Both women and men alike have an obsession with HAIR! It can make or break a look make you feel like a sex symbol or a hot mess! Hair has always been a woman’s (and sometimes a man’s) greatest accessory. From short and sassy to long a lush women have long used their locks (and some other people’s) to jush up their look, from the days of the French and the Italian courts of the Renaissance, to Beyonce’s front lace wind blown mane, Katy Perry newly pink do, or Gwen Stefani flawlessly platinum locks. Whether in the form of hair “support” (weaves), to full wigs women today enjoy such great diversity. But the question is are we hiding? Are we using our hair to accentuate what we have or are we trying to be something or someone else.
In the African American community hair (texture and length) as well as skin color (complexion) have long been the definers of beauty. Having “good” hair (soft, wavy to straight) is often preferred over kinky or nappy hair. As a community we can be very hard on those who are “too” dark or don’t have long hair. There are phrases like “Get the peas out of your kitchen” (peas are what we call the hair that coils up at the nape of the neck) or smooth your “Edges” (hairline). A young girl can me ridiculed harshly for her hair, or her color, this can inform her sense if self, and image for her whole life. There is a great deal of pain and shame that African American women experience in regards to their hair. I have long wanted to do a series that addressed the idea of beauty as it pertains to hair, racially, culturally, and texturally.
Personally I have had my own struggles with hair and my identity, from having relaxed hair through my teens and going “natural” in my mid-twenties, I now struggle with wanting to have the option of going straight, without having it chemically altered, and also feeling like myself with straight hair. There are times I want to “whip my hair back and forth” and have a swing that my Afro does not afford, but I also love the volume of my kinky halo. Recently I tried a texturizer in an effort to get closer to having the best of both worlds but it damaged it. What is a girl to do?
About a year ago I was introduced to the Hair Rules products as a possible answer to making my natural hair more manageable. When I went into the Salon in New York City I met business manager Jasmine Green, and after speaking with her and learning not only about the products but also about the philosophy behind them and the salon, I knew that this was something I wanted to bring to my readers. When I met the force behind the salon Anthony Dickey, his passion and dedication to not just giving people the hair they want and deserve, but his desire to have that confidence in their hair extend into way they feel about themselves over all.
I recently sat down with Dickey as he is affectionately known and talked about everything from, hair texture, products, the beauty industry, culture, race, wigs, weaves and how men REALLY see women!!
Dickey talks about his own self image, having a German mother, and African American father and being raised by his father’s side of the family. He shares how being light skinned with red hair in an African American family a looking NOTHING like anyone else helps him speak to the shame (of texture) that some women feel about themselves and their hair.
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