My mother used to be the one styling my hair but it completely changed when I decided to move to another city for my studies.
Me going abroad wasn’t her biggest worry as the first thing she said was: "8 months abroad! Who will do your hair?"
And she was right! As soon as I arrived I realised I didn’t have a clue in regards to caring for my own hair.
I was clueless, so I straightened it, over and over again.
My mother had a strange perception of my hair. She would love it very long and would compliment me for that, but long doesn’t mean healthy, right?
When I decided to cut my hair short she was so disappointed that she didn’t speak to me for an entire week.
It wouldn’t stop there: she would criticise my wash and go’s saying things like: "this isn’t professional, you will scare white people away". I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
These things she was saying were basically showing that as a black woman, there are boundaries linked to my look that I shouldn’t cross… boundaries that I can’t control in any way.
I don’t understand why hair is taking such a big place in society.
Why is there so much pressure for us to feel like we need to "tame" it, hide it or wear it "in a presentable manner"?
Experiencing microaggressions because of our hair is not OK, but it still happens on a day-to-day basis for many women.
Example? A friend went to school wearing her natural hair one day and heard the following words coming out of the teacher’s mouth: "you better fix this, we are not in the jungle here".