What made me write this post is actually an observation one of my German friend’s made about Black women, and an article I read on Bossip about a study that has shown weaves and braids are causes for hair loss in women.Its a study that one Dr. Angela Kyei worked on. That tight braiding or pulling at the hair strands,leads to scarring. So I thought I’d share this with my fellow ladies. I remember ever since I was a child, I hated having my hair braided. It used to be a game of cat and mouse with my mum when I had to get my hair did for back to school. I don’t know how many ladies reading this experienced the pain that used to come with hot combs, way before Blowdrys came to exist.Black women we are blessed with kinky hair or as white racists used to call it, cotton hair. So when it came to straightening our kinky hair then, it took a whole lot of pulling and the heat from hot combs to make it straight.
What I’m trying to get at here is that our hair as black women started being pulled from childhood not just recently..going back to Dr. Kyei’s observation, apparently balding only occurs in black women, due to prolonged pulling of our hair. Back to hot combs, after having my kinky hair straightened, I remember mum sending me and my sisters to those women who used to braid hair under a tree for all lil gals going back to school. I used to loathe going there, I was a very stubborn child from way back, and I remember my mum had to drag me to go get my hair braided. First of all the women had a bad stench down there and the way they would force your head in between their legs while they plaited you.And back then, Pineapple was the hairstyle,you know those cornrows that meet in the middle of your head and then a round ball of wool holds them in the middle, so we had no choice but to endure the stench and have our hair plaited in between this women’s legs. They would plait hair so tightly that one couldn’t sleep that night, and the tighter it was, the longer your hair would stay neat for the rest of the school term. Thank God my mum was a hairdresser, she got tired of the fights and me throwing tantrums when it came to having my hair plaited, she decided to perm me and my sisters hair at such an early age. I was 8 when I had permed hair, the envy of all my friends back then. I never had to endure the trauma of plaiting my hair again, till one of my teachers became so envious, she had me sent home because I was “distracting” other students with my hair.Such bull crap! And I was back to having my hair braided again,sigh! I know a lot of black women relate to this, since most schools expected girls to have their hair braided. This is a lot of hair pulling that we women have subjected our hair to. And we still keep on doing it. The weaves we put on(I’m allergic to weaves so I exclude myself on that we)I don’t know if it’s a myth or if its true, but most of the time hair tends to grow and look healthy when you braid it. But the problem is most black women don’t have hair lines. Actually a friend of mine, one day while we were having dinner, she just kept looking at me and my friends and asked me:if it’s a ritual or a fashion statement for African women to have their hair starting from the middle.That if we shave it off to look good.She’ s German and she was perplexed by it. That’s when I started making that observation too. Most of us women don’t have hairlines as such, mostly because we tend to braid or weave our hair a lot and most hairdressers tend to braid you so tightly, you have to take painkillers after leaving the salon! That reminds me of my Salon escapades. I’m not a very patient person when it comes to having my hair braided, so I go to this Markets where women braid your hair in less than 3hours.But the trauma that comes from it. First, you have 3 women on top of your head,pulling it, and then woe unto you if you’re having it twisted. I always used to wonder why they wear shorts,till I found out the hard way, the shorts are worn for them to roll and twist your braids on their thighs much quicker!Now not only are you being pulled on top of your head, but you have other women’s thighs pulling and twisting your hair with their thighs, in turn straining your hairline. I got so tired of this, I decided to put dreads a few years back, but I’m not one to have a routine sort of hairstyle, so I decided to chop my dreads off and go for the shaggy afro hair look. Got bored of that too, and went back to permed hair, and then started braiding my hair again. I couldn’t take the pulling anymore I decided to chop off all permed hair and go all natural, and so far I’m loving it.I’m not saying that all women should go all natural, to each his own, aye?But the next time you have your hair braided or weaved, think about your hairline, make sure it’s not too tight in the front all that strain and tension is not good for your hair ladies!Black women have the kind of hair that all other races envy,a white woman cant have her hair kinky no matter how much she trys,so ladies,take care of your REAL AFRICAN hair,remember Black and natural is beautiful.I know I love my short afro
Peace and Blessings, Vionna
P.S here’s the bossip link to it http://bossip.com/367990/another-day-another-study-weaves-and-braids-are-causes-for-hair-loss-in-black-women/