“Afro-textured hair, or Black hair, are terms used to refer to the typical texture of Black African hair that has not been altered by hot combs, flat irons, or chemicals (by perming, relaxing, straightening, bleaching or coloring).”- “Adjectives such as “hard”, “kinky”, “nappy” or “spiraled” are often used to describe natural afro-textured hair in Western societies.”

“Over the years, the popularity of natural hair has waxed and waned. Today, a significant percentage of African American women elect to straighten their hair with relaxers of some kind (either heat or chemically based). This is done despite the fact that prolonged application of such chemicals (or heat) can result in over processing, breakage and thinning of the hair. Nonetheless, over the past decade or so, natural hair has once again increased in popularity with the emergence of styles such as cornrows, locks, braiding, twists and short, cropped hair, most of which originated in Ancient Africa. With the emergence of hip-hop culture and Caribbean influences like reggae music, more non-blacks have begun to wear these hairstyles as well. There has been a boom in marketing hair products such as “Out of Africa” shampoo to African American consumers. Slogans that promote a pan-Black African appreciation of Afro-textured hair include “Happy to be nappy,” “

There is so much talk recently about African american beauty- in terms of our hair.

The conversation is a day old conversation since African American women were introduced to the straightening chemical called ” a relaxer” or the “perm”. Over the years this straightening technique became a way for women ( normally minority and African American) with coarse- hard-to-manage hair to easily style their hair and keep their hair laying flat and looking silky.

Sadly instead of it ending there, African American ( any minority) women started to use this to divide them , separate them from the women with natural- or coarse hair. When women were introduced to wigs and weaves and different types of extensions, that took the separation even further. Soon women became addicted to having long flowing silky wavy hair. Hair that look exotic or European. This posed a problem for some African American men and women because this started to make women neglect their heritage, their culture,&  their roots. It started to affect girls and women of all ages because the more the media and society showed images of women of color with long straight flowing hair, and we assumed that that was the definition of beauty.

Black women have been very affected by their hair defining their beauty and worth. From a young age women say that they were even teased in class from pre-school to high school which scarred them and in turn these women started to hate their natural hair. So the discussion the question, is there a such thing as ‘Good Hair” . The craze in figuring out what the problem is and why women of color dont feel beautiful with their natural hair- whether it be long straight nappy curly wavy , etc, came from alot of celebrities cutting their hair and bringing the short hair style back. This started as a fad or trend for the year, but started to be very liberating for women, so much so that Tyra Banks revealed her real hair, – which was major because she is know for the long expensive weaves, and never using her real hair, at any time in her professional modeling career. When Tyra revealed her hair she got such an amazing response from African American women around the world, she took a real interest in getting down to the bottom of the “Good Hair” “Bad Hair’ debate. She has had numerous shows on this topic lately.

Comedian Chris Rock has been a guest on Tyra’s show and almost every major talk show because he recently wrote and produced a movie called “Good Hair” . What inspired the movie was , his daughter coming up to him and asking why didnt she have “good hair”. This bothered Chris and he decided to spend 2 years traveling the US- and various countries overseas to research why black women care so much about their hair and why we think our hair is linked to our worth or beauty. what he wanted to reveal was that the most beloved celebrity women of color, have weave , extensions, and were willing to admit their real hair was not long and flowing. Interesting! Despite this , some black women have the courage to say things like” I dont want to marry a man unless he has good hair” ” or I refuse to have nappy headed kids”, or ” i refuse to show people I real hair”, ” my real hair is ugly and i feel ugly”, ” I wish I had “white hair”, or “Im better than her because I have longer hair”.

This is so sad, so unhealthy, and self- demeaning …. But I want to know what you guys think….