Salon Tells Black Women to 'Straighten Up' Hair


The Hair Cuttery is not a member of the natural hair movement, it seems. Neal Carter spotted an ad clearly being targeted towards black women for a “Straightening Up” package in the window of the salon chain.

The Hair Cuttery website lists the same package, which includes a chemical relaxer, under their current promotions.

The issue is less that the Hair Cuttery has a hair straightening package—many black women choose to chemically straighten their hair and there is nothing wrong with that choice. The problem is that “straight hair” is really just coded language used to imply “attractive” and “appropriate.” Ads like these carry on the idea that in order to straighten up —to look tidy and presentable—a black woman must straighten her hair

Referring to a chemical relaxer as a “Straight ‘A’ Style” is yet another example of black beauty being rated on its proximity to whiteness.

The ad also sends the message to black women that the Hair Cuttery probably doesn’t have anyone to do your hair if you don’t want to straighten it.

Not long ago, Ciara posted a picture on Instagram wearing loc extensions. People Magazine predicted that with the singer’s upcoming “elegant” wedding, she would likely not keep the extensions. The assumption, as blogger Franchesca Ramsey pointed out, being that locs have no place in an elegant affair.

Luckily, someone at the Hair Cuttery seems to have recognized the issue once it was brought to their attention and they have agreed to remove the advertisement.

It is unclear if they will be removing all uses of the ad and if the entire promotion is being edited.

Once again the overwhelming message to black women is that wearing our hair the way it grows out of our heads is somehow unkempt and less beautiful—that our hair is only presentable when it conforms to white standards.

Image via Shuttershock and @KamTheLeo

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