Hair is a sensitive topic for black women. Nowhere has this been more evident than the events of the past few weeks where critics slammed an Olympian for her hairstyle and then slammed the media for reporting on it. But there is also a lot of positive dialogue when it comes to black hair like the celebration of the many diverse and varied ways we style it.

From Sanya Richard-Ross’ golden strands to Allyson Felix’s slicked-back ponytail to Serena Williams’s curly locks, there was no shortage of unique styles on display at the Olympics.

One thing we didn’t see significantly represented though was natural hair. The natural hair movement has exploded in recent years, being recognized by filmmakers, photographers, journalists and major beauty corporations yet it was noticeably absent from the Olympic games.

To be fair, Danielle Scott-Arruda and Maya Lawrence wore braided looks, Amber Campbell and Brittney Reese showed off their long locs and Lia Neal let her natural hair flow in a curly style. But where were the coils, ‘fros, twist-outs, Bantu-knot outs and braidouts?

It’s interesting that most Olympic athletes are opting out of natural hair. Since natural hairstyles are conducive for active lifestyles, as you can sweat freely without worrying about edges, you would think it’d be embraced more readily by athletes.

Whether a woman is relaxed or natural is her personal choice and no style is better than the other. And the primary focus of these games is each woman’s athletic prowess and extraordinary achievements, not her hair. But it would’ve been nice to see a wider variation of textures at the Olympic games.

What say you, Clutchettes? Why do you think Olympic athletes are opting out of natural hairstyles?

-Jaclyn Marshall

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  • I love Sanya’s weave and the hair choices of many of the runners with the braid in the front. Most of the women are beautiful! There hair choices fit them… who cares if they’re natural? SMH.