You may have heard the phrase from Beyonce in her iconic album Lemonade, but what really is ‘good hair’? You just have to look at mainstream media to see that there tends to be a preference towards 2C-3C hair types being more desirable and thus termed as ‘good hair’. Sure, this hair type can be seen as ‘easier’ to work with, less maintenance as such however, why are thick, coily and coarser hair types not seen as desirable or ‘good’?
Afro hair can often be referred to as ‘fluffy ‘ or ’cloud-like’, which may seem like compliments on the surface however, it may have negative effects to those with the afro-hair style. Unfortunately, terms like this may dampen confidence and makes some of us feel more comfortable in braids, wigs or weaves where our hair can be more associated with the beauty standards we see across the board. It allows us to ‘fit in’ a little easier.
But what are the modern views on ‘Becky’ and most importantly;
What is good hair and do you have it?
‘Good hair‘ is a society term used to describe hair that is straight, wavy or loosely curly in texture. Good hair is soft to the touch, has the ability to grow long, and requires minimal intervention by treatments or products. Afro hair, on the other hand, is the complete opposite.
Rather than being crowned in curls or waves, we are crowned in coily, thick & coarsely textured hair that often requires a lot of attention or trips to the hairdressers.
Caring for our hair isn’t a simple one-step process and one misstep can result in many Afro-crowned individuals experiencing damaged hair, hair loss, split ends and the list goes on.
A personal experience of mine with the phrase ‘good hair’ is when me and my best friend were in the town centre. A lady stopped to admire my friends hair in which she described her hair as ‘good hair‘, ’beautiful‘ and ‘goddess-like’. Bizarrely, my hair was similar however hers had looser curls and was longer by at least 3-4 inches. It left me confused and that’s when I started to realise the potentially confidence-damaging perceptions that many carry surrounding ‘good hair’.
‘Becky with the good hair’ is a phrase that represents the person or the type of ‘look’ that numerous people idolise. Going back centuries, straight hair has been seen as far more desirable which begs the question, does this debate go further than what we see on the surface?
At Riley’s Hair & Beauty, we believe all hair that is correctly cared for is ‘good hair’, despite your texture. For us Afro Kings & Queens, good hair is hair which is hydrated. Using moisturisers to hydrate our curls & coils will prevent many of the problems that our community faces in terms of hair damage. Varied product use is common with the afro hair community, therefore, we must also take extra steps to ensure our scalp is healthy. Regularly removing product build-up and preventing flakiness and intense scratching through the use of co-wash days and soothing scalp oils are key elements in caring for afro hair.
My grandma always says that:
“Plants in bad soil dem dirty and in doom, plants in ‘appy soil are ‘appy and they bloom.”
Same principle! Good hair is healthy hair and anybody can achieve that. It’s time for society to really appreciate the different types of hair and hairstyles that exist so that we all feel beautiful and confident no matter the hair we are crowned with. I hope this blog will help you to navigate your way to good/healthy hair and rock your crown with confidence.
By Tara-Louise H
Opinions expressed by Riley’s Tropical Food contributors are their own.
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