Women's wearing their look of choice

Throughout the month of March, the Women’s History Month, discover new women’s testimony about their relationship with their hair and their look.

Read great quotes and learn more about being a woman in a patriarchal world. Join these fierce women who are not afraid to speak out and learn more about their story.

Read the story: The Puzzling Road of Women’s Hairstyle

PHOTO GALLERY


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Marie-Ange Magloire – Spanish

Amante de los libros y defensora del cabello natural habla


Visn general

Que irónico que me pidieran escribir sobre mi cabello. Este tema ha surgido muchas veces en mis conversaciones y escrituras durante esta última década.

Las cosas eran diferentes cuando crecía. Nunca tuve que preocuparme por mi cabello ni por el de los demás. Esto estaba relegado en el fondo de mi vida. Durante mi niñez, por ejemplo, mi cabeza estaba llena de pequeñas trenzas africanas, dandome así la máxima libertad para jugar, explorar y disfrutar mi verano.

Durante mi adolescencia, la mayoría de las chicas querían alisarse el cabello como un rito de paso. Esa “tradición”  no me aplicaba: mi madre tenía un afro, al igual que mis hermanas. Nunca pasó por mi mente alisarme el cabello para definirme como una adolescente, una “demoiselle”.

Más tarde en la vida, después de la secundaria, me alisé el cabello para un cambio de look.

Mi relación con el cabello cambió completamente cuando me mude a la República Dominicana. Al cabello se le da mucha importancia aquí. Los salones de belleza son un gran negocio y están muy presentes en el diario vivir. El aspecto más deseado y comercializado era y todavía es el pelo lacio y brilloso.

Aún cuando alisaba mi cabello, no disfrutaba que estuviese sobreprocesado, asi que normalmente lo alisaba cada 4 a 5 meses. Lo que me instó a detener el procesamiento de mi cabello por completo fue el mensaje conflictivo que estaba recibiendo. La dinámica entre el “cabello malo, cabello bueno”.

Marie-Ange Magloire

Book lover and advocate of the Nappy Hair movement discusses women looks


Overview

How ironic that I was asked to write about my hair. This topic has popped up in my conversations and writings a lot during this past decade.

Things were different as I was growing up. I was never too concerned about my hair nor others’. It was relegated in the background of my life. During my childhood years, in the summertime for example, my hair was usually braided in small cornrows, giving me the maximum freedom to play, explore, and enjoy my summers.

During my teens years, most girls wanted to get their hair relaxed as a rite of passage. That “tradition” did not apply to me: my mom had an afro, so did my sisters. It did not even cross my mind to get my hair relaxed to assert myself as a teen, a ‘demoiselle’.

Later in life, after high school, I did style my hair with relaxers for a change of looks.

However, my relationship with hair had changed completely when I moved to Dominican Republic. Hair is a big deal here. Hair salons are a big business and they are very present in the everyday life. The most desired and advertised look was and still is the straight glossy hair.

Although my hair was relaxed, I did not enjoy getting my hair overprocessed. Therefore, I usually relaxed it every 4 or 5 months. But what urged me to stop processing my hair altogether was the conflicting message I was getting. There was a ‘bad hair, good hair’ dynamic.

Rachel Frédérique Bruno

A Public Health Professional shares her view on hairstyles and women freedom


1 – Why do you change your hairstyle and how does it make you feel?

I went back to natural hairstyle 8 years ago. I had a scalp problem and went to see my dermatologist. She told me to stop the perm until I am done with the treatment. I was crushed! And it was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make.

However, as time goes by, I enjoyed it so much that even when my dermatologist told me I could put the perm if I wanted I decided to stick to my natural hair. Besides, I encouraged my sisters and my mom to join me on the journey. Now that I have a little girl, my goal is to inspire her and to encourage her to love and embrace herself.

2 – Do you think women should stick to hairstyles that reflect their culture, ethnic groups or origin?

I think the most important thing for a woman is to love and embrace herself. It could mean for some to have natural hair, permed hair, no hair at all. As long as this is what she wants and she is putting herself first in her choices, it’s ok.

Carolina Eichler

Brazilian lawyer discusses hairstyles and women freedom


1 – Why do you sometimes change your hairstyle and how does it make you feel?

I do not really change my hairstyle very often because I like a more natural and practical look for my day-to-day activities. So I usually just cut a little left up to the shoulder.

