The Afro has often been associated with a renewed sense of identity in the black community. Although an Afro is essentially the natural hair texture of a person with super-curly, coily hair that grows away from the head and sits higher, people often think of it as a hairstyle. It’s the natural state of most people of African descent’s hair. Which is why the term ‘natural’ is often associated with it.
Prior to the recent movement of women embracing their natural hair, most black women were chemically relaxing or straightening their hair. A ‘relaxer’ was (and still is) used to straighten the hair and make it lay flat, similar to Caucasian hair textures. Before the chemicals were created, the look was achieved with putting a metal comb on a stove, heating it up and using it to press the hair straight.
There are so many forms of beauty in the world, but somehow the hair of black people, particularly when worn by a black woman had been seen as unruly and unprofessional for decades. Some even think of it as defying authority or militant because during the 1960s – 1970s many took to wearing big Afros to express their pride as black people and in protest. These are just some of the reasons some black women don’t want to go natural. They even sometimes work in environments where it will be seen negatively or as unprofessional.
So how do you handle it?
Take cures from Uber’s Chief Brand Officer, Bozoma Saint John. She rocks an Afro, braids, and weaves. Whatever she wants she does and with confidence. When you focus on your strengths and capabilities it will outshine everything else. People will be forced to take notice that your natural hair doesn’t make you less professional. It’s defines a part of who you are and your natural beauty.
So if you have an Afro, don’t be afraid to rock it with pride.