Salon reports:

the long-held skepticism in black communities over natural styles has its roots in the structural and systemic regulation of black women’s bodies.

Before I got a relaxer at the age of 11, I endured the nightly ritual of having my mama part, grease and then plait my hair. Each morning, she took down the plaits and twisted them into long beautiful ponytails with barrettes on the end and ribbons tied at the top.

Each evening, I came home, hair frizzy, barrettes missing, the evidence of having played with youthful abandon at recess, to serious looks of disapproval and a heavy scolding.

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