Power is in the hair

Kenza, power is in the hair !

Kenza is an author, columnist, teacher and producer. She alternates valiantly between all these activities, and here she gives us the keys to her mantra: "Power is in the Hair"!

I'm lucky enough to have very ambitious hair, but I didn't always realise it. It's never been interested in pushing down to the ground, it's always aimed for the stars. While we've had a complex relationship over the years and through fashions, my hair mass has always been a central and singular part of me. We just had to understand a few things to get along:

1/ don't try to impose anything to my hair, my hair does it for me;

2/ inventing, tinkering, fiddling with your own beauty rituals for your curls; 3/ don't try to comb your hair at night before going to sleep like Wendy in Peter Pan, or you'll wake up looking like Angela Davis;4/ mourn the loss of dynamic coattails; in another life perhaps...5/ Beware of hairdressers like the plague;6/ realise the political significance of free hair in the public space;

Hair as a political object may be a debate we've grown tired of in the United States, a faraway land where the "nappy" live happily on Instagram (the nappy movement is the French name for the "natural hair movement", which was born in the United States in the 2000s and refers to black women who want to keep their frizzy hair), but on this side of the Atlantic it's a completely different story. If the ardour of Myriam Fares (Lebanese singer with curly hair) has undoubtedly helped to play down the curl for a generation brought up on the Pantene pro-V bottle, we Mediterranean women from the South, from the North, are still subject to a definition of beauty that doesn't suit us.

Doubly, caught between European and Arab criteria, these converge on the same definition of hair beauty: straight, smooth and silky hair, preferably long. As women with non-straight hair, we were taught that our natural version was not acceptable in society, that our hair was never really styled, that it didn't look serious at work, that it had to be straightened for a wedding and so on. So we had our hair straightened, tied, ironed, straightened, Japanese style, Brazilian style, keratin style...

While Pantene ads still work on my grandmother, who regularly asks me if it would be better if I straightened my hair "to keep the peace" - or rather, to keep her peace - things have certainly changed a lot since I was 15. In the media, in films and especially in music videos, but also in supermarkets with products dedicated to the care of our hair which, behind their invasive appearance, are in reality very fragile. Today, curls are increasingly worn, and little girls with curly hair no longer necessarily have to wear their hair up.

Power is in the hair !