It’s Just Hair, Right?

Hair is a major issue that black women face. What to do with it is always a cause of debate. Many black women have recently joined the natural train and are ditching the creamy crack for a healthier and back-to-our-roots option. The decision to go natural is one that is met with a lot of chagrin from men. Men are, for some reason, fascinated with and drawn to long hair; not that hair can provide them with anything other than aesthetic satisfaction. But the process of going natural can be difficult. When growing your hair natural, sometimes the best options is to do a big chop to get rid of all the relaxed or chemically processed hair. This can be a harrowing experience especially because we as black women are so attached to our hair. Our hair is part of who we are. Or is it? Hair is what you make it. India Arie told us that she is not her hair. When will we learn start believing that we are more than just our hair?

We have been brain washed into believing that anything closer to Caucasian is more appealing. The black women that are the most prevalent in the media are those with straightened and/or chemically treated locks and thousand dollar weaves. Changing the world’s perceptions of beauty and even our own perceptions is not an easy feat. But with time it can and will be done. So many women are rejecting the idea that they cannot wear their hair in its natural state, however kinky or Afro-centric it may be. But some women go so far as to claim that black women who do not wear their hair in its natural state are rejecting their heritage and accepting society’s expectations of beauty. Many of us already know the damaging effects of relaxers on our hair. Once I watched Chris Rock’s movie/documentary Good Hair, I was convinced that I was no longer going to relax my hair. I do have other chemicals in my hair and the main reason is because I cannot bear to part ways with my hair. Going natural would eventually require me to cut all my hair off and start over, which is hard. I may wear a weave or a wig occasionally but not because I am rejecting my black roots; personally fake hair is in a lot of ways easier to maintain than my own hair. When you’re on the go, the quickest styles are the most convenient.

At the end of the day it’s just hair and it’ll grow back. Whether we have the patience to chop it all off and start the natural journey or endure the chemicals to achieve our desired look, we all must accept the fact that we are more than just our hair. Hair is such a trivial thing that does not define us or who we are. Some say it may enhance beauty but beauty to me is something that radiates from within. If you are a good person and have inner beauty, whether you have a long ‘do or an Amber Rose buzz cut, you will exude beauty no matter what.

Janice Gassam is a graduate student currently getting her degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. To contact Janice her email is
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  1. Janice I was wondering if this article is in any way related to the comments made recently by Isaiah Mustafa?

  2. Hair is hair. You want to wear braids? Do it. Want to wear a fro? Own it. Want long, silky hair down to your waist? Rock it. I say, ladies, do whatever the hell you want with your hair — someone out there will love it, hate it, or be indifferent towards it no matter what you do. Who cares what they think about you.

    And if this is a response to Isaiah Mustafa’s recent comment: ” [he said that when he’s out looking for a girlfriend, he’s] looking for someone who is kind, athletic and has “good hair.” ” Again, who cares. He is not the first to make an ignorant comment like that and he certainly won’t be the last. NEXT.

  3. That’s true, he wasn’t the first nor last but his comments reflect a mentality that many black men have. Unfortunately!

  4. It is truly sad to see and hear the ignorance that comes out of people mouth. hair in no way shape or form defines any one, there is no such thing as GOOD HAIR.We as a nation and community must seek self love, hair is just as vital to us as a toe nail. no matter how long short curly or straight your hair is you can be beautiful/ pretty. black woman have so much diversity our hair is super complex there is sooooo much we can do with it we fail to realized that WE have the perfect texture.. live, love and emancipate thyself from mental slavery…Jah bless

  5. I have been growing out my natural hair texture for over a year now. Let me tell you, there are times when I want go back to the creamy crack. Im not going to do that though because I want my hair to reach its ultimate thickness and growth potential. Once I cut off these last relaxed ends and become completely natuaral I think it will be easier to deal with and style.

  6. We say that we wear weaves because they are easier to manage…but why do most black women wear Caucasian looking weaves?Why dont they use weaves that is more like their hair texture?

    At the end of the day we have subconsciously accepted that Caucasian hair is better.

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