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This Shocking Email Proves Many People Still Believe Black Women Can’t Grow Beautiful Hair

Avatar • Jan 28, 2015
cass beccai by scrole vision photography

Pic of me and my BSL hair taken by Scrole Vision Summer ’12

A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to share a digital course (check it out here) I had labored over to a select few blog subscribers. There was one student in the course who stood out because she asked the most questions and always made her opinion known.

Our email interactions were interesting, but one email took the cake.

After a concern with a credit card charge that seemed to be a few cents more than advertised (which later was confirmed to be an exchange rate issue unrelated to what I charged) I was asked a question that shocked me.

The exact email:

Dear Cass,

Ok thank you. I’ll check with them. I’m very careful with my money. I only did it because I trusted u and ur work a lot. I still do, but I think ur hair yes is African, but I’m worried that u have European ancestry. I am sure there are other viewers thinking the same.

So may I pls ask you kindly to do a video maybe or tell me something that will clear that because if u have European ancestors, it means everything u say will only work for those with European ancestors like u.

Also, ur name is Italian. I know that African American people do not have African surnames, but I’d like to be sure u do not have Italian genes or Beccai genes …wherever the Beccai’s are from.

I hope u’ve understood my concern. If u have cleared this concern already, please kindly email me the link. I can see u are African looking. You could even fit in my family, really and I like u as a person. So even if u are Italian/Euro, I’ll watch ur videos.

You are very inspiring. And I wish u the best. Thank u.

Kind regards.

Seems innocent enough, right?  Yes, except that I felt like taking her by her shoulders and shaking some knowledge into her! I want to educate her and the masses of black women who have also asked these questions of their hair idol.  As inspired as she is by my hair journey, I believe she and many others will struggle a long time to realize the beauty in their hair and attain the hair results they’re looking for if they don’t understand these 3 things below:

1. We’re all different.
No two heads of kinky afro-textured hair are the exact same- whether or not those two heads share the same genetic make-up.

The social construct of race dictates that the biggest difference between European and African hair types is that the former is usually straight and the latter is usually kinky, but these differences vary and really can’t be set in stone. What is 100% factual, however, is that differences in hair type — such as density, diameter and porosity — exist in all races and ethnicities. Meaning two white women with the same ethnicity may in fact have stark differences in their hair types. The same goes for black women. Those are the differences that, in my opinion, contribute to the varying results we get from products and techniques.

So, whether or not another black woman has European ancestry really doesn’t tell the whole story as to whether their hair care practices will help your own hair.

2. Worry about yourself. 
I am baffled by how worried my subscriber is about my hair and ancestry. Something about that “worrying” comes across as misplaced and I realize that particular worry may stem from a lack of understanding of her own hair needs.

It’s ok to look up to someone for ideas on how to take care of your hair, but if your whole hair regimen is patterned around someone else’s regimen and hair type, with no clue as to what your own hair needs (or what your hair type is, etc.), you definitely should be worried about yourself.

If your hair idol decides to change a few things in their regimen (the same regimen that you have also been implementing) and then you decide to integrate their changes into your own regimen, you could run into issues if you don’t understand your own hair.

Any failure that ensues from you adopting their hair care practices shouldn’t be blamed on the person, because each one of us has the responsibility to get to know our hair. Worrying about your hair will take you much farther than worrying about someone else’s hair.

3. Black women without a drop of European ancestry can and do grow their hair to amazing lengths.
I thought this was something all of *us* knew by now. Even though my subscriber’s email doesn’t explicitly share anything concerning hair length, I have to wonder if she has questions about it and doesn’t know this truth, especially since my overseas visit during the holidays took me out of my bubble of knowledge and exposed me to people who didn’t know that women who are 100% black can and do grow their hair long.

You don’t have to look too hard to find this truth. There are many black women who can attest to the fact their hair as a child was able to reach long lengths (I can share my theories on why this is another time). There are also many women who don’t have any immediate European ancestry, and after learning what their hair needs and how to care for it were able to achieve long lengths.

One important thing to note about the afro-textured hair type is that it is scientifically proven to have a lower tensile strength making it more prone to breakage and damage (Syed, A.N., Kuhajda, A., Ayoub, H., Ahmad, K., and Frank, E., “African American Hair: Its Physical Properties and Differences Relative to Caucasian Hair” (1995)). This doesn’t mean one can’t retain length, however. Sure, not everyone can (or wants to) make it to hip bone length, but I have a feeling that many of us can at the very least reach shoulder length if we are healthy and intentional about understanding the nature of our hair and implementing what our hair needs to flourish.

Let’s stop attributing beautiful, long afro-textured hair to a heritage when, in my opinion, there are other more valuable factors that produce this outcome. Start embracing the fact that black is beautiful with or without European blood.

P.S. For the record my husband gave me my last name. 🙂

How do you think we as black women can dispel the myths portrayed by society about our hair and beauty?

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About Cassandre

Just another naturalista playing by my own rules! Got hair that doesn't seem to grow past your shoulders? Check out my free Grow Your Hair Faster Video Course

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Anonin
Anonin
5 years ago

I got second hand embarrassment from this.

Rachael
Rachael
5 years ago

Fantastically well stated!

Anisa Glover
Anisa Glover
5 years ago

I am mortified.

Dominique Jeter
Dominique Jeter
5 years ago

Wow. That is crazy! People who are trying to return natural do have a tendency to compare their hair to others, trying to see how they got their hair the way it is. Very good comeback!
https://realdominoj.wordpress.com/

BroadwayDuchess
BroadwayDuchess
5 years ago

I felt second-hand embarrassment, but pity, too. The poor thing is clearly lacking exposure to some pretty well-known truths. Yes, black people can be beautifully-shaded in hues from the lightest lights to the darkest darks. We can have all sorts of textures — I’ve got several… on one head! Black people can and DO grow long hair lengths, and we can do it whether or not there’s another ethnicity involved. (Also, it would have been really easy to clown her mercilessly, but you addressed her “worries” in a very clear and non-judgmental way. I am new to your blog and… Read more »

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago

LOL! The back of my head is like Mariah Carey’s and the top is like Florida Evans, so I know EXACTLY what you mean! My sis and I have the same mom and dad and her hair is like that of a biracial person while mine is more kinky 🙂 That’s just how it is with Black ppl.

