In honor of Black History Month, I want to cover a BIG issue in the Black community. The idea of “good hair” is very toxic and only encourages separation within the Black community. So, here is why you should STOP calling my curly hair good hair.
What Is Good Hair?
So, what is good hair? Good hair to me was the naturally straight hair that the White girls had that I desperately wanted. As a little girl, I viewed straight or loosely wavy hair as good hair and kinky or curly hair as “bad” hair. Good hair doesn’t just apply to straight hair, but can apply to Black people with loose curls.
For a better understanding of good hair, click me.
The documentary “Good Hair”.
I had naturally curly hair. I don’t have a certain hair type but when I was younger, I would spend hours endlessly searching for how to get naturally straight hair and straightening my hair every day. On the days I couldn’t get straight hair it filled me with frustration. I hated and neglected my hair as soon as I was old enough to take care of it on my own. When I was younger, my family, friends and random people would tell me I had “good hair” or White people hair (side note: I’m mixed but am dark-skinned). Being told that is what began my delusion and ignorance about Black hair.
Even though I may not have meant it, I subconsciously thought I was superior to my fellow black girls. I would view kinkier hair than mine as “bad hair” because I was told that my hair was “good, or that I didn’t have “nigga hair”.
My Journey Out Of Delusion
As aforementioned, from 6th grade to 9th grade I straightened my hair and whenever I didn’t have straight hair, people would always tell me that my hair would look better if it was straight. Whenever it wasn’t straight, I was told that I would look cute if my hair was straight. This only further instilled this self-loathing and dislike of my hair into my head.
It wasn’t until I was 17 that I could see the beauty of curly and kinky hair. Realizing the beauty in Black hair was part of my own discovery. When I could enjoy my natural beauty without shame. I had this new perspective on Black hair. I saw all hair types as beautiful. I developed a new love for afros, kinky hair, 4c hair and everything in between.
Why Is “Good Hair” Toxic?
Telling someone they have “good hair” instantly says that the next person who has a different texture has bad hair. Not only that, but all Black hair is good hair. No matter the texture, type or length. This encourages competition and segregation within our own people. Why do you have to compliment my hair by putting down my sister?
Even though I have dark skin, I was treated differently from other dark skin girls. Both positively and negatively. On the negative side, I was bullied by both White and Black people. The one positive is I didn’t face as much judgment and hate if I had 4c hair. People “overlooked” my dark skin because I had good hair.
So, what I want to do is encourage natural hair positivity over natural hair hate. Overall, it’s important that as Black women we know how beautiful our hair is. No matter how kinky, short or curly it is. Embrace your kinky gorgeousness sis! Your hair is your crown. Never wear your crown with shame!
For curly hair tips, click me!
My two holy grail curly hair products that work for all hair types.
Freebie Alert: If you are looking to join an encouraging and supportive group of Black women that look just like you, I started a Facebook group called the “Curly Girl Corner“.