Good Hair? Aggie surveys local students to get to the root of ‘good hair’

Natural hair has been a rising trend for the past couple of years. Women of color are foregoing relaxed hair for curly styles. 

Brands best known for their relaxed line of products, like Motions and Pink, have lines of styling products for natural hair. 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. 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 C.J. Walker brought the hot-comb, a hair-straightening tool, to the masses in the early 1920’s changing black hair forever. In the 40’s it was considered more presentable to wear your hair processed. 

From that time forward most of the African-American community adhered to the belief that our hair was not “good” enough to wear in it’s natural state and that it was only presentable after processing it.

Dominique Williams conducted a survey on 100 students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University on what they thought “good hair” was. Dominique and a few of his fellow Aggies run 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 that they could choose one). 

In addition, Williams 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 received 20% approval.  Straight and long hair had 14%. Kinky was considered good hair from 4% of guys. When asked if permed, natural, or weaved hair was “good,” a whopping 88% answered natural. Guys answered weaved hair 4% of the time and permed hair 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. Like students at A&T, the most common form of good hair was natural. 

The only difference was that 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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  • Shelby Ivey Christie & Dominique Williams Scene Editor & Register Contributor