African Identity Vs. Perming: Your Ancestral Roots Didn’t Burn Away With Your Coils!

by Grace Somes
Different haistyles for people of African descent|| Image credit: faith_with_an_e

The historical significance of African hair is extensive. Each ethnic group has distinct hairstyles, symbolizing rites of passage and societal roles passed down through generations.

Our hair is a connection to our African ancestry. It holds great cultural and historical significance, serving as a symbol of heritage and identity.

What is a relaxer?

African hair comes in a diverse range of textures and patterns, comprising straight hair, wavy hair, and curly and coily hair.

Societal pressures and beauty standards may encourage straightening natural African hair textures for a more manageable hair type or look.

Relaxers, also known as Afro hair perm, alter hair by penetrating the cuticle and the cortex layers of the hair shaft to loosen the natural curl pattern.

Who am I with dusky dark skin and light, loose, and straight hair?

Acknowledging and appreciating variations is an essential aspect of society’s identity. People make various choices that are influenced by their experiences.

The importance of cultural identity is self-acceptance, embracing authenticity, and knowing that external features, especially hair, do not solely define value.

People of African descent are defined by deeper connections that run through our blood and souls. Beauty standards do not limit character, intelligence, kindness, talents, and resilience.

We must encourage black women to recognize the multifaceted nature of their identities and understand that their hair or outer appearance does not solely determine their true value.

Remember, even when people change their hair’s natural texture, their true heritage remains unchanged.

I may have burned away my curls when I got my first perm at 8 years old. But I did not erase or diminish my identity. My roots remain intact, regardless of how I style my hair!

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