We believe that our hair does not define us. Rather, our hair is an extension of the self that encourages us to create meaningful rituals around personal expression and self care.
October is both Breast Cancer Awareness Month and BlackHistory Month. We would be remiss if we did not mention one individual whose honesty and awareness empowered an entire generation of Black men and women.
It feels both trivial and important to acknowledge that a lot has been said about Black women's hair throughout the past centuries. However, arguably, not one statement carried more relevance and truth in recent history than India Arie’s anthem “I Am Not My Hair”.
Coming from a Black woman, Ms. Arie took possession of the narrative around what it is wear Black hair as both a part of our identities as well as accessories.
“Good hair means curls and waves? No
Bad hair means you look like a slave? No
At the turn of the century
It's time for us to redefine who we be”
The song tells a tale familiar to all Black women. The years of experimentation, resulting in breakage, hair loss, and for some “the big chop”. Many of us go through such pains to tame our hair only to damage it past the point of saving.
Since the song was released in 2006, Black women have made leaps and bounds in asserting our own standards of beauty and self care within the cultural landscape. More products and styles have emerged in support of a more healthy approach to haircare. Yet still, there are many harmful products out there being used, leading some to develop very serious health issues. Earlier this month, we published a blog detailing some of the most harmful ingredients lurking in products regularly marketed toward those with textured hair.
Contrary to popular belief, India Arie did not have breast cancer herself. Rather she was inspired by Melissa Ethridge’s 2005 Grammy performance, when she went onstage with a clean shaven head following chemotherapy treatments. Arie took the opportunity to incorporate this perspective in her anthem, telling us all that despite what beauty standards might imply, our worth is not dependent on our manes, and hair is not something to live or die for.
“Breast cancer and chemotherapyTook away her crownin' gloryShe promised God if she was to surviveShe would enjoy every day of her life”
As Black women are becoming tossing aside harmful myths about beauty, it is important to be conscious of the fact that we cannot truly move on until we recognize that the products we are being sold are just as toxic as the ideas that have been put in our minds. India Arie's influential song was a self-love song before the term was even popular, and when there were fewer safe haircare products on the market.
If you missed our previous post where we review carcinogens found in beauty products, be sure to check it out and refer to it as a guide. Fortify your self care routine with all-natural, non-harmful, products. We have developed a product
line that has been designed to prioritise your health while providing the support you need to make your wildest hair dreams come true.
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