Natural hairstyles are often shunned, but these hairstyles keep hair healthy while representing cultures
“You would look so pretty if you straightened your hair,” is something I heard a lot growing up. So much so that for two years I straightened my hair everyday. It took three years of haircuts and deep conditioning treatments to get my hair back to normal.
That comment along with others like, “Your hair gets in the way,” seem small but take a toll on an individual’s self esteem. A lot of care goes into textured hair. Someone tearing it down hurts.
“It’s discouraging to know that there are not a lot of people that like or can handle your hair,” Humboldt State University student Dimitri Mark said.
There are still some schools in the United States that ban natural hairstyles such as braids or dreadlocks because they violate dress codes. I’m not sure how they violate dress codes—these hairstyles keep your hair back and can even keep your hair healthy.
In 2018, a video surfaced on the internet of a 16-year-old boy crying as his dreadlocks were cut off for him to participate in his wrestling match—it was either that or forfeit.
Girls have also been suspended, sent home or given detention in Boston, Atlanta and Terrytown, Louisiana for their hairstyles.
At the 2015 Oscars, Zendaya sported dreadlocks to go with her hairstyle. Giuliana Rancic, a host on “Fashion Police,” wasn’t a fan of Zendaya’s locks, which she said smelled “like patchouli oil and weed.” This comment almost led to the end of Rancic’s career. Rancic’s prejudiced words hurt, and they caused a riot against her.
The reason natural hairstyles such as big curly hair, afros, dreadlocks, braids and twists are a problem is because they’re considered dirty. Things like accents are considered dirty too, unless they’re coming from a blue-eyed, white boy. Many places in Africa, Italy, and Greece once considered braids to be a sign of wealth. Braid-making hairdressers were worshiped and highly trusted.
It’s understandable why schools have certain dress codes, but hair shouldn’t be part of them. If a school said I had to have my hair in a ponytail everyday, I’d probably fight it everyday and then get kicked out. Hair comes in many different textures, lengths and colors, and should always be taken care of and accepted. Hair doesn’t get in the way. Get over it and stop trying to pick on people of color.
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