Hair In African American Culture

1358 Words6 Pages
When slaves were first brought to America, they were stripped of their cultures. Their names, religions, and even their languages were taken away from them. In the new African American culture, jazz and blues which evolved to rock and hip hop, family reunions, and even Sunday dinners were some parts of the culture that were and still are passed on to generations. Out of the many pastimes in the African American culture, hair has always been a prominent part of the black community. Why? Hair has been a form of identity for the black community. We identify ourselves and we stand out from other cultures. This is why almost every black woman has experienced the fear of the hot comb, the burn of a perm, the tightness of braids, and the good feeling…show more content…
Natural hair wasn’t deemed as beautiful or professional. For many years, African American women began to relax their daughter’s hair at young ages just to be conventional in society. Many celebrities such as Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, and Nicki Minaj are examples of women who are looked up to and encourage young girls to think that long, straight hair is the only way to look beautiful. Celebrities such as Lauryn Hill, Christte Michelle, and Solange encourage young girls to embrace their natural beauty. This controversial topic of whether natural hair is a movement or just another trend is very prominent today. Nonetheless, there are some important factors to consider when deciding to embrace your natural form or to conform. When deciding whether having natural hair or relaxed hair is better for you, you must consider the cost, manageability, and social…show more content…
In some businesses, natural hair is viewed as improper and unattractive. There are many ways to wear natural hair. You can wear natural hair in dread locks, braids, an afro, twist outs, and more. Although these styles are convenient for people with natural hair, the business world sometimes views it as unprofessional. In 2001, the dean of the Hampton University School of Business banned students with dreadlocks and cornrows from the classroom. He believed that this would prepare students and would help students to get jobs in corporate America (ebony.com). Relaxed hair is looked at as more professional because it is straighter and more neat. In media especially, there aren’t many celebrities with afros or braids. Most of them wear straight, long weaves. These people are examples of the standard of “beauty” because people hold them to it. Therefore, relaxed hair is deemed as more acceptable. Although relaxed hair may be looked at as more suitable, most businesses don’t like hair styles that are really gallant or extra. Businesses also don’t like hair colors that are too bold. This is a similarity of natural and relaxed hair. Hair colors other than your natural one is seen as unfitting for business, although they may believe straighter hair is more professional for the work
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