What is “Good” hair?

Alexa. Don’t play India Arie until the end.

Before Chris Breezy’s recent public affinity for black girls with nice hair. Before Beyonce would use lemonade to spill tea on Becky with the “good hair”. Before a Chris Rock documentary of the same name.

From a behavioral perspective, one could really dissect this issue at its core. Take for example an occurring social media fixation of wanting to create life where you could state: “my baby gone have some good hair”. Where was it that hair texture and appearance became a defining factor in dating and an indicator of not only ones personality but priorities? That somehow having “nice hair” places someone in this space to be praised and admired.

When did we lose the happiness for nappy-ness

Most people trace the path of the afro texture plight to Madam C J Walker but, even from there we must explore her roots. Her roots were grounded in the late 1800s where the conditions of the blacks living was everything short of death. Unable to acquire the resources for simple hygiene needs let alone a “new doo” and left to use goose fat, bacon grease and even lye to maintain a look.

If the track to nice hair starts with straight hair, the hot-comb would become a baton passed down from generation to generation. Although Madam CJ would be honored for the discovery, it would be Annie Malone who would patent the hot-comb here in America nearly 30 years after Francois Marcel Grateu would invent the hot-comb and introduce the curling of hair coined marcelling (seen on the likes of Josephine Baker).

Some believe that the desire for straight shiny silky hair in America would come from wanting to imitate the Europeans. But in retrospect, it would be the Europeans seeking to acquire a look that they would credit to the Egyptians.

Why the term “good hair” is a misnomer

A phrase in our culture that causes such dissension among black men and women and possibly another piece of pain in the puzzle of our history finds its meek beginnings across transatlantic waters. 

Generationally we’ve internalized an idea that’s not even real. That our natural hair is unacceptable. This straight look is somehow required for social and professional access and acceptance. This unwarrented bias is as old as America itself.

There is no such thing as good hair or nice hair; it’s subjective at best. But knowing its history and its roots should be objective enough to show that is causes dissension within our community and for that alone deems it unnecessary.

Alexa.. I think this is the end…

Thoughts on this article?

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