All About Black Hair: Breaking Stereotypes

Last past Wednesday, Founders Pub and Geil Lounge played host to a Natural Hair Show sponsored by Wittenberg’s Concerned Black Students (CBS) called “All About Black Hair.” Whether it was the information about the myths and stereotypes that surround black hair or the refreshments or the company, there was something that anyone could find enjoyment from.

The event began with Mecca Abdul-Aziz, ‘18, and Asha Toure, ‘17, discussing the importance of the event and why it is necessary for our Wittenberg community to have conversations like these before welcoming eight students to the stage to model their unique hairstyles. The floor was then opened for a discussion in which students and faculty could ask questions to the participants, and their hairstylist, about how they can do their hair and the myths surrounding them.

Master of ceremony Abdul-Aziz explained the purpose of the event to a rowdy audience made up of 50-plus members of the Wittenberg community.

“The purpose of this event is to showcase the many beautiful hairstyles that black people wear, and to have an open, honest and informative discussion about black hair,” Abdul-Aziz said. “We wanted to break those stereotypes and myths that people have about it.”

Whether it was the crochet braids, the hi-top fade, the twist, the wash-and-go or one of the many different types of afros, there was at least one hairstyle that left someone asking: How can I style my hair that way? Luckily, CBS had planned ahead and invited four professional hairstylists to come and give their expertise on the stereotypes and explain how audience members can style their hair just like the any one of the eight student models in attendance.

The question that sparked the most engaging conversation with the audience was: “Is it really harder for African Americans to grow long hair, and what can we do to speed up the process?” One of the hairstylists, who is a growth retention expert, explained that effort is the biggest factor when trying to grow longer hair; all you need to do is condition and moisturize your hair, comb it to prevent rips, reduce stress, take multivitamins and you’ll see results in no time. Hair model Odunayo Shobo, ‘17, was able to testify that given time, long hair is achievable.

“The majority of my life I had short hair because my parents didn’t know how to properly take care of it,” Shobo said. “But my freshman year of college, our senior class decided to grow it out long, and here we are today.”

In all, CBS’s event, “All About Black Hair,” encouraged students and faculty to stand up, speak out and help end the myths and stereotypes about black hair amongst the Wittenberg community.

 

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