Dear Women, Can We Talk About Our Hair?


  "All the time, there was the weight of my community's expectations on my shoulders." - Nina Simone In order to heal, we ...

 "All the time, there was the weight of my community's expectations on my shoulders."

- Nina Simone

In order to heal, we must acknowledge that there is *still* a lot of pain, hurt, loss, & trauma around hair in the Black community-especially among Black women.

We can be kinder & gentler in *how* we speak to one another about our hair.

Empathy. Compassion. Minding mine. Goes a long way.

Some of the same people who are staunchly against body shaming have no problem "shaming" people when they don't like their hair. Is our hair not a part of our bodies too?

When it comes to hair, sometimes we Black women gaslight one another.

These conversations around hair can mimic how we are treated by medical and mental health professionals.  Sometimes those professionals don't believe the description of our symptoms. 

 When a Black woman says, "That may work for you but my hair is different. My availability of time is different. My workplace and other responsibilities are different."  She's often dismissed.

"Everyone is the same. Everyone has the same challenges. Everyone has the same budget. Everyone has the same responsibilities"

But, how can that be true?  

For Black women, the message that "one size fits all" and "there is only one way" is still forced on us, often in emotionally abusive ways. And not uncommonly, physical pain.

So, when sharing tips, advice, and critiques, we can choose to be extremely mindful of this.

Sometimes the way that we speak to other women about their hair is a mirror image of how messages about our hair were delivered to us.

Harsh. Cold. Sarcastic. Wicked. Mean.

 Understand that we were rude & mean to  Gabby Douglas, Blue Ivy, Tamar Braxton (who had hair loss during pregnancy), Serena Williams, Venus Williams. ++++

We are still infected with hate for the Creator's beautiful creation. Our gorgeous hair.

The worst thing about that kind of prejudice... is that while you feel hurt and angry and all the rest of it, it feeds you self-doubt. You start thinking, perhaps I am not good enough.

Nina Simone

We can start improving our communication with one another by using "I" statements. What works for you, may not work for someone else's unique hair strands, budget, or lifestyle. 

 Even as a hair expert, you can speak about what has worked for your clients specifically.

We can explore our own experiences and feelings about hair.

Ex: As a little girl, if you were popped on the leg with a comb or brush because you moved, scratched, jumped, or yelled "ouch" learned some things. 

 It is not an easy feat to teach a child to override their own natural human instinct. (even unintentionally)

You may have learned that your pain doesn't matter that much.

You may have learned that when there is another goal or mission (at that time-getting to church or school), you have to swallow your pain. You must.

You may have learned that no matter what, "beauty" over everything.

You may have learned that you must ignore your own pain for the benefit of others.

You may have learned that your hair is something to be ashamed of.

You may have learned that your hair is broken and needs to be "fixed".

“I have to constantly re-identify myself to myself, reactivate my own standards, my own convictions about what I'm doing and why.”

― Nina Simone

These messages are handed down from generation to generation to most little girls, with harsher emphasis on Black and brown women.

Sometimes it hurt. We can tend to our own wounds so that we avoid wounding others. We can heal. We can grow.

That hate for our hair was installed within us like malware. We walk around infecting everyone else with that same hate.

We are still infected with hate for the Creator's beautiful creation. Our gorgeous hair.

The hurt, the wickedness, the meanness, can stop with us.

"But I'm just a soul whose intentions are good; oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood..."

- Nina Simone, 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood'.



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WE Survive Abuse : Dear Women, Can We Talk About Our Hair?
Dear Women, Can We Talk About Our Hair?
WE Survive Abuse
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