For centuries black women have been discriminated against because of their skin, hair and culture. For african girls, using chemicals to straighten their hair, is some how seen as superior, it is seen as being civilised.
In 2014, I started a natural hair campaign on my Instagram page niragir.a in order to encourage and inspire african girls to care and proudly wear about their natural hair. By natural hair I mean black hair, hair in it’s afro-textured form. The campaign was Inspired by a book called “humans of New York” the idea was to share photographs of girls with natural hair along with a caption relating their natural hair stories.
“I wear my natural hair because one day, a light bulb went off. The question then became, why don’t I wear my natural hair? It’s a statement of taking back the power of identity” - Rita Umuliza
“The PanAfrican /black consciousness bug bit me and I started to seriously question WHY the way my hair grew in its natural form was considered at best cool/funky/artist/free spirit but never professional/corporate/serious/classy in other words, natural hair would not get you that great paying job” - Isabelle Byusa
“Having natural hair makes me feel free. I fell much less restricted than I did with relaxed hair. And I think having big(ger) hair fits my personality.
Going to salons was too expensive, and maintaining processed hair was too time-consuming for me. I can't believe the amount of time and money I wasted trying to go to salons every two weeks. At that point, I was waiting so long between relaxers, that I figured I might as well go all the way natural. I was also moving to a new city at the time, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make a drastic change". - Donnalee Donaldson
“I decided to go natural, when I started to realise how black women all over the world try to live up to a european beauty standard by bleaching their skin and relaxing their hair and so on. Since then, I started a journey inside of me to completely own my identity as a black woman, to stop assimilating trying to live up to a beauty standard that is clearly not made for black women”. Uwimana Landryne.