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I’m Not My Hair


All Hair Is Beautiful

When it comes to hair, there are many different types. As an African-American, I have a head full of thick, tight curls. However, while I know many other people with long, straight, short, wavy, and thick hair. There is a science when it comes to all of these different hair textures. I prefer curly hair like mine because it has a nice texture, it has a lot of history behind it, it can be made into many complex styles, and it looks just plain cool.

As an owner of a head full of small curls, I have a lot of experience with them. Interactions with gravity, texture, and the follicle the hair comes from all affect the way the hair grows. Curly hair is more susceptible to heat damage, for example. The hairs’ complex structure may be the reason for this.

In the early 1900s, curly hair was recognized by Caucasians as “imperfect” or “bad” hair. But, blacks realized that their hair was not imperfect and began to embrace it. Curly hair and afros were soon very popular during the 1960s-1970s, and they remain popular styles today. The kinky nature of curly hair makes it harder to deal with. Therefore, my hair has to be combed thoroughly and moisturized frequently. I like to keep it braided at least every three months – which hurts very, very, much. If it is not braided, my hair is more difficult to comb and is more vulnerable to knots. However, the flexibility of the hair makes it easier to style in different ways. My hair has been described as “fluffy” many times and also “thick,” or “a lot of hair,” which is true. Although curly hair can be a struggle, I think it is beautiful, full of culture, and there are many different styles you can do with it.

The opposite of an afro is, of course, straight hair. Straight hair comes out of symmetrical follicles. Its silky texture makes it easier to comb or brush, but from experience trying to cornrow straight hair, it tangles more easily and the braids don’t last as long. Researchers at Purdue University are trying to figure out how straighter hair may channel heat better than curly hair, making it less likely for it to get burned during styling. Straight hair is very nice and may be easier to deal with, but complex styles might be harder to complete.

Everyone’s hair is built differently, treated in various ways, and thought about in different perspectives. Despite these differences, all hair is beautiful. Curls, waves, and fine hair are all unique. But afros look really cool.

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Kadjata, this is such a great article. I too have tight curls as an African-American woman. I have decided to manage them better with a form of dread locs called, sisterlocs. It's awesome to encourage everyone to love their hair no matter what type. Good Job! – TaylorUW-Madison (2016-08-23 18:55)
It is so nice to see someone at such a young age realizing the beauty of diverse hair types! Great job on the editorial. – AarushiMadison (2017-01-24 16:31)
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