Our black hair is amazingly versatile and can be styled in as many ways as possible but as black women we always find problems in our schools and workplaces. Black women in the workplace are always restricted when it comes to hairstyles, it can’t be “too wild” and “too colourful” or “unprofessional”. Hair Artist and stylist Lebohang Motaung and Hair Creative and stylist Nikiwe Dlova had a joint exhibition at Eyethu Lifestyle Center in Soweto celebrating black hair and showing their creativity the best way they know how. Nikiwe’s has been celebrating black hair through her blog Own Ur Crown showing amazing and creative hairstyles around the globe. When the Pretoria Girls’ High School debacle came into light, she worked on a series of a revamped Betty hairstyles that incorporate the school colours into the hair. The hairstyles were modern, neat and beautiful.
Artist Lebohang Motaung plays with paint, canvas and synthetic hair as she makes her amazing artwork. She is the only artist who I have seen creatively work with hair and I am absolutely in love with her work. Her artwork comes into life as she weaves synthetic hair into canvas and outlines the facial features of her subjects using pieces of hair. “My hair is the only part of my body that allows me to be creative and do with it as I please”, she says. I love how these women’s work have brought about conversations that we have swept under the rug in the name of peace, but now workplaces and schools need to change their hair policies that were never suited for black women. Black Hair Matters and it is time that we make everyone respect that.