Hair, an artistic form of self-expression and Identity

The way I wear my hair is much dependant on how I feel, my mood and energy levels and occasions. When I feel lazy and I’m not trying to deal with my hair, I usually put it in twists, I wear them for a period of a month, and this is also a reparative length retention strategy.

Hair as an artistic for of self-expression

Much like fashion, hair has much more meaning than some may think. In fact, hair is often used as a form self-expression. Whether dying your luscious locks every colour of the rainbow, embracing the natural look or you have relaxed your hair, there’s a lot more to hair than just “hair. The cornrows and their fancy patterns represent a mood, an era. They show off the hair stylist’s talent and ability to express geometric skills. Hair completes an outfit, it dictates whether you are dressed up or down.  

Hair and Identity

Our hair makes us stick out form the crowd in most cases it is viewed as the ultimate expression of blackness. From the book Hair Matters by Ingrid Banks. She narrates a personal anecdote to relate her experiences to broader conceptualizations of identity. She describes a moment of tension when, at age thirteen, after beginning a new school, she decided that she wanted to straighten her hair so that she could be like the other girls. However, she could find no way Introduction to explain to her mother that her desire for straight hair was not a rejection of her Africanness, something her mother wanted to celebrate. She frames the tension between herself and her mother as not only within the context of hair as representing political versus personal choice, but also within the framework of one’s failure as a parent to instil a healthy view of self to one’s child. She tried to argue that straightened hair was very much a part of African American culture, especially as presented in popular African American magazines such as Essence and Ebony. To no avail she explains, “My mother said no, and for the next few days I received nonstop speeches on why my hair was fine the way it was as well as on the political implications of my even asking to change it. For her, there could be no true understanding of and pride in my ancestry if I chose to straighten my hair, and she voiced great concern regarding my self-esteem and beliefs about my identity in relation to the larger society” (1996, p. 3).

My 2 cents Do whatever you want with your hair, despite the politics around it and people’s thoughts and opinions. Life is too short to have boring hair.

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