What is Good Hair

Is it that good Indian Remy?
Or the new virgin Brazilian?
Maybe that Malaysian mix?
Could it be that mixed girl smooth curl?
Possibly that nice and natural?
Or my favorite that silky relaxed “laid to the gods”?

Hair is a huge issue in the Black community and it causes just as much controversy as the #teamlightskin vs #teamdarkskin tomfoolery. I guess “good hair” is some type of magical concoction whipped up by the hair gods and only bestowed upon lucky little black girls and boys, in the words of my best friend “everybody ain’t able”! I found myself watching this video clip of an excerpt of the Tyra Show. After watching this it struck me that “good hair” is a demeaning thing to say when it is used in reference to someone’s hair texture. It is usually given as a loaded compliment to say that someone’s hair is better than someone else’s. Everytime someone says “you have good hair” what they really mean is that your hair looks more similar to European hair and because of that it looks better than others that have a bit more kink and curl to their hair. Its really not a nice thing to say because its hurtful and is another tool used to separate the black community. As a result of this big push of good hair, weave has exploded and little girls of all ages, starting as early as preschool have extensions flowing down their backs, perms are being administered to toddlers, and natural vs. relaxed hair people are at odds. All because of people being after that magical potion of good hair. So I urge you to think twice before you tell someone that they have “good hair”. Maybe say “your hair looks nice to day” or “I like your new style”. Lets not cause more division among our community.

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3 Comments

  1. I think this video and you bring up some interesting points. Yes for so long and still today “good hair” is defined as straight, shiny, with bounce. I believe that good hair should be defined as healthy, well-kept, with style. Here in America in many different situations we (Americans) live through the images of Europeans. Many black women aim to live their physical appearances through these images. In recent there is a big “movement” within the black women community towards natural hair. I believe this movement towards natural hair is not only to promote persons natural hair, but also aim to promote healthy, not damage hair. Weaves were brought up in the video as well I know that people wear weaves for different reasons. Some wear it to resemble white people’s hair, and some do it because they feel it is easier to manage. I am a black woman who has been transitioning to natural hair for over two years now. I also wear weaves. I wear weaves because I can apply heat, moistures, and other chemicals to the weaves without it damaging my hair. So I would conclude by saying “good hair” comes in many forms.

  2. DG yes! The hair issue in the black community reminds me so much of the unattainable beauty goals black women especially have to follow. I personally think all black hair is “good” hair, but the way this idea is perpetuated in our community is very interesting.

  3. I love all types of hair. Although I’ve recently transitioned to wearing my hair in more natural styles, I have worn every style at one point because that was what worked for me at the time. I think we should be encouraged to embrace whatever hair we feel beautiful with, not put down because our hair is too big and nappy or considered to not be black enough because of a perm. This is our body, our skin and our hair so we should be able to rock it however we want without media, politics or society attempting to dictate it.

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