Avecunigrec
Avecunigrec
5 years ago

OMG, the grammar! The spelling!

And yes, Cassandre, great points!

Bigantic
Bigantic
5 years ago

I laughed at the “I want to make sure u don’t have … Beccai genes” bit. 😀

But I know a few people who personally believe that all hair products in the “European section” won’t work for afro textured hair.

I’ve even been asked to take back a hair dye I bought for my mom because there was a Hispanic woman on it (and it worked pretty well, turns out).

naturally_tee
naturally_tee
5 years ago

The thing is it would have maDe her feel better about herself if you were mixed she wou?d have felt better about her hair

lecia p
lecia p
5 years ago
Reply to  naturally_tee

yes, as if She needs to be able to say it’s not her “fault” her hair didn’t grow as expected bc the person she idolized is a fake..that lurking in her DNA must be caucasian ancestry so THAT why she’s falling short of her hair goals& why her hair doesn’t behave as Cass does.…so sad

Rose
Rose
5 years ago

Black is strong. Black is smart. Black is proud. Black is beautiful. My brother and I have conversations about this topic very often. Black Americans often hold themselves back by subscribing to the negative stereotypes that the media or dominant culture have labeled us with. If you’re an educated black person who talks properly, you’re “white”. If you’re black and gorgeous, you’re mixed or “exotic”. If you’re a middle-class black person, you don’t know “the struggle”. Black Americans need to shed these negative stereotypes and images. As individuals, we are the thoughts in our own minds. If you think negatively… Read more »

Mony Rae
Mony Rae
5 years ago
Reply to  Rose

Amen.

Elle
Elle
5 years ago
Reply to  Rose

If you think negatively about yourself and your own people, you become this image”

Try following your own advice.

As a “Black American” I speak ONLY FOR MYSELF! You and your brother should stop generalizing a large and diverse group of people with a diagnosis and treatment based on your own myopic experiences.

Rose
Rose
5 years ago
Reply to  Elle

I just.… can’t. Okay throw out all the history and science books ever written because there may be one exception. By your logic, don’t dare say that whites enslaved blacks in America (USA) because it was actually only a handful of super wealthy whites in the south. Yomen farmers didn’t even have slaves and were enslaved themselves according to the class structure.……You know exactly what I mean by what I originally posted. I can’t write a dissertation about the internalized racism among black Americans. This is a blog post, woman, not my PhD research essay. Among the MANY individuals, like… Read more »

Orange
Orange
5 years ago
Reply to  Elle

Lol I don’t know where your hostility comes from. One best not make any statements ever about groups on the **aggregate**, lest they be accused of ignoring a few exceptions. /sarcasm. Stop acting ignorant of the current state of black Americans.

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  Rose

True that!!

JenniD
JenniD
5 years ago

Cassandre that course sounds pretty good! If I were newly natural and lost I would sign up for that. I think we can dispel these myths by taking better care of our hair and stop whining about what it can’t do and start focusing on what it can do. Our hair can grow long if we are willing to put in the basics of healthy hair care that is suitable for afro textured hair. We have got to stop being lazy and looking for quick fixes. And I have no idea why black eople think other races don’t struggle with… Read more »

Whenwillwewakethe**up!
Whenwillwewakethe**up!
5 years ago

S.I.G.H. …UGH!

Brown Girl
Brown Girl
5 years ago

c’mon now homegirl.…

Secret87
Secret87
5 years ago

I been a lurker on this site forever. Also notice she didn’t say yes or no about her white dna. I believe even if you do lean more to African dna your hair may not, but only in looks. Thats why you have some who are dark skinned with long flowing afro textured hair. I been trying to get my own hair to at least my shoulders for how many years? All I get is endless amount of what combs are best, best products, or trim your hair then stop trimming so much, breakage this and that when other races… Read more »

JenniD
JenniD
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

Yea there is this thing called slavery that many of us can’t really do too much about at this point. Could she have some white/other dna. Possibly, but in all fairness so could you! That doesn’t really matter. I know for a fact that I do but I too use to suffer with hair that kept breaking off and wouldn’t budge. But you know what I did? Instead of looking into someone’s DNA I actually started to implement those combs, best products, trims and anti breakage practices onto my nappy/kinky hair and low and behold it grew! Buying into the… Read more »

Secret87
Secret87
5 years ago
Reply to  JenniD

Right, but my hair dna leans more black vs hers. My hair is about to bring me to tears its pointless. It is her dna. And its not always slavery mix races existed before and after and present. Everyone needs to do a dna test and post the results. Those who have 50 percent Asian dna should be giving advice to those.

Rou
Rou
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

If you truly believe all of this, then why are you arguing with us! If you believe your hair cannot grow, you’re right! End of discussion! Accept it and move on with your life! Stop complaining about how no one else is as pure Black as you! Be proud of your “pureness” and keep it moving! Stop complaining!

JenniD
JenniD
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

If you are trolling for laughs I’m afraid the jokes on you. You don’t even make any sense. If all of us were mixed with some special sauce that grew tons of hair weave companies would not be cashing many checks lol. Alot of us so called “mixed” women struggle the same as you. I did for a short bit but I eventually got it together. But if you are serious you should join a hair forum, not a blog and find yourself a hair care regimen that works. Talk to other naturals and ask VERY detailed questions. Forget their… Read more »

Huh?
Huh?
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

Did you just say “everyone needs to do a DNA test and post the result” you dey crase or were you being sarcastic?

