Monday, September 06, 2010

The Dangers of an Afro? Really?

Sooo, apparently, some folks believe that wearing afros is dangerous. Do we really have to get melodramatic with this? Why are we making these blanket statements without regard to what sort of hair one has? My daughter has extremely-fine hair. Pulling, twisting, and/or braiding it often causes more damage and breakage than when we simply leave it loose. Since we started leaving it alone, it has grown faster and healthier than at any other point in her life.

Like thousands upon thousands of African-American women, I have lupus. Because of this, I have an extreme sensitivity to the sun. The afro works best for me, because it provides coverage for my scalp when I go outside. Otherwise, I'd have to wear a hat all of the time and we all know what sort of moisture-stealing materials most of those are made of.

Instead of making generalizations, let's base information on facts: different types of hair need to be treated differently and what's good for one hair type may not be good for someone else. We just need to know our hair as well as we know the other parts of our body.

I use an afro pick and it still hasn’t damaged my hair one bit. I rarely see more than a few hairs in my comb. I’m not sure why the assumption is being made that those who use a pick aren’t also using moisturizers. Even in the 70′s afro-wearers often used pomades and oils, so this is not a new practice.

It’s just irrational to say that a particular practice or style is dangerous for all kinds of hair. It’s like saying that peanuts are all dangerous, just because some people are allergic to them. No, it’s simply ill-advised for those who experience problems with it. Likewise, when you make generalizations without regard to who is included in the group you’re talking about, then you’re bound to give out inaccurate information and that’s the only thing that we KNOW can be dangerous.


Rootietoot said...

Dangerous? My first thought was what on earth could be dangerous..then I read and I thought well, ok so maybe it isn't the best thing for the health of your hair...I wouldn't know, since I have the absolute opposite of hair that could be an afro (the though of moisturizing or putting oil in my hair is alarming)but I fail to see how the less you do with your hair as far as combing or treating (straightening seems particularly harmful) could be a harmful thing. I know in my case, coloring or even blow-drying is extremely damaging to my super-fine, super-straight hair.

Anyway...your type of hair is something I only know about through an Ethiopian friend, and her attempts to explain it to me. I'm always playing with hers, and she with mine, because it's as mysterious to her.

According to the writer, afros (long ones, anyway) are a creation of the 1970's, and apparently not "authentic" or something? What is the point of that? Styles changes and evolve, and suit the individual.

Or have I completely missed the point?

Anonymous said...

Hi It has been a while since I last read your blog..probably close to a year and I was in Savannah GA this past weekend and saw all that mysterious Spanish moss hanging down and suddenly I thought of you. I am glad you are still doing well and writing.

P.S. I have an Afro too, though my hair is more wiry than kinky but it works. Nicole