Feminism | Posted by Mai D on 04/27/2016

The Truth About Having “Bad” Hair

One brand of hair relaxer.

I am a young Senegalese woman with “kinky” hair — specifically, type 4A/4B according to Andre Walker’s hair chart  — and I have heard every comment in the book about it. Since preschool I have been told I have “bad hair” by everyone from Dominican hair stylists to my African family members who have constantly begged me to relax it in order to look “proper” and “decent.” No matter the specific critique, my hair has always been deemed wrong by others.

My older, female cousins were the first to influence my hair. I grew up with three older brothers and my mother usually kept my hair braided so neither of us had to think too much about it. At the ripe age of eight, however, …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Jasmine W on 04/12/2013

The Straight and the Narrow

Sometimes I look at the pieces of my chemically-straightened hair that are scattered around my bathroom floor, and I wonder what it would be like if things were different. What if relaxers were never invented? What if having afro-kinky hair was okay?

I’ve been getting my hair chemically straightened since I was around eight, and before then, I got my hair pressed with a straightening comb each week. I have no idea what my natural texture looks like besides from what I can guess from childhood pictures and the tiny bit of roots that grow out before I straighten them again. My hair is at my shoulders and will not grow past them because of breakage.

The answer to my dilemma may seem simple: just go natural! But here’s the …

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