According to research by cosmetic company Bountiful Hair, women with natural hair have lower self-esteem than women with treated hair.
According to BlackHair.com, natural hair is “hair whose texture hasn’t been altered by chemical straighteners, including relaxers and texturizers.”
The most common natural hairstyle is an afro, which many black women consider an undesirable look. The hair is many times matted and coarse, and is not considered appropriate for a business environment. Many employers consider the look untidy, and ban individuals from wearing this style.
According to the study by Bountiful Hair, natural hair being viewed as a messy look is causing many women, who wear their hair in that manner, to feel inadequate and less desirable as their counterparts. Those feelings of inadequacy causes women with natural hair to lash out at women with treated or straightened hair, and in turn lowers their self-esteem.
Of the 3,000 women who participated in the study, 2,500 said they did not feel as pretty as women with straightened hair. Pilar Ciara Jones, who says she participated in the study, stated, “some days I just don’t know what to do with these naps — and on those days I just avoid the mirror altogether.”
“I try to tell myself that wearing my hair natural is all about empowerment and expressing natural beauty, but there were times when I just did not feel pretty,” Jones continued. “When you continuously break combs because your hair is so nappy, and you use everything in your refrigerator to try to tame that mane, and you still have hair so rough you could polish rocks, you begin to reevaluate your choices.”
“At one point I was using a gallon of milk and a dozen eggs on my hair every day to try to soften it. That’s when I knew it was time to make a change. I got a relaxer and a Brazilian weave down to my butt, and I have never felt prettier,” Jones stated.
Bountiful Hair says the feelings by Jones are common among women with natural hair.