It's Levels to this Texture

Toni Darden, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

When you think of black hair what comes to mind? True culture wanted to hear everyone’s opinion on the topic of black hair. If you Google “black hair,” a white woman with black colored hair comes up. Walk into Wal-Mart and head towards the beauty section. The “black hair care” section is less than one aisle long. It is not a secret that the beauty industry in America lacks advertisements for African American hair. We already know how other races view our hair, but True Culture wanted to know how black people feel about it.

We interviewed Vee Russell, who described his medium length dreads as “nice.” He explained the amount of work that comes with maintaining them but went on to say, “it’s worth it.” He stated that he loves his dreads, but only on him – he would not want a girl with dreads. Vee felt that not all black hair is equal.  We all know that everyone’s hair texture is different, but does that mean one texture is better then the next? I asked a few others to see what they thought.

 Student Fiona Murchison described her long braids as low-maintenance as well.  She enjoys the freedom to workout and get caught in the rain without messing up her hair. Her take on black hair is simple: “Beautiful.”  She believes there is no such thing as good black hair – that all black hair is beautiful in their own way. Although Fiona wears braids, she still remains to stay natural.

Becca, another student, had a strong opinion on her hair. Becca is Puerto Rican, and she told us that she wished her long, curly hair was straighter. Becca felt insecure about her hair type. We were shocked because most weaves are made with the exact hair type as hers. Becca is no different from the little black girl in the mirror trying to pull all of her hair into a ponytail but failing to do so.

 After gathering opinions from the IUP students, we came up with a few solid conclusion. First, most people want what they can’t have, whether that’s buying weave to gain length or cutting it off to get relief. Second: all black hair textures are beautiful and different. Our skin never matches our neighbors’, and yet every tone is unique and perfect in its own way. Black men and women have to stop comparing textures and start treating textures and celebrating them. Healthy hair is good hair. The better we understand our hair type the healthier it’ll be.