5 Things You Didn’t Know About Black Women’s Hair

Hair. We all have it, but, for Black women, hair is much more than just what grows out of our heads and keeps us warm. Our hair is love, culture, and language. It’s how we express ourselves and communicate with the world around us about who we are and what we are about. The doing and undoing of Black hair is a cultural rite of passage. Black people are able to create and maintain a sense of community with one another simply through our hair. While our hair is understood by those who are a part of our community, it can be a source of confusion for those who aren’t. In an effort to bridge cultural gaps, I’d like to make sure that some things are well understood about Black women and our hair.

1. First and foremost, sis—DO NOT TOUCH IT.

I can’t stress this enough. Do not touch a Black woman’s hair without permission first. On a personal level, it’s incredibly invasive and rude to physically assert yourself in someone’s personal space without asking. How would you if a total stranger or random co-worker were to invade your personal space for the sake of satisfying their own curiosity? Would you not feel reduced and devalued if someone decided to follow their urge to wrap their fingers in unfamiliar territory? It’s weird at best, and dehumanizing at least. A Black woman’s hair is not your personal exploratorium. When our hair is touched without permission, we feel violated and devalued, because at that moment we are not seen as human, but as objects. As women, I’m sure many of us know how that feels. It’s incredibly frustrating for someone to totally disregard your personal agency and autonomy just so they can satisfy themselves. I’m all for non-Black people educating themselves and increasing their cultural competence, but a Black woman’s scalp is not your hands-on classroom. 

2. Our “carefree” styles take a lot of time. 

Contrary to popular belief, Black women are not out here summoning the energy of Queen Bey and rising from the bed with the same ability as the almighty Beyonce; we did not wake up like this! I know our afros are super cute. I know our curly styles are to die for but hear me out: these styles are a labor of love. Heavy emphasis on labor. Our “afros” are perfectly styled with the labor and intention of a small army. These “carefree” styles take a lot of time, effort, and product. Have you ever heard of a thing called “wash day”?? It’s literally a day that Black women with natural hair dedicate to detangling our tresses and perfectly styling our manes. Wash day takes several hours, if not a full day. Our world stops as we take the time to allow ourselves or someone else to help us look our best. My last set of braids took 6 hours. My wash day (once a week) is at least five hours long, and this does not include the time it takes to dry my hair, which if left to its own devices, takes at least 36 hours to fully dry without the use of a dryer. When’s the last time you had to take an entire day just to wash your hair?

3. Black girl hair is magic. 

No one can shapeshift like a Black woman. We can switch styles with ease. Long, flowing locks on Monday, braids on Tuesday, a wig on Wednesday, an afro on Thursday, and a sleek bun on Friday. Our hair can withstand a lot of manipulation and has the strength to hold a lot of different styles. If you personally know a Black woman, I’m sure you’ve been befuddled a time or two by the way we can change our look. If you see a Black woman who’s switched the style up, don’t be baffled. Black hair is magic. Our tight, shrunken curls can stretch out to two or three times their curled length when pulled. Our hair can go from perfectly coiled at ear length to mid-back with just a little pull.

4. Black hair is political. 

Historically and currently, Black people have been policed about our hair and how it naturally grows from our heads, especially in professional environments. If you google “unprofessional hairstyles,” you’ll see a large number of Black and Brown people with their beautiful curls. To this day, Black people can be fired for wearing their hair in natural styles instead of adhering to a white beauty standard. I’m not bringing this up to be radical, I’m bringing this up to show how absurd it is for the world to deem Black people’s natural hair as problematic, unkempt, or unprofessional. The language surrounding that is intentional. The impact and implications of that are as intentional and harmful. 

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5. Black hair is love. 

Our hair is love. It’s culture. It’s how we communicate who we are and who we belong to. Our hair is complex and wild, but it is our pleasure to don. Black hair unites Black people. We rely on each other to care for it, style it, and share in the labor of loving on it. I can’t tell you how many good conversations have been had while in my stylist chair or how many family recipes and secrets my mother divulged while she braided my hair. 

