Good Hair? Aggie surveys local students to get to the root of “good hair”

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Published on September 24, 2014

Dominique Williams- Register Contributor

Natural hair has been a rising trend for the past couple of years. Women of color are foregoing relaxed hair in favor of curly styles. Brands best known for their relaxed line of products, like Motions and Pink, all have lines of styling products for natural hair now. Even non-ethnic brands like Pantene have released products for natural hair, showcasing how massive a shift the black beauty industry has had.

Black women are embracing their natural beauty and redefining what it means to be black and beautiful but the question “what is good hair?” is still floating around the community.

Black beauty has not always been recognized or rewarded and what it meant to be black and beautiful has been redefined time and time again.

In the early 20th century African-Americans used heavy styling creams like Dax and other pomades to “tame” their hair into slick styles that were thought to be more presentable. Madame CJ Walker brought the hot-comb, a hair straighntening tool, to the masses in the early 1920’s, forever changing black hair care.

In the 40’s it was considered more presentable to wear your hair processed and from that time forward most of the African-American community adhered to the belief that our hair wasn’t “good” enough to wear in it’s natural state and that it was only presentable after processing it.

Freshman Dominique Williams conducted a survey of 100  students from North Carolina A&T State University on what they thought “good hair” was. Dominique runs an Instagram page to promote and celebrate natural  hair on campus called @Aggie_AfroStyle.

When asked “What is good hair?” 42% of females answered curly, 20% kinky, 18% of girls answered long, 8% accounted straight hair and wavy hair while only 4% answered short (it is important to know these answers were the only options with which they could choose one).

In addition, Dominique asked these same girls which hair is considered best – weaved, permed, or natural? Seventy-eight percent of females said “natural” and the remaining 22% was just about split between weaved and permed.

The male’s answers did not change drastically – curly hair was chosen 48% of the time, while wavy hair was received with 20% approval.  Straight and long hair had 14%. Kinky was considered good hair from 4% of boys. When asked if permed, natural, or weaved hair was “good” a whopping 88% answered natural. Boys answered weaved 4% of the time and permed was the remaining 8%.

Out of curiosity, he gave the same survey to 50 men and 50 women from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. For females, the highest rated answer for good hair was curly at 44% for girls and 46% males.

And like A&T’s campus, the most common form of good hair was natural. The only difference was, 98% of guys thought natural hair was the best hair, and similarly, 92% of Spartan females picked natural.  Over all, by these standards curly hair was “good hair.”

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