No, this is not other post about Gabby Douglass. However, I think that the Douglass incident suggests we need to have a broader discussion about Black Women, Hair, and Health.
We have all read the blog posts, news articles, etc. about how some Black women avoid Exercise because they don’t want to mess up their hair. It’s amazing to me that even with the Natural Hair Movement and the DIY movement many women are still allowing their to be a barrier to exercise. It may be because there are still too few resources on managing Black hair and Exercise. I get that hair is a complex issue for us. But at some point we have to stop discussing this problem and do something about it. You know the stats we have the highest rates of Obesity. 4 out of 5 of us are overweight or obese. It is completely unacceptable that we let our hair contribute to these numbers. We have to do better, we have to choose our Health over our Hair. In my own personal hair and exercise journey, I eventually reached a point at which I said “F my Hair.” I chose exercise and a healthy lifestyle over my hair. I lost 40 lbs after making this commitment. I came up with a game plan that allowed me to workout out 5 days a week. I wore my hair in ponytails during the week. On the weekends I washed and straightened it. The best thing about saying “F my Hair” is that I learned how to do my own hair. Before making this commitment I never washed my own hair I relied completely on a hairstylist. I recently decided to transition to natural hair and I have found it even easier to manage my hair (it’s much more versatile). Let me be clear when I say F my Hair, I do not mean that it is not possible to find a hairstyle that is professional and cute. You just have to think outside the box and be willing to try something new. You can find a style that works for you. Part of this process is accepting that your beauty is not determined by your hair.
So I encourage you to free yourself and find a hairstyle that allows you to exercise. You can get braids, go natural, wear ponytails, a weave. I know many of you reading this have already found a solution that works so please share your story. We have responsibility to help each other.