Smithies on Hair


Anonymous ’99 writes at My, you have really put on weight! about maternal hair dynamics:

Mom hasn’t told me yet this morning that I’ve put on weight, but she has told me that my hair looks better down. Mom rarely misses an opportunity to tell me that my hair doesn’t look better in a different way, although she did tell me at dinner last night that it looked good. Unlike the weight thing, or maybe just like the weight thing, the hair thing is hilarious because it’s nonsensical. This morning, my hair was pulled back because I was exercising. Yesterday afternoon, when mom told me my hair looked bad, I had been walking for over an hour in the wind.

Lori ’94 writes at My American Meltingpot writes about race and hair and kids and… lice, asking the question: “Do Head Lice Respect the One-Drop Rule?”

The one common elementary school infestation that I dread the most is head lice. Eww! Just writing the words makes me itch. But here’s the thing, my paranoia and fear about finding white creepy crawlies in my kids’ hair is tempered with my fervent hope that their hair is “Black” enough to repel the heinous little buggers.

I mean everybody knows that Black people can’t get lice, right? No really, I wrote a book about Black hair and I did the research. Let me explain. It’s not that Black people CAN’T get lice, it’s just that the North American head louse has adapted to Caucasian hair and can’t really navigate the shape of African-American hair follicles. Can you say I’m happy to be nappy? If you go to Africa, or even Brazil however, those badboys are all over Black hair.


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