OXxo
OXxo
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

How do you know that? Genes express themselves in different ways.

SKEEWEE
SKEEWEE
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

I’m so sorry you’re having hair issues. I’m sure we’ve all been there, but don’t you think calling for ppl to post their DNA results is taking things a bit too seriously? That wouldn’t matter anyway, because two ppl with the SAME EXACT GENETIC MAKEUP can have two TOTALLY different heads of hair, as well as different skin tone! My sis and I have the same mom and dad, but she’s lighter than I am with more of a “3b/c” curl pattern, while I have hair that is much kinkier. She wishes her hair were more like mine so she… Read more »

OXxo
OXxo
5 years ago
Reply to  JenniD

Some Black people actually have White ancestors due to colonial officers/administrators taking “local” wives as well as having a wife back at “home”.

good2bfree
good2bfree
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

Hair porn for non-Blacks? Are you kidding me? Whoever sent her this e‑mail is obviously someone who has bought into the stereotypes and made up assumptions about Black women’s hair. Have you ever heard of the word ‘experiment?’ Perhaps you need to look that up, because that is a word that is frequently mentioned on a lot of Black hair care websites, vlogs, and blogs. You have to find a regimen that will work for you. Since you didn’t mention what you’re currently doing to your hair, I can only tell you that it doesn’t appear to be working, and… Read more »

Christina
Christina
5 years ago
Reply to  good2bfree

No offense but “Fusion of cultures” aka Layla may be from Ghana but that doesnt mean that she necessarily is full-blooded black African. Northern ghanains, who are Muslims, are mixed with arabs, thus the often looser hair texture, different facial features etc. Her Muslim name lets me conclude that her roots are probably in northern ghana. I know this cause im half south ghanaian and have the kinkiest hair. My half sister on the contrary is half nothern/Muslim Ghanaian (thus mixed with arab) and has soft type 3 hair. Btw: i also Support the view that Full blooded africans from… Read more »

Judith_HWG
Judith_HWG
5 years ago
Reply to  Christina

LOL.

4C
4C
5 years ago
Reply to  Christina

@Christina OMG! Lol thats so weird how northern Ghanians are muslims cause its the same in Nigeria! Northern Nigerians tend to be mixed too (some with arabs, but some with people from Chad, Niger, Mali etc). And yeah they tend to have a looser curl pattern as well — type 3 kind of hair. If you put a bunch of Nigerians together you could definitely spot a northern girl. Lol wow I didn’t know it was the same in Ghana. Although I would say in the case of Nigeria, most northerners tend to be of fulani ethnicity. And fulani’s tend… Read more »

Christina
Christina
5 years ago
Reply to  4C

Yes,its funny How it is the Same in Nigeria.

I also find it funny how african americans who have Never been to african and dont know Anything about it Point at “Full-blooded” african women with long hair who are actually mixed themselves.

Every african knows the difference between Full blooded africans (with 4c hair) and Those with a history of Mixing.

Dont get me wrong,i love my hair too,but im also beeing realistic and accurate when its coming to historical facts (in contrast to Most americans ;)).

OXxo
OXxo
5 years ago
Reply to  Christina

The only ethnic groups that are “pure” are the uncontacted tribes that you find in South America. Every ethnic group from Africa has mixed, and some of that mixing started long before slavery and colonisation.

Nappy4ever
Nappy4ever
5 years ago
Reply to  Christina

whoa…

Secret87
Secret87
5 years ago
Reply to  good2bfree

Right I did the experiments and almost became broke where I couldn’t afford a taco bell meal one day. Ok what are you doing? It seems many are in denial about dna and hair. I took your advice and went on YouTube. Not all Africans are pure racially blk. Like ethopian people will have long unkinky hair, and their features are different too. They look
Like a black and a india person got together. Ghana people I have to look into their background.

AdinaKay
AdinaKay
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

*gives this comment the side eye*

Smlisley
Smlisley
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

Another factor preventing your hair from thriving could be underlying health conditions (see your doctor) or lifestyle choices (unhealthy diet, lack of water intake etc.). If you take care of the inside it will show on the outside.

Toniette
Toniette
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

How many years HAVE you been trying?My hair grows slower than average but even then it didn’t take more than 3 years to get to shoulder length. You might think about seeing a dermatologist and getting a checkup. More often than not the problem is internal and health related.

Alicia
Alicia
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

Step 1.) Learn your hair. Step 2.) Understand your texture and type. It doesn’t have to be exact. Step 3.) Figure out what’s best for YOUR hair. Everyone’s hair is different. Step 4.) Experiment. If it works keep doing if it doesn’t? Stop and try something else until it works. Step 5.) Make a regimen that works for YOU!! Once again this is about you, not about anyone else. Worry about your hair and only your hair!! Step 6.) Learn to love and accept your hair type for what it is and learn to work with it. Don’t force your… Read more »

Rae Johansen
Rae Johansen
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

i thought sera2544 is from sierra leone? and geraldine the great from nigeria? and fusion of cultures also from the west side of the continent? and au curls naturelle is from the continent as well? these are youtubers i speak of. and there’s a good number of others, too. i have type 3 hair but if i don’t take meticulous care of my hair, it won’t get past BSL without lookin raggedy and me having to cut it back to shoulder length.

Rose
Rose
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

Woman, you need to stop. Black women grow long hair. YOU don’t know how to grow YOUR hair. Stop making these silly comments like: “I believe even if you do lean more to African dna your hair may not, but
only in looks. Thats why you have some who are dark skinned with long
flowing afro textured hair.”

LoveIt
LoveIt
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

So just because people get frustrated because they cant grow their hair long fast enough, every black women who has long hair must have white ancestors now??? Come on, we all get frustrated at times, but just assuming black women with long hair have all white ancestors is a bit of a stretch.

lecia p
lecia p
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

Pure raced”??? U sound like the Aryan Nation…As dangerous as their purifucation & separtist theories are, hearing this from another black woman to another blk woman is sad to say the least. i feel sorry for you.

