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The notion of “good hair” is a misconception that dates back to the days of American slavery, when European culture and standards of beauty were used to disparage the self-esteem of Black women…ultimately causing divisiveness that has damaged our appreciation for what could be described as ‘black beauty.’ Naturally, some developed a desire to look like the white women in the main house—well-groomed and sweet-smelling with long, flowing straight locks. It was made clear that thick, coarse hair was undesirable and worth less.

Sadly, those beliefs stuck and we’ve carried them for centuries—making any and all efforts to adjust. We have found false beauty in assimilation, spending countless dollars on relaxers and weaves. All in an attempt to look more like the women who exemplify “American” beauty. It was in watching Chris Rock’s documentary Good Hair that I realized the desolation in the Black woman’s obsession with hair. Only one woman wore her natural hair, while the others bragged and boasted about their weaves—”pretty” girls like Meghan Good, Nia Long and Lauren London who attached being beautiful with long weaves. We are generations deep in a web of lies that have us spending money we don’t have and using toxic chemicals to attain an artificial sense of self-esteem.

It would be different if we loved our nappy roots and felt sexier wearing a ‘fro than an 18 inch sew-in, but that’s just not true. Black women are slaves to their relaxers and weaves. Blinded by self-deception, we actually believe we are expressing ourselves freely. True freedom is in happiness with yourself, weave or not. It’s appreciating your natural beauty first and accentuation to make your natural beauty pop. Often disgruntled by societal pressures to be something we are not, we cannot expect to receive a love for ourselves that we don’t dish out. These are five reasons more of us should give the weaves up…

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