Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Northeast Area hosts hair care event for Black History Month

Students+shared+their+experiences+and+struggles+with+their+hair+care+routine+at+the+Northeast+Area%E2%80%99s+%E2%80%9C%E2%80%98Hey+Boo%21%E2%80%99+Natural+Hair+Care+in+the+Halls%E2%80%9D+presentation.
Maya Schwartz/The Daily Northwestern
Students shared their experiences and struggles with their hair care routine at the Northeast Area’s “‘Hey Boo!’ Natural Hair Care in the Halls” presentation.

The Northeast Area hosted “‘Hey Boo!’ Natural Hair Care in the Halls,” a presentation about caring for natural Black hair in Northwestern’s residence halls on Monday evening. 

Attendees were encouraged to share their experiences and struggles with their hair care routines on campus. Many told stories of washing and styling their hair late at night in dorm bathrooms, struggling to find a space conducive to their routines. 

“When talking with Black students about natural hair care, and what that looked like in the residence halls, it was kind of like, ‘Well, we don’t really have a routine,’ or, ‘My routine has switched up,’ or, ‘I’m embarrassed to come out with my deep conditioning cap on’,” said Multicultural Student Affairs Assistant Director Sasha McKnight, who hosted the event. 

McKnight also invited conversation with students, asking attendees a range of questions about their hair care before and after coming to Northwestern. 

She asked them to speak about the people in their lives who have guided them and their hair routines. Some attendees talked about their mothers or grandmothers, who would spend hours every Sunday helping them make their hair look perfect for the week. 

McKnight also showed a video about celebrating naturally curly hair. The video discussed the pressure to use relaxers, which are generally used by people with tight curls to make hair easier to straighten. 

Audience members discussed how friends and family members encourage them to keep their hair straight to appear more “professional,” even though relaxers can weaken and damage their curls. Many said they are still learning to embrace their natural curls. 

Weinberg freshman Comfort Opafola said she wishes there were events for people from a greater variety of ethnic backgrounds, including Latine and Southeast Asian students. She also said she wants the University to hold events like this one outside of Black History Month.

“I feel like it’d be great if Northwestern considered diversity, and not just when we have specific months for diversity with Black History Month,” she said.

SESP sophomore Noelle Robinson said she appreciated the chance to talk with people who shared her experiences.

“I loved it,” she said. “I was really excited when I saw the event. I think natural hair is not something that we get to talk about a lot. The conversation was just very relatable.”

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