Secret87
Secret87
5 years ago
Reply to  lecia p

Im not pro pure race in that way. I’m being honest about why its hard for me and many other black women to grow our hair. I met a stranger at the beauty store and she mentioned why she don’t come to this site is because she tried. We all tried. And hair pretty much the same years later.

Camille
Camille
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

I don’t see why she didn’t just answer the question. The woman doesn’t need to be lectured about the fact that non-mixed black women can grow long hair. Why would she be looking for advice about how to grow her hair at all if she didn’t think it was possible? She was asking the author if SHE was one of those women, or if her hair is long because that’s what runs in her family.

Zainab
Zainab
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

Nappilynigeriangirl.blogspot.com Natural Nigerian. Lushstrands. Google them. I dont know how much more ‘black’ you want to get, but they are it and they have all have long, healthy hair.

Olamide
Olamide
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

*le sigh* this conversation is getting boring as hell.

Pure” Africans bloggers with LONG hair

JoStylin — Nigerian
BeautiFroHair — Nigerian
FusionofCultures — Ghanaian (and Egyptian I think)
Geraldine the Great — Nigerian
Girlslovecurls — Ghanaian
Cookie’s Real Hair Care — Nigerian
AuCurls Naturelle — South African (but I think she is half Ghanaian and something else)
Latifatumi — Nigerian
Chinwe — Nigerian

Please feel free to add to this list.

O.l
O.l
5 years ago

In the beginning we all came from Africa, evolution has played a major part in how whites, Asians, Africans and everyone in between came to be what they are today. Technically we’re all African and all related we all share 99.9% of the same DNA that 1% makes you, you. Color was made up a long time ago to keep us against each other. Wish more people would open there eyes to this. Some peoples hair grows faster or slower than others, it has nothing to do with color of skin.

Lola
Lola
5 years ago
Reply to  O.l

I wish I could give you a thousand likes! I take umbridge that she mentioned that it is scientifically proven that afro-textured hair is more prone to breakage. Who did they study? What origins did they have? How is that possible when the original DNA is the dominate DNA? Can DNA replicate to make itself stronger????

Manestream Beauty
Manestream Beauty
5 years ago

Your second point made me think of this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4A6Bu96ALOw

Cygnet
Cygnet
5 years ago

That is hilarious! I had to watch it a few times :-). Wonder who she heard say that .…

Manestream Beauty
Manestream Beauty
5 years ago
Reply to  Cygnet

I wondered the same thing too. She is so spirited and determined to get it done all by herself. It always amazes me when young children exhibit strong character traits.

LBell
LBell
5 years ago

This has got to be one of the most adorable things ever in LIFE! 😀 To the subject: Frankly I’ve lost patience with folks who are still holding on to these antiquated and ignorant ideas. People really think my wash day lasts a whole day and when I tell them I can go from 0 to 100 in under 90 minutes they act like I’m crazy. And nobody would ever look at me and say I have “European ancestry” even though it’s been demonstrated that the vast majority of AAs who are descended from enslaved Africans have some European ancestry.… Read more »

Cygnet
Cygnet
5 years ago

Regarding point #1—and maybe even #2: Any Urban Bushbabe followers around? I was looking at some of Elle’s old vlog posts from 2011 when I saw one by Cipriana linked to the end of one of Elle’s. I remembered Cipriana’s side bun that was larger than the head it grew out of, and I checked to see if she was still posting. I found some vlog posts of her and a twin I didn’t know she had. So I started watching. The post I saw was Cipriana interviewing her twin. In it, Cipriana informed her intended audience that, although she… Read more »

Shaniqua L.
Shaniqua L.
5 years ago
Reply to  Cygnet

Very well said.

Mzjewels
Mzjewels
5 years ago

I really loved this. ”Are you mixed?” Isn’t the question behind everything. The email is almost sorta self hating or attacking. Black women can be beautiful without being ”exotic”

Autumn Blue
Autumn Blue
5 years ago
Reply to  Mzjewels

I know! She kept pushing how sure she was that she had to be mixed and how you can only grow long hair if you’re mixed.

hmm
hmm
5 years ago

It’s one thing to feel insecure, but to be willing to drag everyone else down because of it? Ok. You’ve had trouble keeping your length. That’s a personal insecurity. If you just comfort yourself with lies trying to act like all the black women on this site are secretly biracial, you’re never going to have the right attitude to fix your problem. I wish people would stop stomping on their own people as an excuse to avoid getting their crap together.

Secret87
Secret87
5 years ago

Not just me, but many black women. Lets be honest about things. I knew a dark skinned girl with natural green eyes. Are we now going to act like thats the norm for us too? I took all these tips from this site and I just braided and moistured my short hair. I finger combed it in very cold shower water I never use heat. Yet I heard crack, pop, creeeeeep, snap of my thick short pro African hair. I do it all and don’t get me started on the oil treatments. This site almost cost me and a friend… Read more »

Rachou123
Rachou123
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

You and your friend should probably seek help, and stop trying to do what works for others. I know for a fact my mum is what you pathetically call “pure black” as she is camerooneese as are all her ancestors, and she is growing her very coily hair naturally very well, because she took (and still takes) the time to experiment and learn how to care for HER hair and what works for it. You can carrying on with your pointless questions, but if you don’t take responsibilities for your own shortcomings and mistakes, the only hair journey you’ll hinder… Read more »

Andi
Andi
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

You don’t need a hair site. You need a history book and a mental health professional (preferably of color). Stop obsessing about length, focus on hair health, and please stop buying into those slavery-era notions about blackness. Most of all, be proud of who YOU are. I’m someone who had short “pro-African” hair that does the things you say yours does. I rarely use heat (but I wouldn’t use very cold shower water to finger comb my hair, BTW, lukewarm is fine). I rarely straighten or flatiron. It’ is now shoulder length.. Stop obsessing about length, get regular trims, and… Read more »

