Coco and Creme: Work it Out: Is Your Hair Holding You Back From Your Health?

February 07, 2011


In the morning you jump on your laptop and, even before opening up your personal email, you begin scrolling up and down your daily blogs. As you get your fill of celeb gossip you begin to admire the perfect curves of your fave celebs. After repeating your morning ritual for weeks and reminiscing on the days when you had a figure that Ms. Berry herself would have envied, you realize that this is going to be the day you stop daydreaming and do something about it.
Soon, you are focused and simply thrilled to achieve the perfect body. You plan out your calendar and decide to work out 2 hours a day for 3 days a week. You even hit up the Target around the corner from your apartment for some new work out wear. After all, just because you’re about to hit the treadmill doesn’t mean you can’t still look fly while burning calories.
The night before you kick off your “workout week,” you check the calendar and your mind quickly jumps ship. You realize it’s Sunday evening and your next hair appointment is not until next Friday after work. Office meetings, a friend’s dinner party, even a date with the cutie you’ve been eyeing for almost a month are all the commitments you have this week, and they begin to bombard your mind all at once. Almost justifying the fact that perfect hair is better than adding a couple of years on your life, your 3-4 day workout plan dwindles down to one, the Thursday before your Friday appointment. As ridiculous as this scenario might sounds, many women battle the fact of either having bone straight hair or a healthy heart.
From diabetes to high blood pressure, Black  women suffer from a variety of health issues that are becoming entirely too common in our community. The simple fact that Black women are not known for being healthy and fit is a concern that we need to change. I’m not saying that hair is the only reason we struggle with our health, but it is one of the unspoken reasons why some of our health suffers. Many women will allow their health to be in jeopardy in order to stretch an hairstyle for a couple of more weeks. Even though this subject seems extremely light hearted because it’s “just hair,” this is a major factor for some women of color and why they are not living a healthy lifestyle
We have to love ourselves so much that we do not allow the beauty, fashion or any other industry to determine our health and dictate how we live our lives. We have to take control over our health and find a solution. This is one of the many the reasons that numerous women transition to sporting their natural hair texture. If you rock your hair natural it is one of the best ways to truly embrace your workout routine without worrying about your hair. If you don’t want to jump ship and rock a natural ‘do, find a hairstyle such as braids, extensions or a style that protects your hair while you’re still able to work out and improve your health.
So go ahead and work it out!
-Ellisa Oyewo

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