Your "Hairitage," or a Little History of Nonstraight Hair
It is only in the past thirty years that hair that is other than straight has been admired by America's mainstream culture. Even so, women with nonstraight hair, i.e., women of color, Jewish women, and women of mixed ancestry, still retain negative beliefs about their hair. Among the most prevalent of these beliefs is one that says straight hair is inherently better than kinky, curly, or wavy hair. In other words, straight hair is "good" and other textures are "bad." We continue to think of silky, straight hair as easy to comb, volumeless, and requiring little or no maintenance. (The grass is always greener . . .) Just in case you fast-forwarded past the Introduction, I'll repeat myself here: There is really no such thing as good hair or bad hair. It doesn't matter what kind of hair you have. If I were to make any distinction, after years as a professional stylist, it would be that of between a healthy head of hair and an unhealthy head of hair. In my practice, that is what really determines good or bad hair. And healthy hair trumps all textures and types! In the early 1970s, women of all races gloried in their natural hair texture. Self-pride flourished during that liberating, self-expressive time. By the late 1970s, however, the hair and cosmetic companies, having lost money, began an assault on the psyches of women and embarked on extensive advertising campaigns lionizing conservative, straight-haired styles. Their success, a return to the primacy of straightened hair, was accompanied by an even more disturbing trend: workplace discrimination against women of color who wore naturals or braids. Not surprisingly, the right to wear one's clean, coiffed hair in an attractive, non-Eurocentric fashion had to be fought for all the way to the Supreme Court. In any battle there are casualties, as there were for the victors of hairstyle choice. Many ambitious professional women remained convinced that their career mobility would be eclipsed if they didn't conform to European standards of hair beauty. To this day, when women in high-profile positions go into a meeting with straight, styled hair, it may be because they feel more put together and secure that they'll be taken seriously by their male counterparts. I'll be the first to admit that there is truth to that: Straight hair can convey a stern, no-nonsense, dare I say "I-can-be-a-bitch-if-I-have-to" look. The same reservations about career mobility hold true for black women and braids in the workplace. It has only been since the 1990s that professional women of color have sported braids.
Excerpted from Hair Rules! by A. Dickey Copyright © 2003 by A. Dickey. Excerpted by permission of Villard, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Kinky, curly or wavy, your hair isn’t “problem” hair—it just has a different set of rules. Super-stylist Anthony Dickey has tripped out the tresses of gorgeously coiffed celebs like First Lady Michelle Obama, and now he shares his tips with you. Considered to be the foremost authority on caring for, cutting and styling curly hair, Anthony ends your frustration with simple tips for taking care of all types of curly hair. Discover the best shampoos and conditioners; secrets of damage-free hair-drying (dust off that hood dryer!); how to use natural oils; the safest coloring, styling and chemical relaxing techniques—and more. Packed with guidelines for maintaining healthy, gorgeous hair, this is the only hair-care book you’ll ever need!
Hardcover Book : pages
Publisher: Broadway Books/Div of Random House ( May 20, 2003 )
Item #: 13-366126
Product Dimensions: 7.375 x 9.25 x 0.4inches
Product Weight: 15.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)