Earlier this month, the Destiny’s Child singer partnered with Dove to produce a hair anthem titled “Crown”.
The original song and video, which features young girls who have been sent home from school for wearing extensions, aims to empower girls to celebrate the diverse beauty of hair.
The singer said she was inspired to take part in the campaign “because young girls need to know their hair is truly their crown”.
The collaboration was very personal to Rowland as, like many black women, she has had to learn to love her natural hair.
“Growing up, I remember my mum saying my hair was my ‘crowning glory’,” she told the Daily Mail.
“However, I went to a predominantly white school. I was seeing all these different girls, who were able to throw their hair up, put it down, or even just go swimming. And mine wasn’t like that.”
The 38-year-old recalled her mother arranging for her to have a perm in a bit to "take some of the stress out", revealing that it caused all of her hair to fall out.
“It felt like pieces of me were going down the drain,” she said.
“I didn’t feel as pretty or confident. I could have crumpled up — and that’s probably what I did internally."
However, Rowland started to love her natural locks soon after joining Destiny’s Child in 1990 when Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Knowles, encouraged her to cut it short.
“It was one of the best things that happened to me,” Rowland recalled.
“No one else in the group had short hair, so it gave me confidence and made me feel unique.”
The singer also discussed how important it is for young girls to see women embracing their natural hair adding that, while diversity is one the rise, there is “still a long way to go”.
“To this day, I’ll hear things like, ‘I’m just so happy I had you in my childhood.’ And that kind of stuff really blows your mind, because I know what that feels like. I get it,” she explained.
“There’s still a long way to go. It’s not just black women, it’s women of colour across the board that should be represented.”
The singer said another reason she has learnt to embrace her natural hair is for her four-year-old son, Titan.
“He needs to see natural hair in his household; me washing it and walking around with it and being proud. And he does,” she revealed.
Rowland’s comments come just weeks after New York City banned discrimination on the basis of hair.
According to The New York Times, the advised law applies to “natural hair, treated or untreated hairstyles such as locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, fades, Afros, and/or the right to keep hair in an uncut or untrimmed state” and is based on the “argument that hair is inherent to one’s race”.
Under the law, any discrimination against someone’s hair or hairstyle at work, school, or in public places will now be considered racial discrimination, and victims of such discrimination will be able to seek damages.
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