From twist-outs to wash-n-gos, black hair care is important to the Black identity. The Princeton community finds unique ways to bring students together to celebrate black hair and culture. For Black History Month, the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality + Cultural Understanding hosts a multitude of events; everything from panel discussions to community dinners designed to honor black culture. “Curlchella” was one of the events that I attended and participated in. Curlchella is an event that is dedicated to promoting self-care, with a specific emphasis on the ways in which black students can take care of themselves. The event features black barbers for haircuts, a DIY shea butter table, and includes skin, make up, and hair care stations. This is an important event to me as a black woman because it allows me to interact with other knowledgeable people about care that is particular to my hair and my skin.
I collaborated with a friend to work the protective hairstyle and natural hair care station. We taught interested students the ins and outs of hair porosity, density and texture. We educated attendees on different hair care routines and the importance of using essential oils and wide tooth combs. Finally, we also instructed students on how to do protective hairstyles like Marley twists and box braids. The event was a great experience as it allowed students to connect with each other through their hair. I enjoyed speaking about wearing my silk bonnet because I basically live in it on campus.
I’m so excited to attend a school like Princeton where we have the space to talk about things that matter to the black community. It is especially important to have opportunities to learn more about black hair as it can be a controversial conversation as shown by the recent passage of the Crown Act. Black hair is kinky, beautiful, defined, but also undefinable. Having these conversations at Princeton is essential to my growth. These are the kinds of events that I find to be irreplaceable in black culture and necessary to continue to support Princeton’s focus on diversity.