Solange Knowles has been clear that she doesn’t want to be viewed as a representative for natural hair. The singer first spoke out when critics slammed her hair type and styling, saying she’s “not like other 4C’s” and “needs a twistout.” The backlash prompted Solange to respond on Twitter: “I never painted myself as the team natural vice president.”
Immediately, folks pointed out that Solange’s statement is at odds with her role as a spokesperson for hair and beauty brand, Carol’s Daughter. And even that position had its detractors as people believed the company couldn’t champion diversity while employing three lighter-skinned women in its campaign.
Now, Solange has stepped away from it all. She tells Lurve Magazine she is no longer working with Carol’s Daughter, and it’s because they couldn’t see eye-to-eye on messaging: “I was constantly fighting for the right message to be heard. The message that the way we wear our hair is a personal choice, there’s no right or wrong way.”
She also admits that she did not know a lot about hair typing: “I really, truly was not even aware that there was a natural hair system in place to measure the texture of your hair. At that point I thought to myself, ‘This is really crazy. That these people know more about my hair than the human that even carries it!’ I went to my Twitter and sort of impulsively expressed that. I don’t regret it one bit, but sometimes trying to put how you feel in an one-hundred forty character structure is not really successful. [...] I’m actually really trying to navigate my feelings on the entire hair issue and it’s tough doing that publicly.”
There are many naturals, and companies for that matter, that believe there’s a right way to wear natural hair. Looser curl patterns are put on a pedestal and products and style techniques are offered to achieve the look.
I think it’s brave that Solange doesn’t subscribe to that way of thinking, even if people don’t love the way she styles her hair. Afterall, like she says, it’s a personal choice.