Bed Head Hair

Elle magazine writer Marjon Carlos wants to know why a black woman can’t have perfect bedhead.

Um, I thought we could and some of us do. We refer to it as our “natural” hair.

But I kept reading.

Carlos became a “woman on a mission” after she saw “Beyoncé whip her salt water-drenched mop in the ‘Drunk in Love’ music video.”

Carlos writes:

But exacting the look remained somewhat of a mystery partly due to the fact that so many “bedhead” hair tools—the balms, the beach hair sprays, the curlers—are marketed to women with finer hair. Knotting my hair at night won’t caress my thick strands into waves; body-building gels and mousses simply cake up on the surface. Even my hairstylist Leona, a master of pin-straight blowouts, had to be coaxed into my pursuit of the “undone” ‘do. When I went in for an appointment last month, we discussed my vision, and she seemingly understood. (After all, this was the woman who had seen my hair from punk pixie to curly weave.) After an hour and a half in the chair she had chopped my hair into a bob with unmatched agility; and yet, the waves she created were perfectly uniform.

Well, not all of us have thin, wavy, limp hair and many of those products aren’t made for us. (And why do we want a salt-water soaked head, anyway?) But two-strand-twists or Bantu knots can convert hair into thick waves unless our hair is relaxed, and that’s what curling irons, roller sets, and flexirods are for.

However I agree with the writer that there many who are adamant our hair should be bone-straight and bent at the ends, with nary a strand out-of-place. Our curls should always be perfectly stacked and our styles, well, perfectly symmetrical. As one who adores full – and at times, coily – hair, I’ve engaged in numerous debates about why I don’t like to wear my hair a little “flatter” because apparently anything outside of that is not neat. It’s unkempt.

What constitutes “perfect” hair is relative and, frankly, irrelevant. Bedhead can be sexy for us, too. And it doesn’t have to be a replica of our much blonder counterparts.

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