The Truth About Black Hair

Post by MX Nomahlubi Mbangamthi

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I sometimes wonder if posts like this are aimed at selling more natural hair products to black people. Are marketers using the natural hair movement as a consumerist weapon against black people? Black women especially?

Is hair a measure of blackness/ black pride/black consciousness? Will people suddenly think that we are not black if we choose to wear our hair however the fvck we want?

Anyone who has been part of the natural hair movement (and done it “properly”) can attest to the fact that natural hair products are wildly expensive. So these so-called “black pride/self-love” campaigns are not only wildly rooted in consumerist ideals, but they’re classist as fvck. So now we can’t even “love our hair/selves” if we’re poor. It’s ridiculous.

Natural hair is all good and well to have as AN OPTION, but let us refrain from falling into traps like this one.

This idea that you’re the bad black person for not having natural hair is problematic on so many levels. As if the black community does not have enough problems as it is without the divisiveness of the natural hair movement. You are not a bad black person. Blackness is not a performance piece.

Marketers and the natural hair industry don’t really care about you or the natural hair movement. They care about making money….in the same way that Edward Bernays (the public relations and propaganda pioneer) did not care about feminism when he pushed for more women to smoke in the 1920s. Torches of freedom is what they called them…. convincing women that smoking is a symbol of liberation.

But I digress….the point is that natural is fine…but I can’t help but think the natural hair movement is a tool that’s being used against us. It’s unnecessarily expensive, it’s classist, it’s divisive.

Think about that before you start preaching natural hair movement this, natural hair movement that.

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