When you see our hair, just know you’re looking at our culture. It’s more than a head full of curls. It’s more than very neat braids. It’s an expression of our culture and who we are. You are looking at what makes us so beautifully unique.

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CALL ON THE ENERGY OF THIS SWAGGER-Y ANIMAL FOR COURAGE AND CONFIDENCE IN 2020

We’re in for a huge dose of clarity in the new year, according to “Rock-Star Shaman” Alyson Charles. Yes, 2020 is all about clear inner vision, and Charles senses a masterful guide coming through right now to help make that vision a reality: the rooster. Consider this animal the confidence coach you’ve always dreamed of. Power moves and “I gotta be me” boldness? No time like the present.

Here we are and here we go! Not only a brand-new year but also a brand-new decade—and a newly activated energy system within us. And I’ll get right to it: It is go time for those of us here on divine assignments and Earth missions to activate and birth the New Paradigm (a new energetic time on this planet that embodies ancient truths of oneness, compassion, unconditional love, unity, and equality).

For those newer to the awakening path, you can expect an accelerated rate of understanding and internal alchemy, to see the purposes of this Earth life more clearly. You’ll also get new, bright glimpses of how your personal medicine, or your unique gifts, are here to be of service for the world.

For those who have been walking the hero’s journey for a long time, there is a deeeeep dropping-in, to feel the fullness of why we are here—deeper than ever before. At the same time, you’re being challenged to become one with massive missions and step forward with unshakable strength. We will have to be more steadfast than ever before to be leaders and stewards of where Source and Gaia (Great Mother Earth) are calling for the energies to go, in order to push the energetic parameters and grow the consciousness of the planet.

There are things you can do that will support you in being resilient and thriving in these new times, however. Keep these three things in mind:

1. Remember that no one else can tell you who you are

Change makes waves. Especially when energetic and parameter-expanding changes are happening at this magnitude, it will bring a lot up for people. Your medicine and mission may trigger others because human nature for many is to want things to stay the same, in their comfort zone or safe space. While it is very important that we operate from a place of integrity, it is vital that your truth and the knowingness of who you are and what you’re here to do remain the priority.

2. Do not let anyone shame you into playing smaller than you’re designed to

You must stay centered in your truth. Keep your head up and heart open, with your connection to Source, the Earth, and your inner wisdom strong and grounded. The more of us who stay in this powerful space, the more we can share about this space and support others in aligning with it as well, thus allowing the light and group consciousness energies to grow the way they are wanting to right now.

3. As vulnerable as it feels, evoke the courage to share your talents and stories

Remember that your worth is innate! It is not tied to how you perform, or the criticism you receive, or how many likes you get. What is vital is you being pure and true.

The other big theme for this year and beyond: showing the way to kindness, love, empathy, and compassion—while this big expansion is happening. It is imperative that we embody understanding and compassion for others’ pain or confusion. That allows us to hold the line in the high-vibration energy river and not allow the lower realm or fear-based energies to pull us down, especially while others may be triggered or may be in the first phases of “waking up.”

In summation, 2020 is about clear inner vision and knowing what you want, what you will initiate for your life, and how you are meant to be of service for the planet. Have confidence and trust that you are being divinely instructed, and you are also protected and supported in your assignment from the universe. When you choose to live your mission and and fully come into your power, that is how you are of greatest service.

2020 is about clear inner vision and knowing what you want, what you will initiate for your life, and how you are meant to be of service for the planet.

Choose yourself, instead of changing in order to get other’s approval or to make others feel comfortable. You will need to invite in and trust the next step and then the next step—without knowing where it’s all ultimately going, but having faith that you are being guided and called in each present moment. It’s all about flow, power, and trust.

Our first energetic guide for this new decade is the rooster, bringing medicines to support great confidence in sharing your uniqueness and your voice, so you can rise up and shine greater than ever before while embodying courage and kindness.

The rooster is also known to be a great protector, so call upon this divine being to really support you as you take a true, anchored stand in reaching your highest potential and truth—and doing it all with much gusto, greatness, and grace!

