THE LEMONADE ISSUE GOOD HAIR Do your hair in the comfort of your home!
INTUITION: THE HAIRVOLUTION FROM RELAXED TO NATURAL
ANGER: RESPEK THE DOEK "GOOD HAIR" IN THE WORK PLACE
THE TRANSITION STORY FROM RELAXED TO NATURAL
IT’S MONDAY MORNING, AND THE CORPORATE RUSH IN ITS FAMILIARITY IS AT ITS PEAK. TIES FLICKING, HEELS CLICKING AND COFFEE AROMA COMPETING WITH AIR FOR PRESENCE IN THE OFFICE. THERE SHE COMES, THE OUTLIER. LOOKS GAZING IN UTTER CONFUSION. THE ‘HOW DARE SHE’ CONFUSION. THE ‘THAT IS ACTUALLY VERY BEAUTIFUL’ CONFUSION. THE ‘YES IT’S REALLY NICE, BUT I’M NOT QUITE SURE IT’S APPROPRIATE’ CONFUSION. THE CONFUSION ABOUT THE WOMAN IN HER DOEK, OWNING HER WALK AND SPACE AS CONFIDENTLY AS THE MEN IN BLACK SUITS.
by Sharon Ogwang
GAME CHANGERS PRODUCTS, EVENTS AND SERVICES CHANGING THE NATURAL HAIR INDUSTRY THAT WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE
by Liz Letsoalo
PAGE 11 PAGE
HAIRVOLUTION It was about two years ago a feeling of euphoria at the sight of multitudes of black women embracing their natural hair around me. The visuals were soon followed by robust discourse around natural hair versus relaxed hair. I rampaged through material on other times in history when black women had in numbers worn their hair natural and when the tipping point happened to straight being the preference, not for preference sake (which is okay) but viewed as better/neater/more beautiful than natural hair and this was the problem. The sight of Afro’s wild and free in all their delicate yet defiant beauty stirred a feeling within me. It was in that moment where for me it became the only option. I was the girl with the long straight hair that looked like a weave my entire life, finding it impossible to imagine myself any other way. It was January I had just landed in Cape Town from Uganda, dropped my bags off at home and headed to a salon. I watched the straight strands of dark black hair fall to the ground, it felt liberating until I looked in the mirror and gasped at how, I looked like a boy. The moment wasn’t as glorious as I imagined, I immediately opted to braid my hair. The next couple of months was this journey of seeing my tiny fro blossom as I continued to tend to it. Fast-forward 8months later and I have never felt more myself. On Beauty; define it yourself, go to the places in your mind that you don’t visit often. Wrestle with concepts on beauty. Cut it, grow it again and again until you find your rhythm.
RESPEK THE DOEK It’s Monday morning, and the corporate rush in its familiarity is at its peak. Ties flicking, heels clicking and coffee aroma competing with air for presence in the office. There she comes, the outlier. Looks gazing in utter confusion. The ‘how dare she’ confusion. The ‘that is actually very beautiful’ confusion. The ‘Yes it’s really nice, but I’m not quite sure it’s appropriate’ confusion. The confusion about the woman in her doek, owning her walk and space as confidently as the men in black suits. “Bad hair day?”, comes immediately after a casual greeting uttered in the rushing voice of someone who has a more pressing matter to discuss. To ask whether the doek is cover for hair either badly maintained, or just not ‘pretty’ enough to see the light of day on this particular day. Stares continue to follow throughout the day, both of admiration and of condemnation. What exactly is wrong with the doek in the office place? The relationship between doeks and women of colour, specifically, begins at home. Growing up and watching the mother wrap her doek in front of the mirror everyday, putting on her lipstick just sometimes and admiring herself before leaving for work. A garment of beauty, of grace and of maturity, it’s come to be known as for many black girls. And growing up, they too become young adults, whom by no surprise resort to the doek as a ‘secret weapon’ for a killer look, be it for a wedding, or for an important meeting in the office. To be asked whether they’re having a bad hair day on a day when I’ve put their best on, is not only condescending but also confusing, because… “look at me!” Bright colors, prints and doeks are an African trademark. In fact they go beyond just beauty, and extend to our identity. One can tell a VhaVenda, Bapedi, AmaXhosa or any other tribe’s prints in a split second – how beautiful?! But in the office space, mostly large corporates, these are acceptable only on Heritage day when everyone comes adorned in different garments that are astonishingly beautiful, and pose for pictures. Complements are exchanged like platitudes at a once neglected grandmother’s funeral – and these could truly be genuine. The agreement is seemingly there, that the prints, the color and the doeks are beautiful and dignified, but what reason is there to justify that they are not ‘corporate wear’ remains a mystery. Some can say that no corporate has ever said this, and might be right in some cases. The closest to the truth on this lies in the unspoken rules. The tacit ones we all know and understand without the need for their articulation.
CONTINUED... The dilemma with the doek could be this: It is something that most people in privileged positions don’t identify with as deeply as women of color do. It is not something one sees often in corporate spaces. It is something most privileged people would probably see on a woman at the taxi rank commuting home after a long day of hard-work, on the nanny who looks after the children while they’re in the office, or on the mother selling fruits by the side of the road so she can take her kids to school. As a result, to see this ‘thing’, in the office is to almost introduce a new black face in the office. One that is not very familiar nor in any way similar to the ‘amazing Busi’ in Finance, who speaks ‘good’ English, and wears her hair ‘neat’. It shakes up the space, and puts a black person in their fullness in this somewhat exclusive space for only the ‘good blacks’. It brings the sudden realization that this black person is similar to the ‘other black people’ seen through a generalization lense from afar day by day. To think that this woman in this office is no different from the nanny one left at home introduces people to their own biases and stereotypes – some they weren’t even aware they had perhaps. “Does this mean that the nanny could be just as capable? Is this image good for our business? Does she hold radical views about Africa?”. Wearing a doek to the office is as good as walking around with a fist pumped and held high up.
BLACK WOMEN BREATHE FLOWERS TOO Nayyirah Waheed
"black women breathe flowers, too. just because we are taught to grow them in the lining of our quiet (our grandmothers secret) does not mean we do not swelter with wild tenderness. we soft swim. we petal. we scent limbs and love. we just have been too long a garden for sharp and deadly teeth. so we have grown ourselves into greenhouses."
PRODUCTS From Cantu, Afrobotanics to Aunty Jackie's, the rise in the natural hair products has been exciting to watch. While this is a great thing, it
has many a times come with confusion about what to use and when. As a starter pack, a good shampoo, leave-in condition, deep conditioner, cream and oil (coconut is the popular one) will suffice. As you get advanced in your journey, make sure Good-Hair and Youtube are your close companionsÂ
CURL FESTS Events such as Nakiso Curl Fest, Cape Town Natural Hair Fest etc. have started to become more
prevalent. This is where you meet other naturalistas, share tips on care hair, buy products and just enjoy being in the company of natural hair
GOOD-HAIR On-demand mobile salon. Good hair allows you to get your hair done in the comfort of your own home! Good aims to completely change the way that black women interact with and demand hair services
ON WOMEN: Â Shailja Patel
"Read women. Cite women. Credit women. Teach women. Publish women. Present women. Acknowledge women. Award women. Amplify women. Hire women. Support women. Promote women. Hear women. Believe women. Follow women. Pay women. Pay women. Pay women."
START A BOOKING.. WWW.GOOD-HAIR.CO.ZA EMAIL: INFO@GOOD-HAIR.CO.ZA SOCIAL MEDIA: GOOD-HAIR_ZA
Published on Mar 10, 2018
Published on Mar 10, 2018
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