The relationship between women…hold on, scratch that. The relationship between black women and their hair is real. Not least because we have created an art form out of expressing ourselves through our hair. From weaves to relaxers, natural curls to 4c fros… for some it’s political, for others it’s not.
By Kiesha Meikle
You could argue that it’s the same for all women, but what sets women of colour apart is the amount of fascinated conversation our hair appears to inspire across social groups – both negative and positive. Our hair IS fascinating. The sheer spectrum of textures is astounding – not to mention the creativity I have seen on the heads of so many women. For me, the subject of hair is quite often a safe conversation starter “hey, I love your braids”, “What products do you use on your wash and go? Your curls are popping!” or a show of solidarity (yes, it is an act of love for me to share with you the products I have carefully tested out over months of trial and error). In short, our relationship with our hair is meaningful and goes much deeper than for most…
So what happens when we decide to shave it all off?
Here are 4 women of colour who have shaved their hair off for different reasons:
Jessica Nabongo: Jessica Nabongo is a travel influencer with many strings to her bow. An entrepreneur, writer and public speaker she says she is ‘a dreamer looking to craft a life and career that interconnects her passions and talents.’ She also wants to use her story to educate and inspire others to travel and experience the world around them. Jessica says of her hair:
I dare, to travel the world. I dare to wear my hair short, going against beauty norms. Because I dare to be boldly African and refuse to dim my light.
You may have heard of Lulu Williams. She recently hit the news for being the victim of a cruel prank. Williams was consoling a friend in the corridor at school when a student ran past and dragged her wig from her head, causing chunks of her hair to be pulled out. Williams would wear a wig to cover up her psoriasis and exczema, conditions which caused her to have dry scalp and hair loss. Lulu says of her hair:
My hair was one of my biggest insecurities, so I felt like he had taken my power and I wanted it back. Beauty is not defined by the number of strands on your head. I’m embracing my new look.
Jazzmyne Jay: If, like me, you are a Youtube obsessive you would have noticed Jazzmyne in one of the many videos she produces for Buzzfeed’s female focused Boldy series. She is always flawless and her cropped hair style just adds to her elevated look. She is the personification of the word lush and we lover her! Jassmyne says of her hair:
I wanted my hair to look like how I feel, bold and strong and like I don’t need it.
Sanaa Lathan: She’s a world famous actress and absolutely stunning. She shocked fans last year when she shaved her head for her role in the Netflix original film Nappily Ever After. Sanaa seems in no hurry to grow back her locks and continues to turn heads with her cropped style:
Hair or no hair, these women are winning the game. Feeling inspired?
So, tell me who have I missed off the list?