AFRO ARCHIVES – A PERFORMERs WORLD – Episode Eight

How Do You Take Your Hair To Work?

A reveal into the world of extensions and wigs. The fixable practice of hair for beauty and health reasons. I think of this part of the hair experience as being a secret world. You have to know where to go, what to buy, the best places, the best quality, what suits you and what your hairdresser likes to work with. It is also a game to play on the street “is that hair real?!”  Actresses Verona Rose and Ketorah Williams do a show and tell of hair extensions and wigs. For variety and even helping hair grow (with protective styling), extensions can be good.

“It would be an additional pressure as a performer to make my hair perform”

says actress Anwen Ashworth. Knowing what to do with our hair, and in addition having the time to do something decent with it is a massive part of the hair debate affecting choices of how we wear our hair. Wearing hair extensions or wigs is another way of keeping up appearances and keeping up with life. Alternatively, as Anwen says, keeping hair short nicely (and cheaply) resolves the “what the hell shall I do with my hair” dilemma. As an actor, hair can be very important when it comes to representing character, as actress Anni Domingo reminds us based on her own experience of wearing wigs to enhance and communicate character when working on stage.

Those are some of the positives. The voice of actress India Ria Amarteifio on working with her natural hair  – “to frizz up sounded like a negative thing…rather than something to embrace”. The pain we can experience in being ourselves is so real when we are different from those around us. Wearing hair extensions can be due to suffering from scalp issues, serious medical reasons or cosmetic fancy but a hair extension is not our real hair. My niece India despite some difficult experiences loves her natural hair and celebrates it. She has no interest in hiding it and for that, she remains unique and always herself. I love her so much for her courage and self-confidence. Her happiness in being an individual.

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There is plenty of literature on the damage hair extensions can do if they are not selected right or worn properly and removed at the right time. It’s a real sadness that not being comfortable with ourselves can lead to damaging our hair and our health.

Africa_Fashion_Hair Extensions

Does what we need to do as part of a healthy haircare regime divide us along cultural lines? Afro Archives episode 9 delves into the hair maintenance arena.

If you missed the introduction to Afro Archives catch up here. Next episode of #AfroArchives, released on 30th September, “What do you do after you’ve washed your hair?” – let’s keep chatting hair.

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About Ayesha Casely-Hayford

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