Daily Archives: January 8, 2015

Is your hair preventing you from working out?

Since Madam CJ Walker invented her hair straightening products, working out and hair has been a matter of conflict for many in the black community. The time and pain experienced when straightening the hair, meant reverting back too soon wasn’t an option. Parents would  warn their little girls to look after their hair and preserve the style for as long as possible. Even playing outside and running around could pose a threat to the hair.  In an 1982 Ebony article, reader Pam Proctor recounts the many missed opportunities to swim or participate in sports for fear of her hair “going back”.  Then came the years of relaxers, which are still going on til this day.  Some believe in the idea of sweating out the perm. Stereotypes of black women not participating in swimming have existed for the longest time. There are always exceptions to the rule, but many of these stereotypes started because of hair.