Wearing black hair naturally is beautiful‚ says actress Florence Masebe

29 August 2016 - 16:13 By Katharine Child


Black women need to start telling each other how beautiful they are‚ says actress Florence Masebe‚ who no longer chemically relaxes her hair. South African Actress and Muvhango star Masebe‚ has been called a "hobo" on twitter for having natural hair.Speaking at a Department of Science and Technology event in Pretoria on The Legacy of Apartheid on Black Image held on Monday morning‚ she said she shouldn't have had to "learn" to accept her hair.The event has coincided with a protest at Pretoria Girls High School after school rules banned pupils from wearing their black hair naturally in Afros‚ because it allegedly was not neat enough.Pretoria Girls High protest about more than just black girls’ hair‚ says pupil’s guardianA parent at Pretoria Girls High School says the issue at the school is not just about hair‚ but about “plain racism”. Masebe who was the face of Black Like Me products no longer uses chemicals to relax it."We have become so good at making black hair a problem. We have become so good at making black hair at something that must be fixed."Masebe told the audience: "I shouldn't have to think my hair must be fixed. I am ok. I was born beautiful with this hair. When I grow it‚ please don't tell me to tame it. If I choose to have it natural hair and not straighten it‚ don't ask if I am on budget."At the same event‚ UCT Dermatology Professor Nonhlanhla Khumalo said there was not a single hair straightening product on the market that was good for the skin. This is because they all use sodium hydroxide. She said: "There is no skin friendly relaxer. It doesn’t exist.”Khumalo pointed out that the first relaxer was used from 1877 and the main ingredient was sodium hydroxide‚ meaning the popular product has not advanced much in 100 years. She was visiting Princeton in the USA when an old man came to her and said he had a theory on why ingredients used to relax hair were more than 100 years old.He said: "Relaxers are dirt cheap to make and give huge profit margins. Black women don't seem to mind."Masebe said children shouldn’t have to fight to avoid using chemicals that burn and damage their skin: "Children are fighting at Pretoria Girls High School … not to put poison on their scalps."TMG Digital/The Times

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