Thursday, July 23, 2009

Whose Hair is it anyway?

(photo: Beyonce's lace front wig gone astray, too tight of an application and too much facial expression)

A long time ago I stopped looking at hair magazines, and very rarely did I ever purchase them. In the beginning, most of the hair models were styled in hairdos that were permed, pressed, texturized, or some other type of processed state.

When braid magazines came in, the how-to section was even more disturbing because majority of the styles required that one’s hair had to be blow dried or pressed, or straightened some type of way. What made is worse was that almost all of them either used some type of hair product with a lot of chemicals or required fake hair.

Today when I look at these magazines, I ask myself, whose hair is it? What I mean is that many of these magazines sell all these shampoos and conditioners, and have these flawlessly styled hair models. But damn near all of them are sporting synthetic hair, wigs, weaves, or someone else’s hair, and in some cases, the hair of Shih Tzu dogs.

Are these products being sold for my real hair or my fake hair, or someone else’s hair? Then I ask myself, when people buy “human” hair (although many times it is that of an animal such as a poodle), do they ever stop to think who that person was who shed their mane for money. Were they happy, were they sad, or were they of another religion or culture than theirs? In all, what type of energy do they pass on with the hair that they sell?

Moreover, the weave culture has gone over-the-top among African-American women. Excuse my naivet√©, but I was totally shocked the other day when I saw a “stylist” glue this black muck onto the hairline of a woman to apply her lace front wig.

My partner who is a cosmetologist says that he refuses to do weaves or take them out because of the molded and musty smell that occurs after a long period of time when your scalp cannot breathe by a glued or sewed in wig that has so much product guck.

STOP right there. This is not a bash on processed hair, though I think it is important we think about why we do these things in the name of beauty and in the name of “pretty hair.”

Honestly, I don’t care what type of floral, spice, or citrus fragrance that a hairspray has, it does not cover of the stink of the truth; we are indeed bonded to aesthetics that compromise our perceptions of beauty.

Now, now, this is not just processed hair, but this is also for “natural” hair as well. I know women who have dyed their locks every type of color, and in particular the blond-bleach, until they break off; or women who have sister locks would kill over if their edges were too bushy. Then there is this movement to style natural hair in the Euro-styles like chignons and updos, instead of creatively pulling our own ancestral fashion sense.

Though I know that styles are recycled, I don't see anyone (including me) walking into work with ochre-clay and cowfat rubbed into my lcoks.

Ho-hum, just something to chew on EcoSi

PS, beware of Yakki #10 synthetic hair, it is a hair killer

5 ish talking intellectuals holla at a sista:

Eco.Soul.Intellectual said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ayankha said...

Going to get products nowadays is so confusing. The placenta stuff is the most disgusting thing sold, hands down. So, I've been trying to use more readily available products like coconut oil or olive oil. And guess what, my hair feels great.

I think people "go natural" on many levels (the very definition is broad) and for different reasons (aesthetic, health, fad, etc). So, the irony in "natural" hair wearing women wearing Euro styles is not so shocking.

Personally, I love a lot of volume in my hair especially when my bangs and ends are bumped really well. But to that end, were ancient Kemites emulating Euro style with their blunt cut wigs that resemble bobs? Or are women who wear their locks straight down considered to be jocking the Euro style? I dunno, it's all relative.

Ultimately, one must love how they look and hopefully it's a style that is healthy for their hair and overall well-being (spiritually and physically). While ancients could do a host of things to their hair, one thing that seemed to be a constant was that they weren't sacrificing their health or the environment to do so. So in my estimation, that's good style.

Reggie said...

It's hers as long as she's got the receipt.

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