When we sat down to record our “I Always Wanted To Ask” video series with Madame Noire, we discovered that there were a couple of questions we had for each other that kind of overlapped, including on the topic of hair. Veronica, Brande and Victoria wanted to know whether we, as white women, care about our hair as much as they, as Black women, care about theirs. We wanted to know more about the politics behind Black hair, like wearing weaves or using relaxers versus wearing their hair natural. Check out our chat above and share your questions and comments below!
Two weeks ago, we were disturbed to learn the story of Rhonda Lee, a black meteorologist who was fired from KTBS-TV in Shreveport, Louisiana, after she responded in the comments, kindly and politely, to two racist Facebook posts written by viewers on the station’s page. One of the racist posts, in fact, had even been “liked” by the station. You can read the full back story here.
Today, the news program “Democracy Now!” has an interview with Lee about her firing. (Warning: there is a minute-long request for donations from “Democracy Now!” before the segment airs, as the program is independently owned and completely advertising-free.) Keep reading »
Typically, light hair is for the summer and dark hair is for the winter. But recently, I decided to buck the trend and colored my hair jet black (well it was supposed to be Midnight Blue, which is black with a hint of dark blue, but I have yet to notice any blue). It had been more than a decade since the last time my hair was this dark, and I love it! So I’m definitely not going to lighten my hair this summer. Will you? Do you usually go lighter in the summer? Will you try something new this time around? Keep reading »
“Sesame Street” has aired a new song, “I Love My Hair,” aimed at young black girls to teach them to value and love their natural hair. The character dances and sings in every little girl hairstyle imaginable, from a small Afro to ponytails to cornrows to twists. This is an important lesson for black girls to learn because even if they come from a household where natural hair is celebrated, like I did, they will no doubt get the “lesson” from the outside world that straight and silky is better. Keep reading »
“A lot of times [black women] go through different things with processing our hair from relaxing to color treatments, especially with heat styling so being out on the road I had to do a lot of that every day from show to show and it was my price for beauty. The turning point for me to shave my head was when I was out on tour. I had some pieces glued into my head because I didn’t want to dye my own hair, and the glued on piece would not come out of my head so I said, I’m shaving my head because this is ridiculous. This does not make me Black. This does not make me a great singer; this makes me have a piece of hair stuck to my head and I was like, ‘I’m done, I can’t do this anymore.’ So I decided I wanted to find beauty in a different way without doing something that was so damaging to something that was precious to me, which is my hair. I could have gotten it out but I said, ‘No, I’m just gonna shave it off.’ And by going all the way back natural it was a much easier route and it was a lot less damaging.
– Chrisette Michele, who has had long and short hair while in the public eye, explains her decision to go natural again by shaving her hair. She is rocking a similar style to Solange‘s, but for different reasons. Solange tweeted that she opted for short hair because she wanted to direct her attention and time to more important things than trips to the hair salon. [Vibe] Keep reading »
Bureaucracy has not taken kindly to practitioners of African-American hair braiding. In Illinois, there’s been a crackdown on salons that offer the service and haven’t conformed to the state’s ridiculous regulations—if you want to braid hair, you need a cosmetology degree and a license, which takes hours of time and thousands of dollars. While this poses a financial issue to many hair braiders, the law also doesn’t cater to the art both for practical and philosophical reasons. Keep reading »
I was really excited when I learned Essence.com had launched a makeover tool, “Makeover Magic,” because I thought it would give me some options for styling my locks. Boy, was I wrong! Not only does the tool not have hairstyles for dreadlocks, but it doesn’t feature any natural hairstyles. Most of the looks are ones black celebrities have rocked in the past or are currently sporting, but I recognize some from the pages of Essence. While I’m disappointed that Essence.com chose to ignore a large segment of its demographic with this new tool, I can’t say I’m surprised. The magazine very rarely features photos of natural hairstyles, especially locks, and if it does, the styles all look the same. This is probably a reflection of what’s popular in mainstream black culture, but it isn’t an excuse. Essence.com could have combed through its photo archive and used natural styles that were featured in the magazine, like it did for the “Party Coifs” section of the tool, which contains photos of models, rather than celebs.
I did try out the “Makeover Magic” tool. As you can see, I went in a completely different direction with my hair, but I have decided to stick with my locks. [Essence.com] Keep reading »
Today on “The View
,” the ladies discussed “Good Hair
,” a documentary by Chris Rock
. Whoopi Goldberg
made the startling revelation that black women don’t straighten their hair because they want to be white, but because they want manageable hair. “It’s less about the larger culture and more about ‘I don’t want to fuss with my hair,” she said. But that’s only half the story. Nowadays, we realize that beauty can come in different forms, but we can’t ignore the beauty ideals that are presented to us on a daily basis in magazines, TV, and the web. Silky, non-coarse hair is the standard. Whoopi alludes to this but ultimately skirts over it when she says that in beauty school she was taught to do everyone’s hair but black people’s. Keep reading »
Starring Chris Rock, Nia Long, Al Sharpton, Raven-Symoné, and Andre Harrell
Directed by, Jeff Stilson
Written by Lance Crouther, Chris Rock, Chuck Sklar, and Jeff Stilson
Have you ever sat in a gym locker room and wondered why black women don’t wash their hair after an invigorating workout? Or wondered how your black coworker went from straight, long hair to a curly bob overnight? Well, Chris Rock’s “Good Hair” will answer these questions and more as he tries to figure out what exactly constitutes “good hair.” Keep reading »
To straighten or not to straighten is still a heated debate within the black community, as the New York Times article, “Black Hair, Still Tangled in Politics” points out. The topic came up recently when 11-year-old Malia Obama was criticized for wearing her hair in twists while visiting Rome this summer. She was deemed by some to be unfit to represent America because her hair wasn’t straightened. Also, Chris Rock’s documentary “Good Hair” sheds further light on a culture in which “good” straight hair is preferred to “bad” nappy hair, especially when Chris asks a hair store owner: “So my nappy hair isn’t worth anything?”
I’ve had my own trials and tribulations with the “creamy crack,” as chemical straightener is sometimes referred to in the black community, so choosing to leave my hair natural was a decision that came, well, naturally to me. However, the Great Black Hair Debate still weighs heavy on my mind at times because naturally nappy black hair still isn’t widely accepted. Keep reading »