Styling baby hairs is an art that black and Latina women have been perfecting for years. Here are some pictures of truly on-point looks.
When it comes to beauty and hair, sometimes the smallest details can make the biggest impact. For instance, think about the difference between a high ponytail a la Ariana or a low one; parting your hair in the center vs. on the side; or how weird your face looks when you accidentally over-pluck your eyebrows. As you grow up, you experiment with your hair, makeup, and style, making choices based on what’s trendy or what you like at the moment, and along the way, you start figuring out what works for you and what doesn’t.
Case in point: baby hairs. I’ve never really given that much thought to my baby hairs or done anything to style them, but after seeing these pictures, I’m feeling tempted to give it a try, just to see what I’d look like. In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, baby hairs are the small hairs along your hairline that kind of do their own thing. Their texture is different from the rest of the hair on your head, so they tend to stand up or curl a little, which can make your hairstyle look messy.
nineties nostalgia, and beauty and fashion become more eclectic than ever, we are seeing a return to this kind of look (even in people who don’t belong to the black or Latino community).Everyone has baby hairs, but the term is specific to black and Latina women, who have made styling their baby hairs a true art and an integral part of their hair culture. According to beauty historians, it’s been going on since the 1970s, but the peak of baby hair styling was definitely in the 1990s, which saw the rise of chola culture, where highly elaborate, gelled-down baby hairs were a must. These days, as we fully embrace our
black women’s hair, the subject of baby hairs is a little tricky. Many women who take the time to style and lay their baby hairs say that they do it in order to look more polished, so that it all looks neat and tidy. This is evidently true (I mean, look at them), but the idea becomes problematic when you think about how they would describe “natural” baby hairs that are left free and un-laid. Would they look bad? Would the woman wearing them like that look unkempt?Now, as with anything related to hair, especially
The truth is that these questions bring us back to the age-old issue of applying Eurocentric standards to black women’s beauty. In an ideal world, both laid and un-laid baby hairs would look just as beautiful and neat, but the reality is that, for many people, they don’t. The problems at the heart of this issue have led many black women to rethink the way they see their baby hairs and stop styling them so they look “straight,” choosing instead to wear them natural.
At the end of the day, of course, what every woman decides to do with her hair is completely up to her. So, for now, let’s just admire the skill it takes to style baby hairs like this and celebrate the beauty of black and Latina women everywhere who find new ways to rock their hair every day.
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