Cygnet
Cygnet
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

“Crack, pop, creeeeeep, snap”—Are you pulling your fingers willy-nilly through your hair, or are you actually stopping to deal with tangles first? How, exactly, are you doing this? Replacing a hard, seamed comb with improper handling with your fingers is no less destructive to your hair just because you do it under running water. If your strands are “creeeeeeeeep“ing, that’s an indication to stop and see what is on the end of those strands. If there’s a knot there, either unravel it or cut it out before you stretch the strand to the point of “snap”. I know it’s frustrating!… Read more »

Rou
Rou
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

The problem is not that you can’t grow your hair. The problem you have is retaining the hair that you grow. Therefore, something in your haircare practice is off! You need to keep trying different things, until you find a regimen that works well for your hair type. The fact that it is breaking off so easily tells me that you may have fine, fragile hair, not thick hair. This means that you have to be extra careful with it or it will break off. Many women suffer from this issue and not all of them have super kinky hair.… Read more »

AdinaKay
AdinaKay
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

The only thing standing in your way is your attitude. Here is an African style icon with long hair that was featured on this website. Dark skin, kinky hair. Straight from the continent itself, so it is unlikely that she has any mix in her. She has long hair. Her name is Akosua:http://bglh-marketplace.com/2014/04/akosua-4c-natural-hair-style-icon/ Here is another African named Zeba: http://bglh-marketplace.com/2014/05/zeba-4bc-natural-hair-style-icon/ Here is another African named Chelsea:http://bglh-marketplace.com/2013/08/chelsea-4bc-natural-hair-style-icon/ Here is a Black Jamaican woman named Tori:http://bglh-marketplace.com/2013/06/tori-4bc-natural-hair-style-icon/ Here is another African woman named Felicia: http://bglh-marketplace.com/2013/06/felicia-4c-natural-hair-style-icon/ Here is another young woman named Jennifer, who actually has hip length hair:http://bglh-marketplace.com/2012/11/jennifer-4a3c-natural-hair-style-icon/ Here is another African woman… Read more »

blkdmnicn girl
blkdmnicn girl
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

I’ll burst your bubble here. My coworker is from Kenya. She has a long and explored family history. They have knowledge of at least 6 generations of family members. All Kenyan. Her hair is hip length. She has 2 sisters, both with minimum BSL hair. No Europeans in the mix. Long hair. Imagine that. Now go see a trichologist about your fine strands.

Shaniqua L.
Shaniqua L.
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

Ma’am, to me it sounds like your technique is all off. As someone else mentioned, if you’re still hearing your hair breaking, it is because you are breaking it. Rather than focus on length, you need to ask yourself if your hair is healthy. Length comes with health. Not the other way around. All hair and scalps need to be clean, moisturized, and relatively free of tangles. You need to examine those three areas and focus on what techniques, not products, you use to achieve all three. Technique trumps product every single time. You can have the best comb in… Read more »

OXxo
OXxo
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

Maybe you should have a look at your diet, exercise and general lifestyle. Seriously if you are short of vitamins and minerals — and it’s not the ones you expect and they aren’t generally in those hair vitamins- then your hair will not grow long. If you don’t exercise regularly then you will have poor circulation and will also be prone to eat badly. If you don’t sleep enough then your body including your hair will be under stress.

Nappy4ever
Nappy4ever
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

your regimen is the problem…

Secret87
Secret87
5 years ago

No the truth.

OXxo
OXxo
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

Your comment reminds me of when I was being stared at by a “Black fella” who wasn’t of African descend. I then met a few more who each had different types of hair.

Zainab
Zainab
5 years ago

I think a lot of people misunderstood her email. I think coming from and living in Nigeria which has a ton of women with natural and relaxed hair, it would be easy to fall into a pattern of thinking that the longest your hair could possibly grow is shoulder length. Before I started taking care of my hair, the farthest It went was neck and length and everyone believed it was genes that was the culprit. When you look around and everyone you see has short hair except the people you are mixed race, it doesn’t take long for you… Read more »

Afrobea
Afrobea
5 years ago
Reply to  Zainab

I agree with you. I’m Kenyan and despite all the evidence to the contrary, I still know a few people who don’t think ‘African’ hair can grow, pointing out that Black Americans don’t count because they’re ancestry is most likely mixed with other races. I am making it my personal mission to prove them.wrong! Also, I just want long hair 🙂

Thoughts
Thoughts
5 years ago
Reply to  Zainab

I completely agree with you. I too am Nigerian, born and raised in the states and it wasn’t until I stumbled across you tube and blogs that I realized that it’s possible for every person to retain length. To this day my mother still does not believe that. I’m trying to grow my hair long and retain length not only for my own personal gain but to also be an example to the rest of my Nigerian friends and relatives. I mean, it’s crazy. I’m fully Nigerian and I have other Nigerians telling me that my hair is “different”. It’s… Read more »

OXxo
OXxo
5 years ago
Reply to  Zainab

Her email just shows her ignorance about Black hair. With widening of internet access, and the proliferation of websites like this you expect not to get these type of emails and posts any more.

Dee
Dee
5 years ago

As a few others have posted, Black folks CAN have long hair if they find out which products work for them. Also eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water and using lots of raw products helps me.

If I haven’t found out about BGLH, I would not know much of anything about natural hair.

The only advice that I have for the lady who sent the email is this: Love your hair and it will love you back!

Ms. Vee
Ms. Vee
5 years ago

In a nutshell one cannot be fully black and be attractive, intelligent, living comfortably, posses long hair, straight teeth and fully functional organs. These attributes must be attributed to the magical caucasian leprechaun that all of us have in our distant ancestry.

