Actress Keke Palmer may be beautiful and successful, but like many Black women, she says she once struggled to love her hair in its natural state unconditionally.
That is no longer the case for the former Disney star. And Palmer says many of us feel the same way.
“When I was younger, I was very fond of my hair,” Palmer told ELLE.
Palmer went on to explain that after years of “over-styling,” that she “just reached a certain point where I started to feel like I didn’t know my hair as well as I had used to. I didn’t feel even as comfortable with my natural hair. That’s when I started to feel like, okay, there was something that I needed to do. I needed to reconnect myself to my hair.”
Palmer rose to fame in the 2006 film “Akeelah and the Bee,” when she was just 13 years old. In 2007, she released her debut album, “So Uncool,” and has balanced a steady music career while remaining in Hollywood’s top tier.
Over the years, there probably hasn’t been a hairstyle Palmer hasn’t rocked. Mohawks. Braids. Afro… she’s done it all.
But ultimately, it was the big chop that changed the way she viewed herself and her relationship with her hair.
“I just shaved my head entirely,” she told the publication. “I felt so free and beautiful. My identity was not so heavily weighted on my hair. I became so much, feeling freer and more relaxed. I was excited to give my hair just a fresh start, to grow and be its very best.”
Palmer acknowledges that it is a different time now. Natural hair is something that is being valued within the community and even throughout the mainstream.
“Now, people are encouraging one another to do the natural thing and just not to feel pressured to have a very Eurocentric look,” Palmer says. “Especially with people putting things in place such as the CROWN Act and advocating for hairstyles that haven’t always been put to the forefront, or deemed as professional or respectable. I think so many of us are doing the best we can to change that ideology.”