“I Am Not My Hair” event teaches black students about haircare
By Quanecia Fraser—
With just a few days left in Black History Month, the Beautiful Ladies of Diversity (BOLD) held a workshop to celebrate and educate students about black hair.
The workshop, held Tuesday in the Student Center ballrooms, was named after singer India Arie’s song “I Am Not My Hair.” The song describes the experience that many black people have with their hair.
Briana Welsh, a residential coordinator who also oversees BOLD, explained that the BOLD organization “wanted to host a hair workshop just to talk about natural hair, permed and relaxed hair, weave and protective styles.”
The workshop featured a presentation on the history of black haircare in the United States, as well as the diversity of black hairstyles—from chemically straightened hair to hair worn in its natural state. There was also a free giveaway with products from popular black haircare brands like Carol’s Daughterand Cantu.
Welsh said she wants black students to feel confident about their hair texture and know that they “have a community of people” they can go to for help with their hair.
In a discussion at the workshop, Welsh mentioned that she used chemical straighteners in her hair until 2015: “I had no idea what natural was like. My mom made the decision to (relax) my hair before I could make the decision.”
Welsh said that wearing her hair in its natural state “kind of gave me a sense of belonging to the black community.”
Junior Kinesiology major, Jamie Reeves, said she found the event to be helpful since she recently began wearing her hair without a chemical straightener.
“This, I felt was perfect because I just started my natural hair process a year ago,” she said. “I think (the workshop) was great, I feel like we should have more of these (hair workshops) for more people of color.”