. For decades, many black women looked to harsh chemicals to straighten their hair. But these days, an increasing number of black women are omitting the chemicals in favour of a more natural approach to hair care.
Hair has always been an important part of black history. Our hair is so versatile and unique that it is deeply embedded into our culture.
Black hair has always been important to black people for informing and shaping concepts of black identity. It has often served as space for assimilation and measurement of proximity to whiteness for black people. However, hair has also consistently been a space for creativity, autonomy and self-expression among black people, particularly black women.
Mzansi ladies and their natural hair looks :
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