WOMEN
04/22/2014 11:28 am ET Updated Apr 22, 2014

The Politics Of Black Women's Hair: Why It's Seen With Skepticism -- And A Need To Discipline

HuffPost Politics

I cut off my chemically relaxed hair nearly 12 years ago on the eve of my graduation from college. For four years at my historically black institution, I had been getting up the courage to embrace the beauty of my hair as it grows out of my head, by watching black woman after black woman “go natural.”

In these 12 years I have never even remotely desired to go back to the expensive, high-maintenance chemical relaxers that I wore for 10 years. Not only is my hair healthier, but it costs less to maintain, and wearing it this way has freed me from an investment in European standards of beauty that see long, straight hair as the only kind of beautiful hair.

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