Natural Hairstyles

afro hair grow long?

Have you ever been asked can afro hair grow long at your job by a colleague that is not African American? I sure have on many occasions when I was in the corporate work force. They couldn’t believe my natural hair was long without clip on extensions or weave. Now a friend of mine has experienced this same insult.

Here is the exact way it was said.

I didn’t know that black people could grow hair that long, I thought you had to have weave.

Don’t worry I remained calm. However it did upset me because the individuals truly believed that what they were saying was true. I can’t believe that there are people in the 21st century that still think this way as if they have never seen a movie or picture from the 70’s.

Before relaxers became really heavy in the black hair industry all you saw for the most part was long natural hair in the form of an afro.

So if you have never had this problem or if you encounter something similar in the future, direct that person to this post.

If you can’t do that Google a 1970’s black film and asked them what do they mean.

Get Naturally Crowned T-Shirt

About the author

thirsty roots®

Our goal is to share the beauty of Afro-textured hair and to have a place where we can come together to get examples, advice, and information of black hair growth and hairstyles. Whether you have permed, pressed, or natural hair it's still black hair and it's beautiful.


  • I have heard people of other races make that statement and I shake my head at them, but I understand where they are coming from because some African Americans believe the same thing. If our own people don’t believe that we can have long hair how can I get mad at someone else from another race who has that same belief. Its up to us to change that misconception but sadly right now its not enough of us willing to take the time to Love our natural hair until it flourishes. Thats why this website is so great,it has a wealth of information that can educate us on our hair and what to do to achieve healthy long natural hair.

  • “If our own people don’t believe that we can have long hair how can I get mad at someone else from another race who has that same belief.”

    Yeah, I totally didn’t think black hair could grow passed shoulder length unless they were ‘mixed’ with something else (granted i believed this when i was younder…like pre-11 grade & i obviously failed to realized that most black people are mixed anyways).

    So, i totally agree with Essie. How can I be mad?

  • not to make excuses, b/c i do agree that your coworker is ignorant. but they probably were thinking of vertical length in regards to straight hair, such as what you would see beyonce rocking on the red carpet or in concert. b/c anyone who isnt aware of massive afros, such as those displayed in those photos, must be living under a rock. i just think that because afros are more volume-oriented, people dont associate that with vertical length. thats likely why she brought up weaves. but hey, what do you expect from white folk? they never know anything about us. thats why we spark such curiousity

  • Sorry to play Devil’s Advocate, but I disagree that these pictures prove black people can grow long afros. I personally have grown my hair so that it is armpit length when afro (or should I say natural and hanging vertically due to a braid-out)/bra-strap length when blow-dried*, so I know this can happen. However, as the other comments mentioned, most black people don’t believe this is possible, so the white person was probably saying what they had been told by a black person. Why the outrage?

    (* btw, I’m not mixed – both my parents are dark-skinned Ghanaians)

Leave a Comment