Essay On African American Hair

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During the time of slavery, African American hair was looked at in a similar way to sheep 's wool, and was not even really considered to be hair. Those who had softer hair and lighter skin were treated better, and were more respected because they were closer to being white. Once slavery was over, many African American people began doing their hair in a way that made it seem silkier and straighter in order to appear to be partially white, and therefore earn more respect and privilege. Many African American people started to feel like their natural hair was unattractive and animalistic and tried to hide it at all costs. In the 1960s, during the civil rights movement, things began to change, and many African American people started wearing their hair in natural styles as a way to fight against society 's notion that people with darker skin were not beautiful.…show more content…
Today, African American people still use hair extensions and chemicals to make their hair seem longer, softer and sometimes even a lighter color in order to match beauty standards. Some people also use these techniques because African American hair is very high maintenance and using chemicals, flat irons, braids, or extensions allow them to not need to work as hard in order to keep their natural hair beautiful. However, there is also a very large movement today for African American women to wear their hair in natural styles. This is becoming significantly easier, for African hair care companies have grown and the Internet has become a great source of information for how to care for natural hair. New bursts of accessibility to information on how to care for natural hair has given many African American people the ability to keep their natural hair in good condition and know the different hairstyles that works well with their hair texture (Jahangir n.p.)(Byrd and Tharps
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