Unlaid Edges Sparks Controversy

Is unkempt hair classless? As of recently, Black Twitter launched a debate on this topic. The premise: natural hair that is untamed is classless. 

This post further went to say that if your edges aren’t laid and hair isn’t combed you are also ratchet. 

What does that mean? Does it mean that what grows naturally from our heads is automatically deemed classless and that we need to tailor ourselves in order to meet a social class in order to be accepted?

In the effort to not get too “pro black” right now, I’ll say this: don’t let others define your class. Class is an adjective that describes action and is usually put into place buy others that exhibit those same attributes. Segmenting by class is simply to say you’re not a part of the cool kids or you don’t fit.

Let’s really break this down. Afros usually require lots of moisture, picking, some sheen and you can go about your day. But, everyone can’t do an Afro across all races. So with that, to say that those with Afros are classless and those without have class moves us directly into a race conversation. Take into consideration the dread lock. This hairstyle absolutely requires that you do not comb ever, LITERALLY ever. And based on our above assumption that unkempt hair is classless does that mean everyone with dreadlocks lacks class? I can think of several people that debunk those assumptions: Whoopi Goldberg, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Lauren Hill, the list goes on. 

Let’s also unpack hair textures that we don’t consider course. For example a 3a or b texture. What happens when those hair textures aren’t kept neat? For example, the messy bun? Is that also classless?
What I think happens here, and I’ll be very honest, when we start to talk about what we define as class and ratchet we start to unpack notions about ourselves and stereotypes that have been placed on us. The definition of class is subjective and can change over time based on situations. And to definitively say that class is automatically associated with how one’s hair is combed is a disservice to those who have different hairstyles. Hair is not controlled by what others think it should be nor is it the definition of a person. It is simply expression of something that is natural to oneself. And as long as you carry yourself with poise and dignity you have class. Anyone that says otherwise is wrong.