Sourcing my Dream: Randle, B. (2015). I am not my hair; African american women and their struggles with embracing natural hair!

This substantive source is looking that the struggles African American women have to face with embracing their natural hair along with their appearance in general. It also discusses how to make the transition from relaxed hair to natural hair. And finally it will look at the effects of white standard beauty and its affects on African American women.

“Good hair is often considered hair that is straight, silky and without tangles. Therefore, if the texture of African American’s hair is thick, kinky and curly, does society view it as “bad hair”? Is this the reason African American women seek to straightened their hair to fit into society’s standard and to be accepted?” (par.1)

“Although nappy or kinky hair texture is the most devalued, it is also the most versatile (Ashe, 2010).

From afros to updos, it is the kink factor in Black hair that holds the greatest possibility of diversity, allowing Black females much greater creativity than most other women when styling their hair. Yet, because it reflects African rather than European ancestry, kinky hair has a low social status, particularly for females (Lara, 2010)” (par.2)

African American hair has the ability to hold so many different styles, yet it is looked down upon. Because European ancestry is highly favored over African ancestry no matter what the pros of African hair is, it will reflect a low social status.

“Along the beauty continuum, the presence or absence of kinky hair texture can make the difference between being attractive and unattractive, accepted or unaccepted. Within Black hair hierarchies, it is the prominence or absence of the kink factor-from nappy to curly to wavy to straight-that determines good and bad hair valuations (Robinson, 2011).” (par.2)

Once again this idea of good and bad hair divides people as attractive or unattractive, and accepted and unaccepted. Hair holds a lot of power and its sad that a difference in texture determines how people look at them. And some ignorant people can’t look past hair.

“According to Dione-Rosado (2004), relaxed hair, braids, weaves, and shortly cropped hair are considered more professional in nature, hence they are adopted by middle class women more often. Therefore, hair can be seen as an indicator of gender, social class, sexual orientation, political views, religion and even age.” (par.13)

Hair is used as an indicator of social class, hierarchy, age, political views and more. Therefore it became very important for African American women to try to change with hair because they didn’t want to be at the bottom of the totem poll.

“While the argument can be made that Black hair no longer carries the same socio-cultural significance it did in decades and centuries past, the “natural” remains an unwanted politically charged marker in the workplace.” (par.14)

African American hair i its natural state has been accepted more in today’s society but in the workplace it is still seen as unprofessional. The way someone’s hair grows out of their scalp should not be seen as unprofessional. They literally have no control over the hair growing out of their head.

“Corporate America isn’t the only adversary of natural styles. Some black institutions discourage the ‘natural’ look, believing it’s best to prepare African Americans to blend into a majority-White corporate environment.” (par.14)

Some African Americans think their natural hair is outlandish and stand out too much in the corporate world. They have been brainwashed to believe their hair is unacceptable for the workplace just because it is a majority white environment.

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