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Natural Hair Book Review | Hair Story: Untangling The Roots of Black Hair in America

Year Published: 2001
Authors: Ayana D. Byrd & Lori L. Tharps
Rating: 5/5

This book is a book like no other natural hair book because it covers many areas which are rarely spoken of on various hair vlogs, blogs and books. I call this book a Black Hair History Book because it chronicles the history of Black Hair from pre-slavery to modern day. It contains major hair events which has come to define Black men and women’s strong emotional attachment to their hair.

Although “Hair Story” is only about Black American hair history, the contents in it is related to every Black person worldwide as we all share a similar history and use “white-owned” hair products and have similar perceptions about our hair. So whether you’re an African, Brazilian, or Caribbean, this book promises to challenge your thinking about the Business and Politics of Black Hair. The facts and events outlined in the book will even get you upset about the choices you’ve made in the past due to ignorance.

I actually own this book, I always recommend it at every workshop I facilitate

To give you a sneak peak into what to expect in this book, let me share the table of contents with you

1. Black Hair in Bondage: 1400-1899
2. No Excuse for Nappy: 1900-1964
3. Revolutionary Roots:  Naturals, Afros, and the Changing Politics of Hair: 1965-1979
4. The Business of Black Hair (It explains how the Asians managed to take over the Hair (weave) Industry supply chain system and how Caucasians managed to take over major hair care products company.
5. Politically Incorrect – Black Hair’s New Attitude: 1980-1994 (Did you know that cornrows were not allowed at the workplace at one time, and women who wore such hairstyles were let go?)
6. The Burden of Proof: Explaining Black Hair Culture
7. Hair Today, Hair Tomorrow: 1995-2000

This is a book which I believe every Black person (men and women) should permanently have in their book shelf. It also makes a perfect gift to friends and family, particularly those with a strong negative perception about their hair. 

Knowledge is Power and I guarantee that after reading this book, you will be empowered and knowledgeable to make educated decisions and hopefully lay a wise foundation for future generation.

Have you read this book? How did the book change your thoughts about Black hair? What other reviews can you add to this post?

Got other thoughts, ideas and comments about this post or other posts? I’d love to hear from you. Don’t be too shy to leave your “footprint” in the comment box below 🙂