The 15th of September is identified as the World Afro Day - a monumental day celebrating Afro Hair, a global day of change, education and celebration of Afro hair; endorsed by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human rights', see https://www.worldafroday.com/...Errm..did you engage with this in the UK or as a black woman or person of a different / dark skinned tone, does your hair still get called 'funny' by random little children passing by innocently with their parent on the road whilst minding your own business? YUP.
In the USA, there is a big deal made of the Afro Hair Day, but c'mon, in the UK, it is quiet... another day that passes by, not celebrated as much in schools. I wondered then, if I was not an advocate of 'loving your afro hair' nor follow afro hair Instagram bloggers, mostly based in the US, would I be aware of it?! Needless to say I am of african origin with sons with afro hair!
Hence my writing this blog, to raise an awareness as much as I can. To let you know that yes that day does exist, but on a daily basis we can all do our own to educate ourselves and our children on afro hair and the differences that make us unique. To educate our children...that afro hair is beautiful, different but just as lovely. In Africa, the Western part where I am from, our hair is celebrated, adorned and most certainly a (sometimes heated) point of discussion AND a crown to be braided, left to breathe, twisted, wigs on ...as you fancy;-)
The UN vision of the Afro Hair Day is to "work with families, schools and authorities to tackle discrimination against Afro hair, to carry out research, create events and produce resources to empower people with Afro hair and raise awareness in wider society.” OK, I might be wrong, BUT if you are based in the UK, I believe more needs to be done. So in your way, are you going to engage in your local school and community to engage about this? Ask the right questions on afro hair. Don't assume. I recall a lovely friend who is a nurse by profession who asked the right questions about how to care for black hair and black skin during hospitalisation...and integrated these into care plans. How amazing is that?
Ask and engage in discussions about afro hair. I promise, if you do there just may be a free HAIR AND SCALP REMEDY from our online shop if that's the case ;-) BE HONEST! First come first served whilst stocks last for the first response.
If you didn't, at least the amazing thing is that the kids are at least talking about it...CCBC https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/58560255 I love that! Children will indeed change the world. Lets learn from them and have a listen!
Given the recent debacle https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-57688380 that the Olympic Games banned specially designed swimming caps for afro hair, we are a long way from understanding the structure of afro hair and the implications of swimming in chlorine rich water and how it damages afro hair. The point is, as afro hair proud owners, we (I say we, but will give some tips below just in case) know how to look after our afro hair. I celebrate @swimma_caps and @soul caps for trying to break certain stereotypes within swimming and have created swimming caps that are accessible to those with afro hair.
Anyhow, each to their own, but how do we protect our afro hair in its various forms...I will tell you how I protect mine: disclaimer here, I am not a hair stylist, hair specialist nor a hair blogger. You will find them on insta! However, as a woman of West African origin, by experience, trial and error over THE LAST THREE DECADES and to a certain extent, I have learnt what works for my hair and what not (Fellow sistas please hands up if you agree!)
Firstly, please, please don't touch my hair without my permission :-) If you don't know why, I ask which rock you have been living under?
Secondly, I decided few years ago to go au naturelle with my afro hair- no chemical relaxers to straighten it no longer (it is not a political statement, the older I get, I just prefer the less chemically led products on my skin and hair). Like I said, each to their own.
Thirdly, I love to wear protective styles like braids, (pictured - loving the face paint by the way which definitely expressed my inner child! Ha!) with kind instructions to my hairdresser not to pull at the edges of my hair scalp. (Trust me, it saves me tons of time on the school run and daily life).
Finally, a good hair wash day and conditioning with shea-moisture rich natural shampoos with my very own Hair and Scalp remedy stuffed full with the necessary organic ingredients such as Hibiscus oil, peppermint and Argan oil to nourish, protect and stimulate growth is something I look forward to often.