#IDontArgueWithStupid

Secret87
Secret87
5 years ago
Reply to  Ms. Vee

Lol. Funny. Curious why mention whites? Other races exist too.

EllieLo
EllieLo
5 years ago
Reply to  Ms. Vee

Omg, I caaaaaaaaan’t!!!!!!!

Cathy0001
Cathy0001
5 years ago

I think the letter writer fell into the “hair crush” trap — If I do what she did I’ll get what she got. Unfortunately if you don’t know why your hair crush puts mayo in her hair (ie hair crush’s hair likes protein and your hair hates protein) you’ll have no idea why her regime doesn’t work for you. Therefore, crush must be hiding that “good hair”.

Point is, people need to learn that your hair’s not supposed to be dry, brittle and breaking off when you touch it. Take care of that and you’re on your way.

Tieasha S.
Tieasha S.
5 years ago

I’m at a lost at the content in the email. May as well asked for your SSN so she could do a full on background check! When the focus is so centered on another, obsession sets in. Although the intentions may have been innocent, the end result felt anything but. It’s one thing to ask questions that lead to knowledge & a better understanding of hair in general, helping to maintain your hair but this did not strike me as that. As with finger prints, every mane is different & will flourish as such. The main focus should be learning… Read more »

J.Nicole
5 years ago

Maybe it was answered already ( just can’t read through 40-something comments) but is this person in the email even Black? Is this person playing with a full deck of cards? Maybe English isn’t the 1st language, but that’s still no excuse. I’m just at a lost for words that someone still thinks Black women cannot grow hair unless they’re of mixed race. It actually caused me to have a headache that people like this exist. Even if you’re from some area where the majority of Black women (%100 Black- depending of course how you classify that) have short hair,… Read more »

herlucidsky
5 years ago

Check out sera2544 on youtube. Before cutting her hair she shared her entire hair journey from bald to beyond waist length on her fotki album. Also check out DuchessBabrielle who is also on youtube. She recently big chopped a second time to embark on another hair journey with her younger sibling who just decided to go natural. There are a few other youtubers like Jostylin, Lolascurls but I cannot remember all of their names. Do thorough research, ask questions and learn your hair. Also, be open to trying out different healthy hair care practices and don’t give up. Keep in… Read more »

Secret87
Secret87
5 years ago
Reply to  herlucidsky

Thank you.….
not a fan of the big chop to be honest.

herlucidsky
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

You are very welcome 🙂 It’s alright, you don’t have to like the big chop, it’s not for everyone.

I really hope you figure things out so that you can unlock the true potential of your natural hair! As long as you have a healthy mind and body, it can be done!! Keep us updated!

herlucidsky
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

Oh and check out Geri GeraldinetheGreat on youtube as well. Very inspirational.

lis
lis
5 years ago

Man these comments, including my own.…it’s as if this lady with her email and secret87 called into question Black women’s womanhood or something and then I realized for some Black women maybe they did.…..I mean so what if some black women can’t grow long hair, due to genetics or other reasons, natural or otherwise…does this mean black women aren’t women or even human?.…so what?…what is wrong with short natural hair? Some women prefer it. Now I know Black women are under various pressures..and there is this notion for some of competition for Black male affection with white , and various… Read more »

Secret87
Secret87
5 years ago
Reply to  lis

I perfer long hair. Not for a man or blk men.

lis
lis
5 years ago
Reply to  Secret87

Ok. I hear and feel you…but if it doesn’t happen all I’m saying is short natural hair won’t stop you from success, happiness, love, or beauty. Good luck to you babes.

lecia p
lecia p
5 years ago

i just cant! I cant. If secret87 hairs is “pop & crack” when she tends to it then thats called FRAGILE! There are “pure” african women bloggers who have/had fragile hair and they learned how to TLC their hair. Some ppl have longer hair than others bc they retain the length. If it was all about ancestry than even if several bloggers admitted to mixed ancestry, tell me why dont they all have tailbone hair like some? why do some have midback and others have shoulder length? If its all about that “miracle DNA” you are so obessed with then… Read more »

Secret87
Secret87
5 years ago
Reply to  lecia p

My hair use to be at my shoulders, but was forced to get a perm, it takes more care and effort to grow our hair vs other races who don’t have tight curls thats the honest truth. I want to give fake hair a break, but not going outside with a short fro like Florida Evens. A big fro yes, long fro yes.

AdinaKay
AdinaKay
5 years ago

In other words.…. you enjoy torturing yourself with fairytales? Suddenly, I’m inundated with visions of a Black woman with short hair, crying and eating a tub of ice cream in front of her laptop late at night in the dark while browsing this site. She’s screaming, “WHY CAN’T IT BE ME!!!! SCREW ALL YOU WOMEN WITH YOUR LONG HAIR AND YOUR NOT PURE BLACKNESS! OH DEAR LORD JESUS WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN MEEEEEE??????” Lol. But seriously. The millions of Black women you speak of are women who don’t know how to take care of their hair. They were never taught… Read more »

Cathy0001
Cathy0001
5 years ago

Besides that, what are you doing when you retouch your hair? You’re touching up new growth — so there’s proof right there how much and how fast your hair is growing. But every time you get a touchup your hairdresser says ‘blah, blah, blah’ about damage a lops off two inches.
There’s you’re problem.

Aliyah Morrison
Aliyah Morrison
5 years ago

Wow my grandma is fully black no European blood had long hair since she as in her 20’s . Her natural hair is mid back length when she keeps it stretched straightened . Also I am proud to have african blood European blood is an disgrace to me especially after our past with them . By the way I love your hair oh and my cousin is black and part Dominican not white and she had long hair all her life too. All my black and mixed woman have long hair except for me and my mom I cut my… Read more »

Hair Anomaly
Hair Anomaly
5 years ago

I had to read this 3 times because my brain was neither ready nor willing to process all of the buffoonery that was contained within that email. My first and last name are both Irish, but I’m as black and as American as they come, as are the last several generations of my family. My hair is a healthy, fast-growing mass of both kink and curl, but never have I had someone question my background or…I just don’t even know what to make of this. I wish I had a feasible recommendation for eradicating such nonsense. But, I’m afraid that,… Read more »

zainab
zainab
5 years ago

Thank you.

