The Significance of Hair
Sara and Misasha sit down with Kibi Anderson and explore the topic of HAIR! Growing up in a country like America, where a lot of standards of beauty are not centered around African culture and African qualities, has a profound influence in the black community. Join us as we examine and understand how significant hair is in our development.
Kibi is a black woman, which is relevant to today’s conversation, a storyteller, and has worked in the media and entertainment space for the past 20 years. Currently, Kibi is working for a show called Red Table Talk and running Red Table Talk Enterprises, which is the business behind the hit show starring Jada Pinkett Smith, and her mom and daughter, on Facebook Watch. She is an avid lover of people, and always excited to talk about conversations and topics that are influencing how we act, how we learn, and how we grow.
“We are continuing to see young black girls still battle with these issues: ‘Am I worthy? Am I beautiful if my hair is not straight? Will I be able to get the attention of a potential boyfriend or partner if I don’t have what I think the media describes as traditional standards of beauty ?’ - Kibi Anderson
The rich history of black hair, as discussed in Episode 23 (“Hair & Identity: Don’t Touch the Hair”) of Dear White Women.
Misasha recounts her unsettling experiences with people touching her children’s hair on the playground.
Misasha has recently overheard her children, ages 6 and 5, state that they would like to have straight hair because they think it’s “really cool”.
Pondering what it means to tap into the natural state of our texture. Kibi references Lauryn Hill, a really popular artist from the ’90s, and how she had locks, and beautiful natural hairstyles.
Kibi relates a book on natural hair care and the tools to take care of it, and this led to her journey of realizing she did not need long or straight hair. This is the first time she cut her hair off.
There were magazines that celebrated black beauty and black hairstyles, but many young women wanted to emulate the styles that they were seeing on television and at the movies.
Reviewing different hairstyles, techniques, what it takes to take care of them, how long it takes, and more.
“Goddess Locks” - faux locks, a new trend which uses the technique of adding braids to your hair, where you add additional hair, but instead of a braid, it’s a lock.
The CROWN (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) Act is a California law that legally protects natural hairstyles.
Kibi recalls wrapping her hair at night, after getting her hair done in the salon, back in the day, to keep her hair looking good. She remembers sleeping sitting up in bed, so as not to mess her hair up laying it on a pillow.
Moisture for hair is so very important. Wrapping your head with silk instead of cotton is more protective to your curls.
Misasha shares a story about her roommate, who refused to go outside in the rain because of her hair. Kibi mentions swimming and working out at the gym as other deterrents, because of the expense of black hair care.
Salons become a place where people can really talk, as women gather in one space that has various perspectives, journeys, and struggles.
Kibi feels that beauty salons and barbershops have become conduits for beginning to talk about broader issues impacting black culture.
The power of barbershop books: encourages young boys (ages 4-9) to read books while they’re there, or have someone read to them. Literacy is such an important issue, and you don’t have the same access in certain communities or male figures that are present to help with reading.
Kristen Davis from “Sex and The City” adopted two black children and was recently interviewed on Red Table Talk. Hair was one of the biggest challenges that she had to deal with. During the adoption process, there are videos that show parents how to manage a child of a different culture. One of the videos featured a young lady who launched a business teaching different-culture parents how to take care of textured hair.
Tips on how to encourage self-pride in children.
Intent and imitation being the greatest form of flattery when white people wear traditionally black hairstyles. Different is good.
Listen to Dear White Women, Episode 23 -
“Hair & Identity: Don’t Touch the Hair”
Watch the Red Table Talk -
Kristen Davis (from “Sex and The City”) Interview
Good Hair: For Colored Girls Who've Considered Weaves When the Chemicals Became Too Ruff, by Lonnice Brittenum Bonner
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