India Arie so beautifully belted out the powerful lyrics I am not my hair! However, I have to challenge that notion and push back just a bit. While we are not only our hair, our hair plays a significant role in how we define and express ourselves; including our sexuality! From press and curl, relaxed straight, weaves and wigs to the natural movement women demonstrate creativity, versatility and even curiosity in how we wear our hair.
Women’s hair has long been the topic of conversations among both men and women alike. Women’s sexuality are constantly scrutinized by the hairstyles that we wear. For example, if a girl learns from an early age that long hair is equated with beauty or that a girl with long hair gets more attention, as she gets older she is more likely to wear desire long. If she has short hair, she is less likely to feel beautiful as her counterparts with long hair.
According to research, not only the length of hair but also the colors of hair are linked to sexuality. Check out some of the following stereotypic beliefs: Blondes and redheads have more fun. Women with long flowing locks are considered sexually passionate and romantic. Women with curly hair are perceived as sexually promiscuous. Women who rock jet black hair are thought to be kinky and risqué in the bedroom. Short pixie cuts have lo
ng been linked to lesbianism, bisexuality or asexuality; while natural hair has been associated with sexual aversion, as if women who rock natural hair lack the ability to be attractive and sexual. Really??! How archaic!
While our hair and sexuality are neither tied to nor defined by the above clichéd statements, I will definitely agree that there is a deep-seated innate connection between our sexuality and hair. From an early age, girls are taught how to take care of their hair. From grandma’s kitchen “salon” to the beauty salons, girls and women oftentimes spend hours on a Saturday afternoon getting their coifs fried, dyes and laid to the side and for what? To feel beautiful, to feel attractive, to feel sexy! Additionally, in many ways, this Saturday salon ritual and rites of passage becomes a gathering place of sisterhood where everything from fashion to sexuality is discussed over the shampoo bowl and in the stylist chair.
“Getting my hair done was like a ritual. It was like ritual, especially in the black community growing up. My mom or my aunt would press my hair in the kitchen for holidays like Easter or Christmas.” Toya R.
“I feel super sexy when I leave the salon! Nobody can tell me anything cause I know I look fly!” Michelle P.
“Although my husband loves how sexy I look when I come from the salon, he also know that he might not get any (sex) or if he does it’s from the back…I can’t mess my hair up!” Quiana F.S.
The tie between hair and sexuality is also evident by the amount of dollars that women invest in hair care products. Market research estimated that the business of haircare is a multi billion dollar industry design to help us find our sexy! In 2009, in the documentary comedian Chris Rock entitled Good Hair – whatever that is (inserts side eye), reported that women spend approximately 20% of their income on beauty products such as wigs, weaves, shampoos, conditioners, hair color, etc. Now given that the “natural hair movement” has significantly impacted the hair care market, research reveals that sales of styling products have increased 26.8 percent with anticipated growth by 2020.
It’s no wonder that Sarah Breedlove, who we affectionately have come to know as Madame CJ Walker became one of the first female self-made millionaire in America with her line of beauty and hair products for black women. It’s clear that she definitely understood the power of our hair in helping define ourselves and our sexuality.
When a woman’s hair is styled to perfection, she feels beautiful! She feels sexy! She feels as though she is unstoppable and can take on the world! Check out what several women that I chatted with had to say:
“I always get my hair done before I go out, especially somewhere special. Man….I put on my outfit and heels, you can’t tell me anything! I know I look good. I know imma catch one (a man) that night.” Lisa J
“Women go through extremely lengths to preserve their style and keep their hair looking good!” Keisha D
“How many times have you slept on your hands after you’ve got your hair done? Women, especially in the Black community, will sleep on her hands to maintain that style overnight! Or how many times have you stretched out the neck of a shirt just to keep every strand of hair in place? And don’t think I’m putting on a hat. I’m not trying to mess up my hair.” Shalonda R
The comments above echo the many thoughts and are reflective of the relationship that women have with their hair. Women absolutely love their hair! From our natural coifs to our relaxed strands, from our up fabulous dos to our precious pin curls, from our bold bald to long and straight, from our beautiful braids to our luxurious locs! Did I say WE LOVE OUR HAIR!
Our Sexuality! Magazine Blogger Shanise Ollie states, “Hair is our crown. For a lot of women it is the main component to our style or look. It makes women feel attractive.”
Janay T. believes that hair is like an accessory! You can change it up to go with your outfit! I wear mines based on how I’m feeling at the time.
Erika W. says that she loves her natural coifs! It makes her feel fabulous and free!
Our Sexuality Stylist Perry Varner says “a women’s expression of hair reveals the depth of her beauty, her real inner strength and boldness. Not only as it relates to her personal style but how she owns her sexual power as well“.
So the next time you begin to think, I am not my hair, stop for just a moment to embrace the fact that your hair is very much a part of who you are! And whether our hair is fried, dyed or laid to the side, there is definitely a correlation between a woman hair and her sexuality! Both are individualized, beautiful and powerful expressions of a woman! It’s sexy! It’s sassy! It’s you! It’s your crown and Glory! Rock it and your sexuality proudly!
“Both my hair and my sexuality are expression my freedom!” Natalie M.
“While I agree there is definitely a connection between my sexuality and my hair, society cannot and will not define my hair or my sexuality! I’m in control of them both.” Misteria La’Nay