This video series is a space for people of color to talk about all things Black hair

If you haven’t checked out Un-ruly yet, then now is your chance to do so. This site dedicated to all things Black beauty, and has kept the conversation about Black hair going since its inception. Its most recent video series, Black Hair Is...was created by founder Antonia Opiah in an effort to get diverse perspectives from Black women on their hair choices.

This is not the first time Antonia Opiah has curated a video series dedicated to Black hair, and we hope it’s not the last. Each new perspective opens up a new door in this much-needed conversation. It is vital to provide information and perspective to Black women so that the community can get a complete sense of available options and feel supported in whatever decision they make.

The decision to relax or go natural can feel extremely fraught for many Black women, and Antonia wanted to create a space for everyone to feel heard. We asked Antonia why she felt it was so important to keep the conversation around Black hair going.

She told HelloGiggles:

"One of the questions we asked the women interviewed is whether or not they think Black hair could ever just be hair. My thoughts on this (and some of the women had similar thoughts) is that because of all the history and politics wrapped up in our hair, it likely won't just be hair, at least not in the immediate future. And because Black hair is ever-evolving, we still need to discuss the impact of the chances of that to occur."

She reminded us that Black women wearing their hair naturally can become national news. Think back to when Beyoncé’s hair at the Super Bowl in 2016 (and even at Coachella). After watching that performance, Antonia told us:

"I came to the conclusion that there's currently no one way a Black woman can wear her hair without it making a statement. If it's straight or kinky, it's going to solicit a response from people. So as long as we're stuck in that lose-lose situation we're going to keep on talking about Black hair. The conversation will be thrust upon us whether or not we want it."

Antonia believes that hair standards have definitely changed in recent years, and even within the Black community, certain styles can be controversial. She said:

"Kinky hair used to be shunned in the Black community and now relaxed hair is looked down on. And I really wanted to explore what that means for women that still wear their hair relaxed. Some of the women in the videos who relax their hair say they now feel pressure to go natural. Part of me wonders if that's a good or bad thing. I think as individuals, we always need to be making sure that the changes we make and the things we do are done because it's right for us as individuals and not because it's what everyone else is doing or what everyone else will affirm and praise, and that's a very difficult thing to do."

Anytime there’s a new forum to discuss and support other women’s choices, it’s important to take notice and give it much-deserved space in the zeitgeist. And it looks like a lot of people agree, because the series has gotten great feedback, even stirring an animated conversation on Facebook as Antonia had hoped.

“Some people are over talking about hair. Some people can relate to the experiences shared in the videos…Dialogue has power,” Antonia said. “It helps us acknowledge issues and learn different perspectives. Dialogue has the power to change our reality by exposing us to experiences we didn’t know exist. So when I create content like this it’s always with the goal of stirring conversation.”

Take a look at the Black Hair Is… series over and Un-ruly and let us know what you think. We are so, so happy to see these conversations taking place.

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