Simply put, the AFRO is a hairstyle of tight curls in a full evenly rounded shape.
After colonisation, European beauty standards took precedence and led to a negative view of hair that was tightly coiled. Hence straightening hair with either heat or chemicals and wearing wigs or weaves over tight braids became popular among people of African descent. Women especially felt the pressure to conform to social and beauty norms.
These styling cover ups lead to a host of issues both physical and emotional. This includes hair damage, breakage, severe dryness, traction alopecia, scalp issues, low self esteem, lack of confidence, the desire to “fit in”. The natural hair that laid underneath these styles was left neglected.
World Afro Day (celebrated on September 15th) is a global day of change, education and celebration of Afro hair, culture and identity. Seeking to unite people globally in raising Afro hair to world class status through positive awareness.
For young girls of colour, representation matters. When they see images of women, dolls, princesses, athletes, scholars that look like them (skin , hair, appearance) they are inspired and feel included. They see that success is possible for them in the future and that they ARE BEAUTIFUL.
It is also important that persons of non-African descent embrace World Afro Day as well. This event benefits children and adults of all backgrounds, through empathy, equality and empowerment. Seeking to build community and educate all equally.
Have you ever felt shame or feelings of inferiority about your Afro hair?
Has that changed?
Do you love your natural hair?
What would help you grow to love your Afro hair?