Black In Berlin: Why My Natural Hair Is … Unnatural In Germany
Typically speaking, Afro-Europeans see my natural hair as something that needs to be fixed with perm or coated up with a wig and this kind of thinking frustrates me. Living in Berlin I can truthfully say that I miss seeing ladies wear two strand twists, afro puffs and dreadlocks. Aside from the occasional American vacationer, black women in Europe usually rock straight hair, weaves and extensions. I imagine the stress for a girls of shade to appeal to the European standard of magnificence must be stifling in Germany. Ironically, that pressure doesn’t come straight from the Germans themselves however from different Afro-Europeans.
I skilled comparable peer stress in America when i went pure ten years in the past. The most vocal critics of my resolution had been my black relations, colleagues and pals. The naysayers took their own insecurities and misconceptions about natural hair and tried to pass them off as the overall perception of the dominant culture. I see the same conduct here in Germany however even more so, as if to wear your hair in its natural 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 generally creates casualties. Not only does the quest take its toll on the tender psyche of younger German colored women however concern for overall hair well being is thrown out of the window. The first motivation of many is to cover up, not domesticate 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 women, I often see lacking edges, fried ends, matted extensions and poorly executed weaves. I should not have arduous statistics however I’m amazed at the variety of aspect-eye-worthy heads I’ve seen throughout my time dwelling and touring round Europe. The women right here seem to prefer “damaged but straight” over “healthy and nappy.”
There are a number of contributing components to the state of black hair care in Europe, starting with black ladies places for hair extensions don’t make up a big share of the inhabitants. The small brown numbers lead to less demand for products which ends up in much less hair care techniques and instruments, leaving stylists being years behind their counterparts in locations like America. There is nearly no stress to have any illustration of black girls in the media because of the low buying energy of the black lady in Europe. There aren’t any magazines like ESSENCE and few web sites like Parlour Magazine are revealed in European languages. Many women don’t have high expectations for his or her hair as a result of they don’t see many examples of black ladies, nevermind black girls with wholesome hair. Environmental components similar to climate and water may also be damaging. Berlin has a few of the toughest water I’ve ever skilled, it’s loaded with calcium and other minerals that go away my hair dry and damaged. It took me months to type out the right routine for my dry scalp (hint: water filters are awesome).
Black hair care in America just isn’t perfect however it is light years forward of Europe. Exterior of main cities with bigger black populations like London and Paris, places for hair extensions black ladies in Europe rarely reap the benefits of their hair’s versatility and usually linger across the straight finish of the spectrum. Permed hair, weaves and extensions aren’t dangerous but they appear to be the only choices many girls entertain on account of limited training about natural hair.
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