Entwined: Brought Together By Our Hair

  • Raman Rai

‘The bonds that have been created between myself and the girls that have done my hair in York have led to beautiful relationships and has transformed my anxiety into comfort. It is a beautiful thing to see a community of black women grow stronger through friendship, especially in the face of microaggressions that come with being a minority. In our space, we bond and appreciate the craft – our craft – of doing black hair, one that has been down from generations of mothers and grandmothers. The friendships and this space have not only made us feel at ease in our natural hair but have provided new horizons we can pursue. Our conversation moves beyond braids, cornrows, and general haircare; we now use hair as expression and experiment with different styles, weaves and wig. Hair is art, and we appreciate the artistic talents of the wonderful black women who work tirelessly and beautifully to create safe spaces – the homes – we have found in York. The process of hairdressing can be incredibly intimate; it is a relationship-builder. It comes as no surprise that people can stay with a particular hairdresser for years, even if better options come along. There is, of course, a social aspect of getting your hair done, but more than that – and what many people who aren’t black don’t understand – the hair salon is a safe space where you can exist unapologetically. And, in a society, where black girls and women are barely acknowledged; when we are consistently stereotyped, it becomes essential to create these spaces. ‘ Riarnna Edwards