Monday, December 14, 2009

Hair Types

The first picture is kinky/curly hair, variations: 4a/4b/4c
The second picture is curly hair, variations: 3a/3b/3c
The third picture is wavy hair,variations: 2a/2b/2c
The fourth picture is straight hair

To see the different hair variations see this video,

Black Hair History Lesson #1

2003: New Bedford, Mass. Dance teacher Amy Fernandes’ refuses to allow 4-year-old Amari Diaw to participate in her ballet dance recital along with the other children in her class who have been practicing for the exciting event because she requires the girls to pull back their hair into a bun. Amari’s mom put Amari’s very curly hair into cornrows and pulled it back into a bun. Fernandes, however, insisted that the braids be removed and that Amari’s hair be pulled back straight into a bun.

Friday, December 11, 2009

My Hair

This is a glimpse of what my hair looks like more or less when it is semi-healthy.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Here is an op-ed that I am working on about Chris Rock's documentary, Good Hair.

Comedian Chris Rock embarks on a global journey to find the answer to his daughter’s question, “Why don’t I have good hair?” In this year’s Sundance award winning documentary on the exploration of African-American hairstyles.

Before slavery, Africans particularly in the western countries created intricate styles and beauty standards for hair that was representative of their culture. When African slaves were brought to the New World they were presented with new standards of beauty. This would be white skin, straight hair and European features. These new standards opposed their cultures criteria of beauty which were dark skin, coarse hair and thicker facial features.

To survive in the times of slavery, many Africans felt as though they had to conform to the New World’s standards of beauty which leads to Africans attempting to straighten their hair so that it would appear to be similar to the texture of the Caucasian’s hair. Africans felt that is was crucial to do this so that they could possibly escape from slavery or be able to work in the home of the plantation, which would lead to better food and care and a possible chance of receiving an education.

Today even with the illegalization of slavery many African-Americans choose to straighten their hair with hot combs or pressing sets, lanthionization also known the chemical process of hair relaxing and by wearing hair weaves or pieces. Many claim including Chris rock in his documentary Good Hair that African American’s undergo these processes to appear more “white”.

I disagree with the idea that the only reason African-Americans straighten their hair is because they want to be perceived as being white. It is a crazy thought to think that an African-American would believe that having straight hair would make them appear to be white. They are well aware that they have black skin and different features and that it will take more than changing the texture of their hair to be perceived as being white. As an African-American, that wears straight hair weaves, I can say that I do not wear hair weaves to appear less African-American, I wear them because my hair is very fragile and it easily breaks and the hair weaves serve as a protective shield for my hair. I also wear weaves because my natural hair does not have volume and wearing extensions provides me with instant volume and I do not know any women Black White Asian who would not like volume to her hair.

Many African-American women just do not have the time to blow dry and manage their natural hair texture. It takes a lot of time and effort and sometimes a relaxer is just easier.

In Good Hair, Chris Rock made the comment that if you see a black women with straight long silky hair that she either had a relaxer or a weave. This is incorrect. First of all, in countries like Ethiopia and Somalia most of the people there have hair textures that are almost identical to Middle Eastern hair. It is silky sometimes straight or loosely curled. So the assumption that any black women with none kinky or coarse hair must be wearing hair extensions is incorrect. That is making the assumption that all black women have the same “nappy” hair texture and that is also incorrect.

Altogether Chris Rock never personally defined what “good hair” was. I believe “good hair” is not silky or coarse. Good hair is natural hair that is healthy.

I think Lonnice Brittenum's Good Hair, would be a lovely read if your brain is itching for more.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


This is a short story I wrote. I was inspired after reading Girl by Jamiaca Kincaid.

Awww, her hair is so soft. Make sure to grease it with African Hair Food, every morning and night. Don't put barats or elastics in her hair. Don't comb it. Don't brush it. Wash it gently every couple of weeks with something mild from Ebony Beauty. Feel the softness. Don't pull her hair too hard but gently massage her scalp for stimulation.

Wow, her hair grew in so well. Get her some of those colorful scrunchies and barats. Section her hair in fourths and tie up her hair in cute simple stlyes. Make sure you grease her hair with African Hair Food, and wash her hair every two weeks with something mild.

Her hair is still so soft, it is so fine. It's beautiful and delicate. Keep taking care of it. Maybe she might have that good hair. I can't believe how well her hair is growing in. It is getting a little coarse. Make sure you are using the African Hair Food.

Now that her hair is long enough, you should put cornrows in. Her hair is getting too coarse for those colorful scrunches and barats. But still take care of her hair. Are you washing it gently, twice a week?

Her hair is getting so full and thick so fast. Oh my God, she has an afro of hair. You must have been greasing her hair and washing it right? Her hair is so nappy.When she was a baby I thought she was going to have that good hair. You know manageble, fine long beautiful hair. Well keep putting those cornrows in and maybe you can put beads in for style.

Damn, she has such nappy hair. She's getting too grown for those cornrows. You said your husband is West African right? and You are West African? Oh, no wonder. This child is doomed to have nappy no growing hair. Use this no lye relaxer in a box. You can get it from Ebony Beauty. Apply it to her whole head, and then apply it to her new growth at three inches of growth. Her hair will appear as though she has good hair, but it is just the relaxer.

Shit, she looks so grown, what happened to her hair? It broke off? Did you keep up with the relaxer? Grease her head with African Hair Food? and wash her hair every two weeks? You did? Well she can't go out with her hair looking like that. Put a weave on her head. She can get single braids, cornrows, or a straight weave. Make sure the extensions match her relaxed hair. Get a simple style. Keep it natural.

She needs a weave.Her hair is too nappy to show. Hide her hair underneath the weave. Go to Ebony Beauty and pick products out to maintain her weave.

You look familiar, aren't you Isatu's daughter? The one with the soft hair, then coarse hair, then nappy hair, then no hair and then weave.


So how's it going? Did you get the weave? Buy all the products you would need to keep it up? Relax your hair? Grease it with African Hair Food? Wash it every two weeks?

Yes, the weave was too heavy for my hair because my hair was thining from all the products I used to keep the weave up, all the relaxers, the synthetic grease and shampoo that clogged up my scalp' so it couldn't breath. So I gave it all up. Everything my mother told me to do from some lady,I gave it up. I'm wearing a wig until my hair grows back and then I am going all natural. My hair maybe nappy and I may not have that good hair but at least I'll have hair. Sorry, I didn't catch your name.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

"Ooo girl you got that good hair!"

Welcome to my Blog

I can't get enough of this idea of "good hair". There seems to be some kind of standard in the black community of what "good hair" is and if you don't have it you better hot comb it, relax it or weave it up until you do.

What is "good hair"? Where did this idea come from? And why do African Americans still hold this idea as a crucial standard of beauty?

If your curious, to know the answers I suggest you read Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America by Ayana Byrd and Lori tharps.