Challenging Hair August 21, 2009
From the NY Times:
On a recent afternoon, Mr. Dickey — who himself grew up with a bright red afro — discussed the relatively recent entry of professional techniques for styling African-American hair.
“We’re talking about an industry that was segregated,” said Mr. Dickey, speaking of the late 1980s, when he was working as a stylist in the fashion world. “The popular black models of the day — like Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell — mostly were given weaves so stylists wouldn’t have to struggle to figure out how to work with their natural hair.”
Mr. Dickey noticed a shift in the mid-1990’s when celebrities like the singer India Arie began posing for fashion magazines. “With hip-hop and R&B having such unique individual style, it forced the fashion industry to include ethnic hair stylists,” he said.
Ms. Georgiopoulos, a former model, and Mr. Dickey have been in cahoots ever since he helped her with her own high-maintenance curls.
Their Hair Rules product line, which came out last year, includes a sulfate-free shampoo, which, according to Dailey Greene, an assistant Hair Rules stylist, “doesn’t have the usual stripping agents that make my hair lock up.”
Haircuts at Hair Rules, 828 Ninth Avenue, (212) 315-2929, start at $65 for men and $100 for women.
The Buzz will stick with the dreads around the corner.
When Black Hair, Child Abuse and YouTube Meet August 2, 2009
Ghetto Hairstyles? March 24, 2009
Recently, while sitting on the number 2 train in Brooklyn next to two mothers, I overheard a very interesting conversation. One of the mothers was describing a hairstyle that her daughter requested as being “one of these ghetto hairstyles”. From what I heard, the style involved box braids in the back, complemented by flat twists in the front, which were each tied with a rubber band at the end. The mother expressed anger over the fact her daughter couldn’t be happy with two or three braids. As I listened to the conversation I thought about how hairstyles in the African-American community can be/often are signifiers of class, identity, level of education etc.