Black-ish Star Tracee Ellis Ross Talks Hair, Black Standards of Beauty

Last week I published a piece on this site about how a white dude at the opera called me "disgusting" after I refused pull back my naturally curly hair. I wrote that my hair looked "more Tracee Ellis-Ross in Black-ish than Diana Ross's 1983 Central Park performance." Translation: I was having a tame hair day. And now,… »1/24/15 5:15pm1/24/15 5:15pm

When the Opera Acts Like It's Never Seen a Black Person Before

The man at the opera tells me I'm disgusting, but in a lot of ways, he's lucky. There is no moisture in the air. I slept the night before in braids. It's a matinee, so I'm holding a very strong day vibe: more Tracee Ellis-Ross in Black-ish than Diana Ross's 1983 Central Park performance. My hair is being tame for my… »1/20/15 12:10pm1/20/15 12:10pm

Defense Secretary Hagel Orders Army to Review Black Hair Bans

The Army and its complicated relationship with black hair are back! I’m sure before ordering the military to review its recent controversial hairstyle rules, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel probably needed several people to explain why banning locks and twists was a problem for African American soldiers, let alone a… »5/01/14 5:10pm5/01/14 5:10pm

Army Bans Braids and Twists Because They Don't Understand Black Hair

As if the military doesn’t have enough fires with all those sexual assault claims, the Army released an updated regulation banning twists and braids for female members. In response, African American soldiers have crafted a White House petition asking President Obama to order the Army to reconsider their new… »4/01/14 5:30pm4/01/14 5:30pm

The Sights & Sounds of "You Can Touch My Hair"

Growing up, touching my hair was the sole province of the family caregivers who would wash, brush, braid, cornrow, pigtail, or hot comb it until I was myself old enough to manage its daily styling. As I entered adolescence, those family members were replaced by the professionals who'd relax it during the school year… »6/11/13 9:00pm6/11/13 9:00pm

Exhibit Asks People to Explore ‘Tactile Fascination with Black Hair’

Because you wouldn’t go up to a stranger (any stranger, really) and ask to touch that person’s hair without being justifiably throat-punched, un’ruly, a site that focuses on the experience of being black and having hair, is launching a public exhibit in New York’s Union Square called “You Can Touch My Hair.” Want to… »6/06/13 9:15pm6/06/13 9:15pm