Tag Archives: fro/poof

Hairvolution #109

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This contributor was one of my college roommates, and it was during our junior year at Texas Lutheran University that we both made major hair transitions – I chopped off all my hair, thus abandoning my awkward attempts at Texas-grade femininity; she went natural.  We had endless conversations about the impact of our respective transitions – how people interacted with us differently, how our families responded, and (most importantly) how we felt about ourselves.  For both of us, the experience was difficult but ultimately an incredibly rewarding journey.  I’m so glad to have made it with her by my side!

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Zina Saro-Wiwa, a British-Nigerian filmmaker currently based in Brooklyn, produced a short documentary in 2012 about the growing number of black women in America transitioning to natural hair.  About the movement, she says this:

[B]lack hair and the black body generally have long been a site of political contest in American history and in the American imagination. Against this backdrop, the transition movement has a political dimension — whether transitioners themselves believe it or not. Demonstrating this level of self-acceptance represents a powerful evolution in black political expression. If racial politics has led to an internalization of self-loathing, then true transformation will come internally, too. It will not be a performative act. Saying it loud: “I’m black and I’m proud” is one thing. Believing it quietly is another. So the transition movement is much more profound and much more powerful — and I believe it offers lessons in self-acceptance for people of all hues and all genders.

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Hairvolution #86

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This submission arrived in my mailbox – an unexpected (and delightful!) surprise from an old friend in Seattle.  If ever anybody else were to want to contribute their own hairvolution, send me an email (lcparke(at)gmail.com) and I’ll pass on my address!

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Hairvolution #39

Random fact: Awesome as red hair may be, studies have shown that people with red hair need larger doses of anesthesia (on average, about 20% more than people with dark hair or blond coloring).

* “Chongos” is the Spanish term for “pigtails.”

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Hairvolution #19

FYI: The average person’s hair grows approximately 0.5 inches per month, or 6 inches per year.

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Hairvolution #18

The vast majority of participants realized after drawing their hairvolution that they had actually depicted a mirror image of themselves rather than portraying how the rest of the world sees them.  This brought up an interesting conversation about hair parts and a recent story on NPR’s Radio Lab called Mirror, Mirrorwhich features Hair Part Theory, a concept developed by John and Catherine Walter.  Essentially, the theory suggests, “A hair part has a crucial impact on interpersonal relationships by affecting immediate character appraisal, perceived personality traits, self-perception and self-development.”  Follow the links to learn more.

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Hairvolution #14

The “fro-hawk” is explored in depth by Teresa Wiltz in her article, Attitude Out the Ears, written for the Washington Post in 2008.  From her perspective, “To be black and Mohawked – or fro-hawked – is to rage against both the machine and one’s own community, a double dose of in-your-face outsiderism, rendering a life lived on the outskirts of the outskirts.”

Wiltz’s conservative take on an alternative style reminds me of my own mother’s concerns when I shaved my head – she expressed concern that I looked too aggressive and unapproachable.  It appears that this participant and I had similar solutions: smile!

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