Houston Forward Times

14 August 2013 Written by  Amarie Gipson

Good Hair

The Issue: The term “good hair” has been hammered into the psyches of many black people over a period of time. Common sense would suggest that “good hair” is hair that grows. But the preconceived notion of good hair is usually hair that looks more like hair you’d see on white women, and certainly not the very kinky hair that many black women are born with. In the documentary “Good Hair,” Chris Rock explores the hair industry and the effects it has on African American culture. His findings were mind blowing as he revealed the billions of dollars retailers make off of the women who are critically obsessed over their hair, be it natural or relaxed. As more African American women discover the beauty of their naturally kinky hair, the tension between relaxed and natural women is growing at an alarming rate.

Question: What do you think good hair is? Do you prefer natural or relaxed hair?

 Cyntria Williams Cyntria Williams - “I think good hair is the hair that grows naturally from your head. Hair that is healthy, strong, and styled well. I’m a “naturalista” because of the experiences I’ve had with chemically straightening my hair. I’m teaching my daughter to embrace her natural hair, even if she has what most consider  to be good hair. At the end of the day, your hair should not define you as an African American woman.”

 Joseph Hurd 


Joseph Hurd - "I like women who are naturally beautiful. I don’t think they should have to put a lot of chemicals in their heads.  You can only have good hair if it’s naturally a good grade of hair. When you place a lot of chemicals in your head you don’t really have good hair because you’ve altered what you have into some processed form of 'good hair.'”

Giavanni Justice  Giavanni Justice - “I have naturally curly hair and I have noticed that my hair is easier to manage than others. I have tried relaxers before and I loved the results. Relaxers aren’t for everyone and that does not make them a bad thing. Wear whatever looks best on you.”

 James Mclemore  James Mclemore - “Good hair is whatever a sophisticated woman presents it to be. If a woman takes cares of her hair, no matter short or long, it can be seen as “good hair.” Also, if a woman pays good money for her hair then it is most definitely good hair.”

What do I think?

As a young African American female, I have grown up with the idea of good hair being “curly not kinky.” On occasion I would complement someone with that hair texture because of the versatility of their hair. Hair with a naturally curly pattern can usually be styled more ways than a kinkier texture, or at least that is what I have seen. I chemically straighten my hair, but my older sisters have chosen to take the natural route. Whenever I get a fresh relaxer, my hair styles and holds well while being easy to manage. Towards the time for my next one, my natural hair begins to surface making it a bit difficult for me to maintain it because of its thickness. Whether natural or relaxed hair, it all comes down to the look. Choosing the style that works best for you is the most important aspect of having healthy hair. To all my naturalistas, work it girl. For all of my relaxed sisters, slay. Make the most of whom YOU are and don’t try to conform to someone else’s idea of how you should look.

MAA WereReady