We rarely see this style now -- fashion trends for African Americans and Caucasians still lean heavily toward straightened hair. Even people with straight hair iron it, for that polished, no-frizz look.
But I don't feel entirely comfortable spouting views about Afro-textured hair, in part because I agree with Cindy Barnes-Thomas who says:
With all the buzz about Chris Rock’s new documentary, Good Hair, and Tyra Banks showing us her real hair, I couldn’t help but chime in with my two cents on the topic. Never before have Black women and their hair been so widely discussed and I‘m not sure how I feel about that. Chris Rock promoted his film on The View this morning and Barbara Walters was convinced that Black women get relaxers and wear weaves and/or wigs to be white.(for full text of Barnes-Thomas's blog, with youtube clips, click here.)
Frankly, I don’t think anyone else should have a say about a Black woman’s hair because that is a very personal struggle.
Flashback to the summer of 1970. At the community swimming pool, the day is hot and humid, the water refreshingly cold. I go in the water with my friend Pam, and within seconds I'm diving, scouring the aqua pool bottom until my belly scrapes, resurfacing dolphin-like, diving back below. But Pam doesn't join me. We're in water about four feet deep, so I emerge to look around for her. My friend has her neck pushed up high out of the water, and is standing on tiptoe besides.
"Dive down with me," I say.
Pam gazes at me hard, like she's not sure how much to reveal. "It's fine for you to dunk your head all you want -- if I do, my hair will puff out like a brillo pad."
I feel bad and after that, I keep my head above the water, too. In a short time we climb back out and sit lady-like on our towels, watching the rest of the kids splash and play.