Rou
Rou
5 years ago

Asking an African American to tell you about her/his racial background is almost fruitless, since many of us have lost our family history to slavery. Many things were undocumented and family members told lies about our ancestry to cover up the shame of rape. So, if you want to know their full racial background, good luck with that! Why don’t you find a so called, “pure African” and follow their haircare practices. Otherwise, stop complaining and accept your own hair type. There is nothing wrong with your hair! If you take care of it, it should be healthy. I met… Read more »

Naven
Naven
5 years ago

Well said.

Rou
Rou
5 years ago

Also, the type of water you have in your area could cause hair issues. I used to live in a State that had decent water and my hair had no problems. Now, I live in an area where the water is hard and my hair has been suffering because of it. I have to change up my hair regimen to factor in the hard water issue. I had to do extra things to get the mineral deposits out of my hair, before it ruins all my hard work. There are so many environmental and health issues that can affect your… Read more »

Alicia
Alicia
5 years ago

Why is this still an issue?!?! Good lord are we still ignorant and have these stigmas about black hair? What on earth is it going to take for people to realize that your name has nothing to with your hair/ color. I have a French last name, it does not mean I have french in me. My mom is black, my dad is black, I am black end of the story.

bsbfankaren
bsbfankaren
5 years ago
Reply to  Alicia

And yet you have to know there are women who troll YouTube insisting to vloggers they are biracial, and no matter what the vlogger says they still believe it solely based on hear length.

Chel
Chel
5 years ago

Would it have killed her to spell ‘you…’

Lena
Lena
5 years ago

Damn. The girl is obviously not educated and doesn’t know much about hair in general. But some of these comments are just… mean.

Secret87
Secret87
5 years ago

Everyone is getting real upset. Your comment was the most understanding. Wish I could give you a thousand thumbs up.

brlbeleza
brlbeleza
5 years ago

The young subscriber sadly has bought into the idea that kinky/coily hair doesn’t grow to certain lengths without the ‘genetic assist’ of European genes. Frankly, I did too for a long time (I pined for hair like the women in Jhirmack commercials and my mom always told me that black hair wouldn’t grow but so long so I should manage my expeciations). My hair never grew past BSL when I was relaxed. Thankfully so many naturals document their journey on youtube! Watching videos completely disabused me of that FALSE notion. I cut my teeth on Kimmaytube and Shimahair vids and… Read more »

Thoughts
Thoughts
5 years ago

I agree, we’ll said!

Helena Showell
Helena Showell
5 years ago

I’m 59. I now have waist-length beautiful locs that I now wear semi-freeform. I started my hair journey at the age of 45 with pretty and short 2‑strand twists. With much care, research, patience, prayer, and hard work, I possess a crown of glory today! My 80-year old mom has been so amazed, as she often told me that I had short hair and associated me with short hair (and that I had my paternal grandma’s “short hair), and, at one point, asked my husband and I at separate times, if I was wearing extensions! lol. I grew sick of… Read more »

FILTHIER
FILTHIER
5 years ago

All my Nigerian clients have really thick long and strong hair. And I am mixed.…their hair makes my hair look like fuzz on a baby bird booty. #dropsmic

Lola
Lola
5 years ago

I actually don’t blame this subscriber too much. I mean my own mother who has lived through doing my massive head of hair till I was 14 until I first relaxed it. Then it broke off since I didnt know how to take care of it on my own, then I learnt how to, then I stopped and it broke off again. At this point my mother was convinced that my hair will NEVER grow inspite of the fact that she has seen it grow and break time and time again in its natural state. So two years ago I… Read more »

Camille
Camille
5 years ago

that last line tho… BOOM!

Tife
Tife
5 years ago

That’s ridiculous you know there are actually Hamtic ethnic groups who are from the Nile region specifically down to Uganda. African Americans those who got to the Americas through the trans Atlantic slave trade are not Hamtic most of the people brought over as slaves came from the region of W. Africa, C.Africa and today’s Angola. Seriously when you say African Americans are Hamtic you are erasing real Hamtic people. African Americans are not Hamtic, stop just stop. It’s obvious you don’t know much about Africa or it’s very many people’s whatever obsession you have with your Hebrew Israelite rubbish… Read more »

Christina
Christina
5 years ago

You know that coastal nigerian tribes historically mixed with the British emperors in contrary to coastal ghanaian tribes for example? Therefore many nigerians DO have mixed ancestry (You Even find many with Freckles and light skin),as have northern ghanaians who are mixed with arabs (auch as Fusion of cultures).
So do your homework!
Full blooded african women DO have 4c hair!

Christina
Christina
5 years ago

Black American People,because of their history.

Please Think
Please Think
5 years ago

Secret87 is either a troll or someone who needs psychological counseling services. Either way please do not get caught up in arguing with a mentally unstable person.

guest
guest
5 years ago

One question for everyone here bashing the girl who wrote the E‑Mail: WHO OF YOU ACTUALLY HAS LONG 4B/C HAIR?!?!?
Probably not one of these women here being bitchy who only got their knowledge from pictures from this site of allegedly non-mixed women (most of whom every African would call “mixed” or “colored”).

I have 4b hair myself but I never saw a woman with LONG type 4b/c hair IN PERSON!

more
more
5 years ago
Reply to  guest

I saw just one person with long 4c hair. The rest wehre mixed in person

more
more
5 years ago

I wont lie i be wanting to know a persons genetic makeup before i take advice once i see that there hair is 3s or 4a than i know they have some sort of admixture. Reality is African hair is very delicate making it harder to grow vs curly or straight hair which hair type tends to be from European or Hispanic decent. People just don’t want to admit it,. That other hair types have an easier time growing sorry if that reality offends anyone but i still love my hair though

more
more
5 years ago

Thank you ! people just dont like to hear the truth.

