Hair Corner » Good Hair

Good Hair
by Barbaraann Rakestraw


Uses of the term “good hair” by black people in America dates all the way back to days of slavery. The term started with mulatto children whose mixed heritage resulted in hair that was straighter and finer than their friends with both black parents. Because slaves were often taunted for their African features, including kinky curly hair, they became ashamed of their hair’s natural state. Over the years black people began processes such as “hot combing” and chemical relaxing to alter their hair’s natural state. The idea was to mimic white people’s hair texture.

The real definition of “good hair” is healthy hair, well groomed and styled in a manner that is complimentary to the person wearing it.

I’ve seen beautiful dread locks; afros that make you want to salute with a “black power” fist; as well as short neat faded and barely there natural styles. Hair braiding has taken on a wonderful life of its own. We wear relaxed styles that are chemically straightened, hard pressed with a straightening comb or flat-ironed. Simply put, black people have made an art form out of hair. Whether straightened or kinky, nothing looks and feels better than healthy hair styled. (Yeah, that’s what’s good!)

No matter which magazine you open, or hair style you image, if your hair isn’t in a healthy state then your results will be less than desired. Don’t be fooled. There are styles best suited for thick, course, and kinky hair. And there are hair-dos for thin fine hair. It is important to pick a hair style that is right for your hair texture and your facial features. However, the first step of your journey begins with healthy hair and a healthy scalp.


These products are for all black hair types (natural, chemically relaxed, pressed). They are produced with essential oils to replenish your hairs’ natural nutrients. If you go to a hair salon, take the products with you or use them at home. Your hair will stop breaking after the first couple of uses. Guaranteed!

Go to the web site, submit your hair questions. They’ll be answered over the coming months in this column. If you have a hair topic you’d like to see covered in a future article, please submit a contact form from the web site. Include your email address in case there’s a need for clarification.

Don’t miss “Breaking Hair” coming next month.


Copyright 2012 – Barbaraann Rakestraw.  All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

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  1. avatar Nancy says:

    Great article Ms. Rakestraw…I use your hair products and absolutely love them! I’m looking forward to your next article!

  2. avatar leigh cravin says:

    Good article, if only we, or least most of us, believed it. Oh, the power of brainwashing! This, “hair thang” is but another variation of the “skin color” thang, and black folks have bought into every known myth about self denigration. Who is now the “most beautiful woman in the world?” Beyonce. What does she look like? But what is her real hair length and texture? One of her sisters “came out” last year wearing her very short kinky-curly hair–without the extensions. How long did that last? About a hot minute. Even if Beyonce’s hair “is real,” her “most beautiful” status sends yet another message to darker skinned women –yet another message from the folks we used to call the Isrealites–that is a black person who “is real light.” Nice T-shirt, but not the reality that I see on a daily basis. But, self acceptance has to begin somewhere and your post is a good beginning.