Good and Bad Hair???

afro“Talkin bout good and bad hair.  Whether you’re dark or you’re fair.   Go on and swear, see if I care good and bad hair”.  Don’t you just love Spike Lee’s movie ‘School Daze’?   If you haven’t seen it (and I can’t imagine that anyone over 30 hasn’t) you should.  You got the “jigaboos” or the mostly dark skin girls with “nappy hair” versus the “wannabes” or light-skinned girls with weaves all down their backs.   They taunt and tease each other throughout the entire movie.

It appears that since I started my healthy hair journey and discovered that I have relaxed 4B hair I’m pretty sensitive about the terms good and bad hair especially since my hair is considered “bad hair”.   According to the dictionary ‘good’ means morally excellent, high quality, well behaved while the word ‘bad’ means not good in any manner or degree, of poor or inferior quality.  Wow… and we’re using these terms to describe our hair?  So, good hair can be described as hair that is morally excellent or of high quality and bad hair is not good in any manner or of poor quality.  It appears that people refer to all hair as good hair as long as it’s not type 4 hair.  It’s important to note that African American hair can fall into any type but more than likely you see type 4 hair.   It’s a kinkier and coarser texture than any other hair type.  I’ll admit it can be a little difficult to manage but it’s not ‘inferior quality’.  I’m sure someone with no hair (for example, some one who has gone through chemotherapy) would rather have my hair than no hair.   Any hair is good hair to them.  And any woman will tell you, regardless of hair type, there are days when her hair is on point and days that she’s having a “bad hair day”.  Just because you have curly hair or straight hair doesn’t make it better than anyone else’s hair.  We are all different for a reason.  This world would be pretty boring if we all had “good” hair.

I had to get on my husband who said ‘I hope our daughter has my hair because [our first kid] had your bad hair’.  I was appalled, I made him feel bad.  Now I’ll admit my son does have my 4B kinky hair with a few looser 4A curls sprinkled throughout which is why I wanted to cut it ASAP.   It was so thick and he would cry like I was killing him anytime I combed it.   Luckily he’s a boy and I don’t have to deal with it if I don’t want to.  We keep it cut low.  However, if we have a little girl I will just have to find the right products to manage her hair and keep it healthy.  That is what’s important.  “Good hair” is healthy hair whether you’re dark or you’re fair.  I don’t want my little girl growing up saying “I have bad hair”.  I want her to know that hair is hair and everyone’s hair is different.  Regardless of its texture or type your hair should be YOUR crown and glory.

And while I’m on my soap box, we also have the natural versus chemically treated hair debate.  Come on people!!!   Its hair and it’s on my head so I can do what I want to do to it to make it more manageable for me.  I just don’t have the patience to deal with my natural texture, that doesn’t mean I hate it and that doesn’t mean that I think it is “bad hair”.  My hair doesn’t need a spanking to behave.  In fact, I love my hair but I love to wear it straight all the time.  That’s what makes me feel good.  Do you know how much heat damage I would have from straightening my hair if it were natural?   Then I’d have natural, unhealthy, heat fried hair.  If you do have the patience and the desire to go natural then that’s great for you.  Do what makes YOU feel good.

The point I’m trying to make is there is no such thing as good hair and bad hair.  It’s just hair.  Some hair is straight and fine, some hair has beautiful bouncy curls, and some hair is kinky.  You can loc it, weave it, curl it, relax it, crimp it, fry it, dye it, and lay it to the side!  It’s your hair!   Embrace it!

Author: Ava Blalark

Wife, mother, writer, lover of all things hair and beauty. I may not be young but I am coming into my own, learning to love me from the inside out. I am on a journey to become a better person…inside and out. Come along and enjoy the ride! I'm lovin' me and you love you.

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5 Comments

  1. Yeah I agree with the person above who is also from the uk. Good hair and bad hair are not really labelled as much over here but the values are still the same. But I hate when black people obsess over the good hair/ bad hair categories they just don’t understand that we were made to hate our natural state and glorify hair that is closer to the Caucasians’.
    I watched the fild “good hair” it both made me laugh and cry. Trust me black women have a lot to think about….

    Naii

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  2. The terms good and bad hair are not used in the UK but I agree with you totally. These terms are usually used by people of limited intelligence, poor vocabulary and poor literacy skills. Any person who is able to read, write and comprehend correctly would be aware that to use the terms good and bad to describe hair texture is not appropriate and is an incorrect usage of the english language. They use these terms as slang to describe the two hair types (1) hair of black people (2)the hair of black people who are of mixed ancestry.

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    • It’s interesting to find that those terms may be limited to Black people in the US which may say something about our culture here. It is a little ignorant in my opinion but we just need to be aware. Thanks for responding!

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    • Very well said Sylvia. Those terms are more connected with the USA than any other country, because here is where is located the birthplace of racial inferiority. It’s true, it is in other countries too, but you have to admit, Africans never considered their hair “bad” until they were brought here and every characteristic about them was rated compared characteristics of those with lighter skin….hence the Spike Lee movie, which, admittedly, I’ve never seen, but only because of its rating “R”.

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  3. Yes! I looove the movie. I often wondered when I was gonna see a post about it. On the other hand. I am a mom of two natural girls and a boy, we keep his hair cut low but I want to serve as live in inspiration for my girls so they will be less likely to want to relax. Can’t b a walking contradiction for them trying to get them to embrace their natural hair if I’m constantly relaxing mines

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