Yasss! This is what I love about my beautiful versatile Afro hair. I can have it in its natural curls, straighten it, relax it, cornrow it, have it in faux locs, pick and drop….the list is just fabulously long and I’m here for it!
Even though Black women spend an estimated $7.5 billion annually on hair products than their non-Black counterparts, we are often overlooked by mainstream beauty ads.
But the #BlackHairChallenge is trying to change that. Started by Twitter user @melaninmamis, the challenge sees people sharing four pictures or more of their different hairstyles.
The challenge was an instant hit – trending on worldwide on Twitter. The aim of this hashtag was to raise awareness of people with afro-textured hair and to celebrate our unique hairstyles.
— Kiya (@makiyajanae) May 26, 2017
People from all over the world participated. Although four hairstyles were the required number of photos needed for the challenge, many posted dozens of pictures of themselves in one tweet.
This is the latest in a long line of challenges on social media – but this by far has got to be my favorite one.
— Toni (@t0nit0ne) May 26, 2017
It is wonderful to see black people be proud of their heritage and show how diverse and beautiful our culture can be.
— JOE™ (@MichiganMade93) May 27, 2017
If you’re thinking that this really shouldn’t be a big deal, earlier this month, two girls in Massachusetts were kicked off their sports teams and banned from attending prom if they didn’t stop wearing their hair in braids.
— Nneoma (Nne) (@NnesCorner) May 27, 2017
And a Floridian teen was told by her high school principal that her natural Afro was a ‘distraction’ to fellow students and must be ‘fixed.’
— miss benjamin (@imKINGjane) May 26, 2017
According to NPR, a study about people’s perceptions of black hair showed that “a majority of people, regardless of race and gender, hold some bias towards women of color based on their hair.”
And in 2014, the American military faced backlash after revamping their style guidelines. They banned many natural hair styles, including twists, dreadlocks and large cornrows in the process.
— red (@AarynChristine) May 27, 2017
They were then forced to removed racially insensitive phrases like “matted and unkempt” from its guidelines when describing the styles.
So over the next few days, take time not only to appreciate the #blackhairchallenge but your own big, beautiful black hair – no matter how you wear it.