The only change I made was to clear some wires making baby lights, which also left a good natural color since I’m white.

As my day-to-day is well run and busy because I’m a lawyer and a single mom, I do not have much time to take care of my hair. This is why I seek convenience.

Lucette G. Joseph

Traveling expert shares her view on hairstyling


1 – Why do you change your hairstyle and how does it make you feel?

I don’t change hairstyles much because I currently have a TWA (teeny weeny afro). I mainly stick with twist/coil outs. I feel that my hair is an extension of myself, so I do my very best to keep it neat and beautiful at all times. I love my hair!

Sara Lazare

A health professional discusses hairstyles


Overview

Well, first of all I believe hair is like a person’s crown the next thing someone sees after they see your face.

It may represent who you are or beliefs like religion if it’s well kept..If it’s wild and crazy…dreaded….permed…bald. There are also many options like weaves, wigs and braids… Black women have such an amazing array of infinite styles they can do and change daily! Of course there are issues with black hair in public especially the work place… Corporate America etc…

1 – Why do you change your hairstyle and how does it make you feel?

I personally have worn many different styles depending on my mood and I welcome the options available to meet my current needs.. My number one choice is head wrapping because it makes me feel regal and really good about myself it’s also a cultural thing and most women in my immediate family wear head wraps… and it’s amazing so many different colors and fabrics to use on my head… my grandmother never missed a day with her beautiful head scarves …

2 – Do you think women should stick to hairstyles that reflect their culture, ethnic groups or origin?

Hairstyle is important if you’re trying to make an impression to someone. But if you know your worth and you don’t care about what people think about your hairstyle, as long as it’s clean and is not offensive to others, then it should be fine; there’s nothing like freedom….. Freedom to choose to wear your hair how you please without judgment from others.

Everyone is making billions over the black hair products filled with chemicals that have been linked to fibroids in black women. Options are available to us so most people are going natural and even that is making some people rich because they’re coming up with all kind of products that supposed to be natural. I like to keep it simple and I’ve never had a problem in the workforce as a nurse. I usually have a coworker asking me for a demonstration on how to wrap their hair… There has been a natural hair movement progression over the past few years, so black women are amazed that they can grow their hair without chemicals… And it’s healthier than ever we have to embrace our ancestry. …

But of course everyone’s experience is different…freedom is important …too many other things going on in the world.

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 Sara’s Info:
Sara Lazare
New York City
USA

Magdalena Lazare

A model’s standpoint on hairstyles


Overview

I first began going natural in 2008 when I started modeling.  I had to cut my hair for Hype Hair magazine. Because of all the damage I had. I didn’t care as I wanted to be in the magazine. It was a beautiful pixie cut that I still adore. However, I knew it wasn’t for me. Especially maintaining such a short style in a relaxed state. I easily saw breakage after a few weeks. I wasn’t mature enough or interested in hair maintenance to keep up with short styles or trimming for that matter.

Heck, during my teen years i only relaxed my hair when my mom told me it was time. OK..ok. I was lazy when it came to my hair care. Since I enjoyed weaving my hair. (Low maintenance lol) It just made sense to grow my hair naturally under my weave. What sense was it to relax my hair just to cover it up.  So summer of 2008 was my last relaxer. And that’s how it began.

I was surprised to see many women doing the same thing. Like on some unconscious level we all had that desire to grow our natural mane out. I was part of a movement that I didn’t realize was happening. As for hairstyles and upkeep. I didn’t really pay attention. As I was a low maintenance person. Too low if you ask me.  But as time passed I’ve gotten better and I’m still learning about natural hair maintenance.VO flower2-ANIMATION123

Bing Yao

This writer and communication professional confers her views on hairstyles


1 – Why do you change your hairstyle and how does it make you feel?

Yes, and actually I just cut my long hair a few months ago for I am tired of long hair which is so difficult to manage. The current short hair makes me feel easy and relaxed, costing me less time and energy to get it organized. I do not change my hairstyle very often; I only change when I consider that it works best for me. Life is hard already; I don’t want the long hair to get in the way adding on difficulty.

2 – Do you think women should stick to hairstyles that reflect their culture, ethnic groups or origin?

Generally I think women can do whatever to their hair and make it whatever style regardless of their culture and identity. However, considering today’s world is so full of one culture and identity, that is, the western way of living and style, I would very much like to see more different hairstyles on women that represent other cultures and identity.

