Hairdo school regulations

Good gracious!

“Your hair feels like pubic hair.”

With that first line, I thought the article was going to be a good read, but I could not stop asking myself “whose pubic hair.?” One would have thought hair on our head is a good indicator of what lies ‘below’, if that is the case, why on earth is someone making this silly comparison?

Well, this is a serious matter, cultural identity issue.

I am very proud of these outspoken South Africans girls drawing attention to the school hairstyle regulations that they feel didn’t represent black girls fairly – it further shows complacency isn’t an option if we want things done differently.

I hope that the new team to work on amending the rules will include black parents and educators who can be open enough and work together for the benefit of this and generations to come.

The issue of black hairdo is a sensitive subject within black community itself because here is where we are supposed to support one another but it does not always happen that way as we all have different ideas of what makes us look and feel good.

South Africans can reference apartheid, Black Americans can reference white supremacy as the reason blacks in those countries keep their hair certain way – what is our excuse in a country like Nigeria where we are mostly black?

Time is changing, younger generation need not believe the overused excuses that we were ‘forced’ to follow certain rules in order to make our looks acceptable. The fact that the world is a lot closer today makes story such as this relatable to all blacks regardless of where we live in the world.

Adults can and will always chose what they like to wear and they owe no one explanation for their choices, however more often than not, children internalise criticisms when it is directed at things they have no power to change, here is where parents can not fold arms as it hurts those we claim to love the most.

I think school hairdo for girls is a subject that all black parents of girls should be interested in especially for those of us in diaspora. I believe parents owe it to their children to talk about issues such as this putting into considerations why certain rules were set and find ways of encouraging one another on how best to help our girls from very early age and to be involved in PTA so we can bring to lights factors that others may not necessarily be familiar with.

My girls’ school have a few points on hair policy; shoulder length,  hair band colours and hair to be away from face. Simple enough.

My kids swim three times a week (2x at school, the third time outside) this means hair style is kept in a way that they can easily keep it under swim cap, I have seeing enough drama to know I don’t want my kids to be the last one out just because she worries about her hair. I am not waiting for my girls to be upset because someone makes insensitive comment about their hair. If other kids don’t spend half a day on hairdo, we wouldn’t either – life is too beautiful than altering what should be celebrated.

Towards the end of Spring term, as they were preparing for an overnight school trip, my eldest said not to do certain hairstyle for her sister because she had trouble putting on her helmet when she went on the same trip the year before – “that was a very useful information” I told her. That was a safety issue she pointed out, so we decided on a different style and had a test run on a bike helmet.

I really do hope this will awaken our consciousness in order to broaden our knowledge about our hair. I think the rules that matter the most is the ones that we have written about our own hair.



Categories: Africa, Nigeria, Women

Tags: ,

4 replies

  1. Pubic hair?! What an odd comparison.

    I am actually happy about the recent acceptance of Afro hair just as God intended. There’s absolutely nothing inferior about kinks and coils, so no one should be made to feel inferior just because their hair texture is different from the next person’s.

    Girls growing up nowadays are so lucky, they’ll see afro hair as the norm rather than the exception.

    In the grand scheme of things, it is just hair, a bunch of dead cell sitting pretty on one’s head. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Odd comparison indeed.

      Agreed that girls today are indeed lucky, it is age of awareness and plenty of role models to emulate. My hope is that given where we are today, more women will get involved in school planning committee to decide what is best for school children with school daily activities in mind – not nice for kids to have to deal with hair issue while leaving quality of education to slide.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks, Folakemi,

    Very good comments, made better by your personal experience which readers raising young kids can relate to and gain from.

    What in the world are all the hair issues being created, and, unbelievably in Nigeria where things used to be very easy and controlled: in elementary school, most girls wore low afro and in secondary/high schools, we wore either afro or wove our hair, or even had the thread styles done – no hair angst as obsessed Western females, no drama! In adulthood, I went through the whole gamut:pressed hair, relaxed and cut into a bob style, hair attachments … you name it; so, I do not really have anything against whatever way a woman decides to wear her hair.

    I do have a lot of problems, however, with older women transferring their own insecurities to younger vulnerable women and young girls. It is a disgrace, a travesty, making rules by school authorities in a majority black country – or anywhere that is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural for that matter preventing girls from wearing their hair the natural way.

    Thanks for this insightful piece, as always.
    TOLA.

    Liked by 1 person

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