From furious debate on the Web about Michelle Obama's straightened hair to keen interest in model Tyra Banks's revelation of the hair she usually hides under wigs and weaves, Black women's hair has taken a prime place on the pop cultural agenda. More than just a fashion statement, a Black woman's choice of hairstyle can reflect her self-image, childhood experiences, and personal beliefs as well.
Using interviews, memoirs, and personal essays, this book sensitively charts Black women's journeys with their hair: how it is perceived, judged, and graded on the yardstick of mainstream society's standards of beauty. Women from Canada, the United States, Britain, and the Caribbean discuss their lives through the medium of their hair. Unhappy childhood struggles with the comb, adolescent experiments with identity through hair, and adult decisions for or against "natural" hair are all expressed with honesty, some wry humour, and the poignant realization that hair can be another social battlefield.