Alyson Charles, AKA Rock-Star Shaman, channels ancient, sacred knowledge and divine energy—in her words, “bridging wisdoms of Earth-sky for modern times”—through her work as a wellness guide to celebrities and CEOs. Charles merges her work as a conscious lifestyle expert, shaman, and international TV host with the world of media to share the most transformational products, practices, and tips to teach people how to awaken their power. 

Mirror Talk

by SIANA LOVE  9 months ago in SLAM POETRY

Looking into the mirror what do I see?

I see a beautiful smart woman looking at me

I see pain behind her hazel eyes

I see sadness behind her smile

But I also see a glimpse of hope between her teeth as if it’s inside her looking for a way to come out

I see a girl that wasn’t loved enough

I see a girl who was loved so much that she can’t even see it

That’s why she wears glasses,

To help her focus on what’s really important in life

I glance down and I see her body

A temple created from the one she calls Father

But God forbid someone told her she was beautiful

She’d smile and politely say thank you but deep down that word would be the meaning of doubt in her ears

When she hears she is beautiful she stands confused

As if they need the glasses to see what she is seeing

She wonders if they call her pretty in a way of making fun of the fat girl with a nice face

Or a way of proving to her that they don’t fat shame

Did you know that she hates silence? The girl in the mirror

She can’t stand being in a room full of people and no one talking

She knows they can hear her breathing, gasping for air

Sometimes they would ask “why are you breathing so hard?” as if she does it on purpose

She can’t control it, but it happens

So she tries to make conversation, hopefully, this will distract them into a conversation and not focus on her breathing because that’s all shes focused on in a silent room

Did you know that she drowns in the silence?

Thoughts come over her like a wave storm and now she’s thinking about why her dad couldn’t be there for her like every other dad is, she wonders why she isn’t loved?

She turns to all this approval from men because she never got anything from her dad

She hides her shames, her tears, her pain… Behind that “nice” face

Those beautiful hazel eyes, they have cried themselves to sleep so many times

That smile… Is a reminder that she must be strong, for her, even if no one sees

She’s at war with herself, trying to be more outgoing but the extra skin on her body weighs her down so she stays hidden, waiting that hopefully someone will find her and give her the one thing she needs most…. Love 

Body Positivity

by SIANA LOVE in PERFORMANCE POETRY

“I am Beautiful,” took me a while to learn that.

Related image

 when she was just a little girl

Her momma would say “my baby will be the prettiest of them all”

She would smile back and proudly play with her Barbie dolls

Not knowing that soon words will get the best of me

Insults would be the only thing this proud little girl will see

Girls wouldn’t wanna play, boys wouldn’t wanna stay

And All she would have during lunchtime is a sandwich of sadness and juice box of loneliness

This little girl had to eat alone

And soon enough she had to grow up on her own

As she grew older she was taught to hate her body

Magazines were placed on the top shelf, out of her reach

She struggled and tried but no matter how close she became she could never reach the expectations

She even threw away all of her Barbie dolls

never picked one up when she went to the mall

Maybe the little girl inside didn’t critically analyze

The flat belly, small thighs

And rest of the plastic covered lies

Society’s image of beauty was mocking her daily

Until she was ashamed to look in the mirror and actually like what she would see

TV shows and movies did its best to show that girls of her size couldn’t be loved

They were always the elephant in the room Hollywood is just too small-minded, I assume

After years of self-loathing and despising the way she looked in pictures

There came a time when she started noticing other “beautiful” figures

Pretty girls aren’t just the ones wearing size 2 jeans

There the one who speak up and follow their dreams

It’s not my fault if your small mentality doesn’t go past my thighs

I’m tired of trying to get these approval highs

then in the midst of pleasing everyone’s desires

She had to set her own goals on fire

Watching Society’s flames turn her ambition into ashes

Trading her passion and drive for longer eyelashes

she’s been told that her body is a temple

a holy grail that must be kept sacred

A princess to the most High

So why does she feel so low

And I’m not here to lie and say I got it together

Some days I can’t stand looking at myself in the mirror

And other days I am the next upcoming model

But I’m here to tell you that that girl is done putting herself on the bookshelf

But she is still learning how to love herself