Black In Berlin: Why My Natural Hair Is … Unnatural In Germany
Usually talking, Afro-Europeans see my natural hair as one thing that must be fixed with perm or covered up with a wig and this sort of thinking frustrates me. Residing in Berlin I can actually say that I miss seeing girls wear two strand twists, afro puffs and dreadlocks. Other than the occasional American tourist, black girls in Europe typically rock straight hair, weaves and extensions. I think about the pressure for a women of coloration to appeal to the European customary of beauty have to be stifling in Germany. Ironically, that stress doesn’t come straight from the Germans themselves however from different Afro-Europeans.
I skilled similar peer pressure in America once i went natural ten years in the past. Probably the most vocal critics of my determination were my black family members, colleagues and associates. The naysayers took their own insecurities and misconceptions about natural hair and tried to move them off as the overall perception of the dominant tradition. I see the same behavior right here in Germany but much more so, as if to wear your hair in its pure state is an indicator of being “too black to handle” or unwilling to conform to the German approach of life.
The pursuit for long, straight and “manageable” hair typically creates casualties. Not only does the quest take its toll on the tender psyche of young German coloured girls but concern for total hair health is thrown out of the window. The primary motivation of many is to cowl up, not cultivate their hair so little time is spent learning how to keep their locks rising healthily. When i take a fast visual survey of Berlin’s colored ladies, I often see lacking edges, fried ends, matted extensions and poorly executed weaves. I do not need hard statistics but I’m amazed on the number of facet-eye-worthy heads I have seen during my time dwelling and touring around Europe. The ladies right here seem to want “damaged but straight” over “healthy and nappy.”
There are a couple of contributing lace front wigs with parts elements to the state of black hair care in Europe, beginning with black ladies don’t make up a big share of the population. The small brown numbers result in much less demand for products which results in less hair care methods and tools, leaving stylists being years behind their counterparts in locations like America. There is nearly no stress to have any representation of black women in the media as a result of low shopping for power of the black lady in Europe. There are no magazines like ESSENCE and few websites like Parlour Journal are published in European languages. Many girls don’t have excessive expectations for their hair as a result of they don’t see many examples of black ladies, nevermind black girls with wholesome hair. Environmental elements comparable to local weather and water can be damaging. Berlin has some of the hardest water I have ever experienced, it’s loaded with calcium and other minerals that go away my hair dry and damaged. It took me months to kind out the suitable routine for my dry scalp (trace: water filters are awesome).
Black hair care in America shouldn’t be good but it’s mild years forward of Europe. Outdoors of major cities with larger black populations like London and Paris, black women in Europe not often take advantage of their hair’s versatility and usually linger across the straight end of the spectrum. Permed hair, weaves and extensions are not bad but they seem to be the one options many girls entertain on account of limited training about pure hair.
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