You may have heard about colourism, but have you heard about texturism?  

By Thina Dlamini 

Texturism is discrimination and prejudice based on a person’s hair texture. This usually happens within the black race particularly dark skinned women and girls. 

Texturism is similar to colourism, however this one only deals with hair texture although at times they go hand in hand.

It is important that the black community, particularly us black South Africans, have an open and honest dialogue about texturism so that the next generation doesn’t go through the same trauma we went through. 

The Natural Hair Movement encourages black women to keep their hair free from relaxers which have dangerous chemicals.

Due to lack of representation, black women are forced to adapt to Eurocentric views such as straightening and relaxing hair instead of embracing their own natural hair. 

Another reason for this is that black women’s hair is seen as unkempt and non-professional. 

Six years ago there was a petition to get Beyonce and Jay-z to maintain their daughters’ hair, since some people saw it as being unkempt.

Texturism can leave black girls feeling as if their hair isn’t good because of societal norms. This why they resort to wearing weaves and wigs not knowing that their hair is beautiful and it defies gravity. 

Type 4 hair can be styled in many different ways from twist out to Bantu knots, to leaving it as an afro or putting it into afro puffs no matter the case may be they still look beautiful. 

Texturism can impact the mental health of a person, leaving them feeling unworthy and can also diminish their self-worth and self-esteem which can also lead to substance abuse. 

It is important for black women to love their god given hair. This way they don’t feel the need to perm their hair or to relax every two months and to not feel ashamed of their “nappy” (kinky) hair.  

Natural hair is beautiful in dreadlocks, afro or in braids – let’s learn to love hair. 

Texturism and colourism are major problems in the black community which definitely need fixing. 

You may be asking yourself what is colourism? Colourism is the discrimination of a person’s skin tone which usually takes place within the black community. 

People who have lighter skin tend to be favoured over people with darker skin which causes friction between the two skin tones. 

This can lead to an inferiority complex making a person want to bleach their skin just so they can have a lighter complexion. 

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