Those two words really say it all. An afro is stylish and chic. How do you wear yours? Do you wear a shrunken fro? Do you have a teeny weeny afro (TWA)? Or do you blow you afro out so you can have that Esperanza Spalding look? If you don’t know who that is, you must have missed the Grammy awards show. She won a Grammy for best new artist because of her raw, exceptional musical talent. She sports what appears to be a blown out afro that looks so soft and carefree. It is possible that that is the premise behind wearing an afro…..being carefree. Not being tied down to a relaxer or a weave, not having to do anything with the hair at all, except for letting it be…..care free.
Black women sport their ‘fros in a variety of ways. Some like to wear a flower pinned on the side while others style their afro into the ever so popular frohawk. However you choose to wear your afro, do it with confidence because wearing your hair natural can be a very powerful statement.
Before the 1960’s afros and kinky hair were not embraced and most black women tried different processes to straighten their hair. Because of the negative views toward kinky hair, black women braided their hair in braids or cornrows or put caustic chemicals in their hair such as relaxers to straighten it, often taking a risk that may leave them with hair loss if done improperly.
During the 1960’s and 1970’s, the Black Civil Rights Movement ignited a sense of empowerment in the black community that sparked a different way of thinking about their hair and beauty practices. It was more of a self-acceptance movement that took place…..black men and women embraced their kinks and coils, thus more women went natural and wore afros. It was during this time that the afro became a political symbol to represent black pride or black power. As time went on, the afro was not only perceived as a symbol of black pride, but it also came to be viewed as just a hairstyle. And also, as time went on, the afros got bigger and bigger. We all remember the Jackson 5, or if you were too young to know them back then, you have probably seen a picture of them at some point. What about Jimi Hendrix? He was known for his awesome guitar skills and musical talent, but also for that huge afro! Pam Grier, the actress who played Foxy Brown, (and as said before, if you didn’t know her then, you have more than likely seen a picture of her somewhere…if not, Google her), wore a large afro as well and was thought of as a sex symbol. Her sex symbol status proved that afros are sexy and it is not all about looking more Euro-American.
Lastly, in the 2000s we have seen women say no to the chemicals and choose options to care for their hair that they feel are healthier. Women do not want to spend time constantly grooming their hair and feel that they have the opportunity to be more carefree when it come to their hair. So if you are out their rocking your afro, rock it with pride!!