Struggling with my culture - Alopecia and Black Hair

Hair plays a vital role in black culture. Hair, for black people, has always stood as a symbol of self-expression and power. I wanted to be proud of my hair and proud of my culture.

I love how black culture can express itself through hair. I am fascinated with the precision and talent of professional barbers. The clean edges. The fades. The designs. I saw the movie Barbershop as a celebration of the black community and the support system that accompanies belonging to a tight-knit group. 

After watching the movie, I eagerly anticipated my opportunity to be a part of such a community. However, public spaces like barbershops terrified me because of the potential of watching, judgmental eyes. My history with bullying prevented me from joining such spaces (but that's a conversation for another day). I assumed I was required to have these experiences to be a member of the black community. Since I couldn't, I felt alienated from my own culture... 

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Comment by Cheryl, Co-founder on February 22, 2020 at 12:56am

Cheltenham,  Thank you for the raw and honest feelings that you shared.  As a woman who lives her life bald, I can understand.  I remember years ago going to a hair salon with my mom and sister and feeling like I truly did not belong there or to walk into a lingerie store which to me was the ultimate display of femininity.  So I truly understand.  That is what is good about all of us banding together and sharing.  We need it.  Having others who understand.  No matter where we are in our journey there are some that have probably been there.

 Life is funny and the term "full circle" keeps coming to my mind.  Now I can walk in comfortably.  In fact, we are photographers and we meet with a Hair Artist regarding some potential projects.  I have come to a place that it is well, it is well with my soul.  And I feel you are walking that path as well.

Comment by Ericka on September 24, 2020 at 12:02pm

This is deep Gabe. Nothing is as heartbreaking as feeling alienated from your own culture.


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