Natural Hair, Don’t Care
Cheerleading is great and exciting until about the week before competition and you’ve got to start thinking about what you’re going to do with your hair. Do you follow the #bigbowsandafros movement or the stereotypical look of a cheerleader; a slicked-up, teased ponytail? Well I can admit that I usually go for the slicked ponytail look and although I admire all the black queens who rock their ‘fros, I haven’t yet considered wearing my natural curls for competition. But who knows?
“Maybe in the near future you’ll see me posting competition pictures with my hair in an afro.“
When competing, teams aim to attain a uniformed look from head to toe. This is sometimes hard to achieve, especially when it comes to hair, as coaches have to consider our different hair types and lengths. Therefore, the easiest solution for this, so far, has been the slicked ponytail, where we can wear a hair piece, straightened hair or weave, so all athletes can have the same look. However, with the uniformity achieved, comes the restriction of not being able to have protective hairstyles such as Box Braids or Faux Locks, which have the purpose of aiding the growth and maintenance of natural hair. As we all should know, slicked hair does not last a long period of time; however, protective styles are often heavy which is not the easiest to compete with. So #NaturalHairDontCare … right?
“Our natural hair allows us to change styles “easily” and also look presentable for competitions.“
With more cheerleaders wearing their natural ‘fros to compete, hopefully more of us can be inspired to wear our natural hair for competition and everyone in the cheer world learns to love and embrace natural hair as much as we love the teased ponytail.
~ Marlene Twinomugisha, Marshals Cheer & Dance, UK