Lifestyles Report…The long and short of it


The world’s problems are normally solved at the hair salon. On a recent visit to the beauty parlor I got into a good debate about the hair of some very famous people. It is so amazing that hair has always been such a concern to Black people: do we have good hair, nappy hair, real hair, hair weave or a wig?

The ladies at the top of the discussion were—insert drum roll here—Oprah and Beyoncé. Both have more money than God and we’re debating their hair. It was that darnn new hair cut that B is wearing. Is it real or is it fake? The shampoo girl says it’s a lace front, I say I’m not so sure, I just think she took the weave off. I’m sure you saw the video where her weave was caught in the fan. I think the new pixie hair cut was supposed to be the aftermath.

As for Miss Oprah I think she has been blending in hair for a while now. Yes, she has—or maybe I should say, had—a very healthy thick head of hair, but as we grow older our hair thins out. Do you remember when she had Chris Rock on her show to discuss the movie “Good Hair”? He wanted to run his hands through her hair. She instructed him to the area he could touch. Enough said.

Now I’m not mad at B or O but I really hate that so many young ladies are so dissatisfied with their own hair. We are the biggest purchasers of hair and the stores that we purchase it from don’t give two cents about us as a people. Those establishments won’t even buy a $10 ad in your church bulletin. I recently read about a potential boycott of the fashion industry due to the lack of diversity on the runways and in magazines. I would love to see that same thing happen with hair or at least buy the hair from someone that looks like you.

Years ago a document was published about the Korean domination of the Black Hair Care Industry. I just looked at an update of that video on YouTube—it only has 2,262 views. I’m begging you to look at this. You can find it by entering B.O.B.S.A (Black Owned Beauty Supply Association). It is heart-breaking. The Black-owned beauty suppliers find themselves at the mercy of the Asian entrepreneurs, who now outnumber Blacks in the business by 10 to 1. Once the Koreans developed a monopoly they reportedly began refusing to ship merchandise to any African-American-owned stores, bankrupting most of them in the process. These Korean-owned stores are supported 100 percent by Black people.

African-Americans spend billions of dollars every year on their hair, whether on wigs and extensions, moisturizers, relaxers and more. Blacks comprise only 10 percent of the U.S. population but it is estimated we consume more than 75 percent of the country’s hair care products. Rest in peace. Madam C.J. Walker.

(Email the columnist at deb­bie­


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