What Is Good Hair? (Part 1)

British film producer Kashif Boothe made a 3 part documentary series titled “What Is Good Hair?” It features black and mixed-race women who choose to rock their natural hair in Great Britain.

In this documentary, they share their experiences, the misconceptions, and whether women who wear weaves, relax or straighten their hair are conforming to European standards.

Personally, I choose to wear a short and sassy haircut with a relaxer, and I have nothing against those that choose to wear their natural hair. In fact, I celebrate it if that’s what makes you feel beautiful.

After viewing part one, I came up with some conclusions of my own about some of the women featured in the film, and their take on rocking their natural hair. Many of the women mentioned hair weave as the alternative to natural hair, and a couple mentioned relaxers, but that their hair got severely damaged in the process. The one-woman that did mention that she loved the versatility of her hair I assumed was American.

It appeared to me that maybe hairstylists in Great Britain might not be as skilled as American hairstylists when it comes to caring for and styling black hair. I recall seeing black models and actresses from that region not having the healthiest looking, or sharply styled hair.

Some of you may think that I am being arrogant in saying this because I am a licensed African American hairstylist, and of course, we think that we are the best in the world, but not one woman mentioned having their hair pressed (physically straightened), texturized (chemically softening the hair for manageability), or natural taming such as twist outs, sister locks, two-strand twists, and a host of other natural alternatives except the American woman.

I don’t agree with the notion that if a woman of color chooses to straighten her hair she is conforming to European standards. The beauty of our hair is the fact that it is so versatile. We can do so many things to it, and it looks beautiful. That is a benefit of “kinky” hair that naturally, straight hair does not possess.

I think if the black women of Great Britain had better alternatives in products, hair education, and skilled professionals, their outlook just might change a little. But that’s just my opinion. Take a look at the video below and tell me what you think. And if you live in the UK, let me know, I’d love to hear what you think and if I’m way off base in my perception of your hair options.

Stay tuned for Part 2 next week.

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