Miguelita Dupin

A Health professional outlook on hairstyles


1 – Why do you change your hairstyle and how does it make you feel?

I think changing hairstyles is a fantasy that goes either with the mood, the objective or simply a message to society, a sign of rebellion or a choice of personality!

I feel in power when I’m in dark suit, high heels and straighten my hair in a low ponytail.

2 – Do you think women should stick to hairstyles that reflect their culture, ethnic groups or origin?

Black women are afraid to be different, and are motivated by the easy going like and look of others. It is a misconception of beauty.

However, Black women are beautiful in anyway, any style.

The major thing it’s to know exactly what is the message you are sending to the world and what to expect!!!

Rose-Lourdes Saint-Vil

A business woman shares her view on hairstyles – Une femme d’affaires partage son opinion sur les coiffures


1 – Pourquoi changez-vous de coiffures et comment vous sentez-vous quand vous le faites? 

J’aime changer mon look, car je me sens plus féminine et bien dans ma peau quand je le fais. Cependant, j’ai aussi adopté le look naturel parce que mon médecin me l’a aussi conseillé.

2 – Pensez-vous qu’une femme doit se coiffer d’une façon qui montre son identité culturelle et son origine ethnique?

Oui, je pense que la coiffure est une identité. Par exemple, dans certains pays, les femmes s’identifient par leurs coiffures, leurs habits etc.

Rhodie Lamour

This actress, model, and business woman takes us to the incredible world of hairstyling


1 – Why do you change your hairstyle and how does it make you feel?

When I was working actively in advertising like a professional model, I got the expected look of straight long hair; people really loved it.   This look was so painful to maintain, especially concerning the treatments and when I have to fix my extensions.   Then I decided to open my Image Consultant Business where my goal is to help people to accept their own nature (Afro, Caucasians, Spanish…) and be happy with it. At this point, my little girl was 4 years old and was beginning to suffer bullying for her skin tone and afro hair, so I decided to go natural.

Now I am more authentic, I am who I am, and inspire others to love themselves, to be able to love, respect and accept other kind of beauty. With my natural look people get the opportunity to know me in my real version, so they can appreciate me for who I am and not a fake or dreamed version of me.  With my image I transmit confidence, originality.  I vary my looks, participate in different kind of fashion shows and formal events while I continue to work as a model and an actress.

2 – Do you think women should stick to hairstyles that reflect their culture, ethnic groups or origin?

I think black women supposed to go for hairstyles that match their lifestyle and respect the possibilities of their complexion, eyes color and natural hair color.  Everyone is free to do what they want with their image.  However, the most important is to do everything they want because they want it but not to be part of any kind of group, class or trend or to please someone else.

3 – What’s the importance of hair styles for a woman and a business woman especially in DR?

A hairstyle is very important for a business woman everywhere and specially in DR.  It could reflect revenue, social class and goal in the society.  For black woman in DR, they need to know more about how stylish we can be and I do it with my image.   The afro hair is not really well accepted; it is still a challenge in 2016.

In my particular situation, I am confident with my hair and know how to manage it according to dress code for each moment.

..

Olga Nkuba

A business woman and marketing professional talks about hairstyles


1 – Why do you change your hairstyle and how does it make you feel?

For me, changing hairstyles is like changing clothes; I usually change it up every season. It’s a fresh start each season. People can express themselves with the clothes they wear; I like to also express myself with my hair.

2 – Do you think women should stick to hairstyles that reflect their culture, ethnic groups or origin?

The hairstyles that I wear are always hairstyles that are common within my culture and ethnic group. The hairstyles that I usually wear are box braids, twists or crochet braids and those are styles that are rooted within the black community. They are styles that are usually used as protective styles. I personally think that women should stick to styles that reflect their ethnic origin, but majority of women don’t actually do that.

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 To contact Olga:
Olga Nkuba
Owner at Argeny
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Website: www.stayargeny.com 

Belinda Ulysse

A marketing professional talks about hairstyles


1 – Why do you change your hairstyle and how does it make you feel?

My hair looks depend on my clothes because each outfit requires a hairstyle that goes with it… I feel good when I wear different styles of hair because it’s consistent with my personality, my professional position and the image I want to project.

2 – Do you think women should stick to hairstyles that reflect their culture, ethnic groups or origin?

This is something relative because a woman may want to identify herself culturally. However, this will depend on what she does in life, her responsibilities … Because depending on the position occupied there is a protocol that goes with it.