@bridgetc_lee
@bridgetc_lee
5 years ago

NOT everyone will have hair down to their butt. WHY is does it matter? NOT all of us will have straight noses or light skin or thin lips BUT that is OK while it seems there is still a stigma to NOT having long hair.

Yas
Yas
5 years ago

I gather there is this mistaken impression in Africa that all African-Americans were mixed with European blood at some point in slavery. It is simply not the case. The African-American was, for the most part, bred like cattle during slavery– not with Europeans (though that did happen, rapes, etc), but largely with other Africans. This is fact– easily discoverable with a quick trip on the internet. So the question really is why do Africans still think we’re so different? Just because my body is in the Americas doesn’t mean my DNA can’t be traced back to the Motherland. The point… Read more »

Ajah
Ajah
5 years ago

That is just dumb. My family name is Spanish. Ok waaaaaaay down many generations I’m Spanish, but I’m also a mixture of other ethnic backgrounds, but my hair is thick mostly 4a, so why the heck is your background such an issue? I am so embarrassed for her. Girl just do your hair. If you like her technique and it works for you then use it; it doesn’t make you any less black. “Please send me a picture so I know your African”… Are you serious?! Crying shame. I have picked up some haircare regimens and products from non Africans… Read more »

OXxo
OXxo
5 years ago
Reply to  Ajah

Family surname and your genes can have nothing to do with each other thanks to colonisation and slavery.

herlucidsky
5 years ago

Well, all I can say to this person is that, no matter what you are, you have the ability to grow your hair longer than you expect. You just have to have patience, be open minded and continue to explore different techniques and products until you figure it out. It may not be mid back or waist length hair due to one’s genetic make up and or terminal length(if you believe in that) but as long as you are healthy and apply both gentle and healthy hair care practices, you can maintain a head full of beautiful healthy hair no… Read more »

Secret87
Secret87
5 years ago

Millions of bw agree with me. I will continue lurking and use this site as make believe. I go outside and see natural short haired bw or long haired bw with extensions. Once I met one with long hair, but she was creole. Im done trying to be honest. Drops the mic.

Camille
Camille
5 years ago

I can understand what the letter writer was asking about, even if it was worded badly. I can’t speak for every girl in the 3 range, but in general we don’t have to “grow” our hair. I was really confused about the whole length emphasis in the natural movement. My hair is long because it’s long. I’ve never sealed my ends, wrapped my hair, slept on a satin pillow case or protective styled. I love an elaborate hair routine as much as the next girl, but my hair more or less looks the same no matter what I do. It’s… Read more »

lis
lis
5 years ago

Aww.. don’t be too hard on her..Sometimes the pressures on Black women make some loopty.

African-queen
African-queen
5 years ago

I always hear west african girls in Europe telling me that they can’t grow their hair. Some of them even tell me that I can grow hair because I’m East African, that means I’m somehow mixed. And I swear, sometimes when I’m at their house I never once see them put oil on their hair or combing it. It’s so ridiculous.. How the fuck is your hair supposed to grow when you never put oil on it and always relaxing it.

NaturalLove
NaturalLove
5 years ago

I hope she knows you posted her full email online. Without her point of view and her knowing all this you posted us it seems like a rant. Yes people are ignorant but it didn’t seem it was something meant in a bad way. Her point seem more of “are you mixed, because if you are I don’t think what you say will work for me?” but in a more ignorant way and that’s it. Not much of if people of black ancestry can grow long hair or not. She wants someone she can relate to and for her someone… Read more »

elleroc
elleroc
5 years ago

I thought that email was some kind of joke! In my mind I’m thinking, (like the guy from the cartoon series Futurama!) ‘not sure if that is a complement or an insult,’ insert side eye here! I wanted so bad to correct the grammar of that email (librarian and a nerd here, don’t judge). I think we have a long way to go to get over the hurdles of self/hair loathing in our communities…

Denise Nicholson
Denise Nicholson
5 years ago

Let that person know, there are two sets of Black People, the descendants of HAM, who are called Africans, and the descendants of SHEM, who are the Hebrew Israelites, who the world calls African American, and if you stood us together, side by side you could not tell the difference.

Autumn Blue
Autumn Blue
5 years ago

That was the stupidest email I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t help but cringe every time she used ‘u’, instead of you. What annoyed me most was her lack of knowledge. There are only three reasons as to why the miscomisconception that black people can not gow long hair. 1.They choose to keep it short. 2.That is the longest their hair can grow, due to genetics. And 3.They do not take care of their hair and are unable to retain length. These 3 things apply to everyone, regardless of your ethnicity and because many black people use relaxers and other harmful… Read more »

smh
smh
5 years ago

this site has been infiltrated by trolls but yall continue to engage with them. k

Lola
Lola
5 years ago

Believe me when I say many black women still believe that it’s impossible for black women to have long hair . Especially in Africa. I live in South Africa and when I told my friends that I wanted to grow my hair to waist length they said that would be impossible unless I’ve always had long hair which I haven’t . I’ve now started growing my hair and even if I manage to get to waist length, their explanation for it growing is because I’m from West Africa. So because I’m not from South Africa it makes sense that I… Read more »

Ahappysista
Ahappysista
5 years ago

Black women can and do grow hair to extreme lengths, we just have to get rid of the chemicals to do it. It is far easier to do naturally. Also, it is a myth that ALL white people have straight hair, believe me people, it is a myth!!!!! Many, many white women and men use perms to straighten their hair and the rest use flat irons and blow dryers to straighten their hair. Look at pictures from back when there were no blow dryers or flat irons or curling irons. They used to iron their hair on ironing boards!!! I… Read more »

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