As a black woman, your natural hair may be considered unprofessional Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said in a recent interview with the NYMag. The Nigerian prolific writer and feminist sat down with NYmag and talked at length about the black woman and her African natural hair. She used the opportunity to expatiate on why Ifemelu, her Americanah’s novel protagonist said, “Hair is the perfect metaphor for race in America.”
Mrs Adiche, who is now the new face of Boots’ No. 7 said it’s because black women’s hair may be considered unprofessional by people who doesn’t understand the kind of hair that grows out of a black woman’s hair.
According to her, “Hair is something we see, but we don’t understand what’s behind it, kind of like race. It’s the same way that something seems obvious, but it is really complicated and complex. For example, to see a middle-aged white woman who has highlights is not something everyone in the world necessarily understands, especially if it’s because she struggles to cover her grays. Or if you’re a black women, sometimes the way that your hair grows from your head isn’t considered “professional” by people who don’t know black hair. I don’t think it’s that people are malicious, I think it’s just some people don’t know what the hair that grows from the head of black women actually looks like.”
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On the kind of relationship she has with her hair, the mother of one and multiple award-winning writer said they do not talk about it. She said there are moments she just loves her hair and takes good care of it, but that there also moments she gets frustrated with it and could not maintain it.
In her own words, Chimamanda said, “I don’t think we have enough time to talk about this. It’s interesting because I can say very excitedly now that I absolutely love my hair and I wouldn’t change it. But, it’s a relationship that has its ups and downs. There are times when I just don’t have the time for my hair and I let it be a matted mess. And there are times when I think of my hair as this glorious gift from God in all of its kinkiness. There are times when it’s frustrating and I go through a phase of having such a difficult time keeping the damn hair moisturized — it’s utter frustration. And there are other times when I’m having a really good day with my hair. I’m still looking for the perfect hair moisturizer.”
Mrs Adichie is one of the black women who is a strong defender of the black woman’s natural hair and it’s beauty. From her popular speeches at important lectures and occasions, to her fashion style, magazine shoots and other public appearances, Chimamanda has always been seen wearing her naturally kinky black hair with pride.
Photo Credits: Boots.