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The natural hair movement was long overdue, and enough can’t be said about why it has been so wonderful to see a plethora of black stars rocking their natural locks on-screen and in real life.
But after Love Island’s Yewande Biala was forced to defend herself from cruel comments regarding her choice to wear weaves and wigs, I was once again reminded about how unfair it is to demand that our favourite stars be all-natural, all the time.
As one of the few black contestants to appear on Love Island, Yewande was instantly thrust into the position of representing black women across the country. And for some fans, the fact she never wore out her natural hair during her time in the Majorcan villa was disappointing.
The issue was raised again after the 23-year-old scientist shared a post on her Instagram detailing her hair journey this week, with fans commenting that it would have been more powerful if she had worn her natural hair instead of the wavy locks seen in the snap.
In response, Yewande posted a snap of her natural hair in all its glory, and I instantly understood why she would prefer to use a protective style.
Our good sis Yewande has been on Team Natural for four years and she has the most amazing, healthy-looking head of hair to show for it.
But this is partly due to the fact she avoids using heat on her natural hair, instead choosing to cover it up with fun hairstyles such a bone-straight weave or a curly wig.
‘I’m aware and I’ve seen all the comments that I should have had my natural hair out for my last post,’ she wrote to her fans.
‘My hair is 4c and I PERSONALLY find it hard to manage without heat ! I don’t like putting heat on my hair ! my schedule is busy and protective styles suits ME!’
She added: ‘I love my hair and I’m not ashamed to have it natural… my black is beautiful ! [sic].’
As a fellow 4b/4c hair type, I know exactly what Yewande means when she says her natural locks are harder to manage without heat. Type 4 curls can be wiry and coarse, with very densely packed coils.
While some girls are able to take the time and effort to look after their kinky curls, for a lot of us it is not something that we can fit into our busy routines.
Let alone a celebrity who has to glam up and style their locks on a daily basis, meaning a whole lot of heat and product is used in a way that can easily lead to unnecessary damage.
The likes of Cardi B, Rihanna, Beyonce and Kelly Rowland rock a mix of natural and protective styles depending on their schedules, and it is their prerogative to do so.
I don’t know about you but I tend to arrive at my hair appointment makeup-free and in no mood to pose for any camera. So that could be a reason why our favourite stars don’t tend to post up more with their natural locks.
However, going forward I do think more regular posts of the moments when they do have their hair out in all its glory could do a lot to help satisfy the fans that are so eager to see more of it.
Yes, it would have been nice if Yewande had her natural locks visible for that Instagram post. But I really don’t think it is fair for us to basically ask someone to do potential damage to the hair they have spent so long nurturing.
Representation of natural hair in the public eye absolutely matters – but not at the expense of healthy locks.
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