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Photo courtesy of Chontudas.

This Black Hairstyle Collective Is Embracing the Beauty of Natural Hair in Colombia

Chontudas wants to strengthen natural hair knowledge among young black girls in Colombia.

In 2012, a champeta duo from Santa Marta, a Caribbean town in Colombia, dedicated their song "Pelo Malo" to all women that have a "bad," "weird" or "disorganized" hair. The song suggested that all these women have to use "liser" – a product to straighten their hair to make it look cool. The song neatly illustrates the stigma of wearing natural hair in Afro-Colombian communities. But these offensive categories don't represent the growing movement of Afro-Colombian women who are embracing their natural hair and all of its beautiful complexity.

During the American Civil Rights and Black Power movements in the 60s and 70s, there was a revolt in favor of wearing natural hair. The second wave of the natural hair movement has reached a global audience through social media and Colombia is not an exception. It's been five years since Mallé Beleño, an educator, and other black women created a hair collective called Chontudas—the name refers to a kind of palm tree whose presence evokes the hair of black women. The group was initially founded to discuss how to wear natural black hairstyles as well as to spread ancestral traditional hair knowledge.

This collective came to life as a Facebook group with 70 black women in 2014. Since then, it has become a place to share the experiences of making the transition to natural hair, and a place to showcase a more diverse standard of beauty as well as a place to trade hair care advice.

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Photo still via YouTube.

This Dominican Ministry of Education Director Was Fired Hours After Her PSA Promoting Natural Hair Was Released

Marianela Pinales' dismissal from her position the same day the motivational campaign was released raises questions on the true motive behind the ministry's decision.

It pays to encourage every young, impressionable black child to accept themselves for who they are—even when it comes down to loving their natural hair.

Marianela Pinales did so through a new campaign she helmed on behalf of the Dominican Republic's Ministry of Education, entitled 'Ni Pelo Bueno, Ni Pelo Malo,' which translates to 'No Good Hair, No Bad Hair,' Latino Rebels reports.

The PSA celebrates all hair textures in an effort to counter the stigmatization of black hair people face in the Dominican Republic. In the video, you'll see young students with diverse, gorgeous hair stand firm in what's theirs. "Vive tu vida, y suelta mi cabello en banda (live your live and leave my hair alone)" one young girl says in the video.

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