In 2022, I read an article about a newly married couple that opened
my eyes to understanding your biases. It showed a picture of a blended family with three kids. The adults stood together. Two boys stood in front of them, and a girl stood to the right of the husband. The caption of the article indicated that the woman had dissolved the marriage based on said picture. After closely inspecting the picture, I saw the problem. The man’s hand was clearly pushing the little girl away from the group. I was judging when I recalled that the hair business has its instances of biases too!
When it comes to hair, there are many examples of people airing their biases. I will list a few here
so that those of us that are without stain, can examine ourselves in understanding your biases:
Many people have a bias against them which was mostly picked it up from being born in colonialist countries; by parents who were trained throughout their lives to wear hair a certain way; or observing marginalized people e.g. the homeless, who are experiencing economic problems and have let themselves go.
The other more complicated reason for the bias against dreadlocks are those who associate it with bad people. Please explain: how could your child that got “A’s in school, was valedictorian, graduated with honours from university and now has a “prestigious” job; calls and sees you every weekend, suddenly become a drug dealer because they got dreads?
Bias also caused from being raised in countries where straight hair was promoted over wearing curly hair.
Even today, I have adults whose mothers will not accept that relaxers have eaten away their child’s hair so they had to go natural or go bald.
I have found this in both men and women, fathers and mothers etc. They will go ballistic if their child cuts their hair even when it obviously needs a trim.
Wives/girlfriends who quiver when told they have to take an inch off – “my husband/boyfriend likes my hair long”.???
Women who will wear long, heavy extensions to look glamorous and end up wearing wigs for the rest of their lives.
I have chatted with men who will not consort with women with short hair. I often wonder if they would abandon their wives if they lost their tresses to sickness or accident.
People who feel caucasians should be the only ones that should wear blonde hair. If you understand the colour wheel, you know this is silly. Besides, people with dark skin who live by the sea get blond naturally.
Women who will bleach/lighten their hair until it is breaking it off. They fear they will not attract a partner if they go darker.
It is surprising how many races now wear fades/braids which were strictly associated with people of African descent in the past.
Unprocessed /Natural Super Curly Hair
This could go either way. Some like you to keep your hair in it natural state while others find it annoying and will encourage you to straighten it mechanically or chemically.
It is important for you to understand your biases to avoid annoying people. What someone chooses to do with their hair is not your business. While you can make snide comments to people that are related to you or consider beneath you, you lose their respect in the end.
By Paula Barker, Silkie Locks Hair Design
Call (613) 789-2179 For An Appointment If You Are In The Ottawa, Ontario Area.