Thursday, July 15, 2010
Penned by Mop Top Maven at 1:27 PM
What on earth is good hair and why are we still using that term in the 21rst century?! I was in the Beauty Supply recently and a woman approached me, struck up a conversation, and we began to talk hair. I don't remember much after; "have you always had good hair, or was it your regimen".
While this may very well be an innocent question, the motives behind the question leads me to believe there is more that can be done in the natural hair community to make ALL women feel beautiful about their crown and glory. My biggest issue stems not from the question, but from the attitude in which the question was cultivated. One of the main reasons I despise hair typing is because I feel in certain ways it contributes to the growing disconnect amongst African American women. Women with more of a kinkier hair type have been made to feel inferior about their hair since slavery; here we are another hundred years later and we are still using titles like good and bad hair; this time out of our own mouths, and in our own communities.
Why is it that some of us feel the need to neatly categorize "our people"? If you happen to see a dark-skinned girl and she has long, silky, curly hair; do you immediately try to figure out her nationality? Or do you just admire her tresses? - There are some that will not rest until they know "to whom you belong", and will go as far as to ask the person their nationality. Is it sheer coincidence that some of us still apply the same methods of classification that were used to enslave us?
While I understand the need to help people understand and take better care of their hair, hair typing excludes so many others [like myself] who don't fit neatly into the system. It is that feeling of disconnect that can lead to discouragement, and a yearning for something other than what you have. I remember being afraid to go natural because I felt my hair wasn't silky enough to wear it in it's natural state, I hardly ever saw people raving about hair that was my texture. Quite the contrary; Tracee Ellis Ross was the poster child for the "perfect curls". What did that mean for me? Did that mean I was less desirable? For a moment I felt I was. I had to go off the grid to find myself, and I did it free of class systems, charts and graphs.
Do any of you have issues with the phrase "Good Hair"? - What is considered "good hair" to you? - Is there anyone out that has issues with the hair typing system? - Do you feel it has helped you at all with your hair journey? I am curious to hear your thoughts on this...