Review: My Beautiful Black Hair: 101 Natural Hair Stories from the Sisterhood by St. Clair Detrick – Jules

My Beautiful Black Hair is a book about Black women embracing their natural hair. One hundred and one Black women share their stories of learning to love their natural hair and the immense power in that self-love.

St. Clair Detrick-Jules was inspired to write the book when her little sister, Khloe, came home from preschool where a classmate had told her that her hair was ugly. St. Clair wanted to send a message to Khloe and young Black women everywhere that their hair is beautiful just the way it is.

The stories she captured reveal both the depth of the physical and emotional damage done to many women by relaxing their hair and trying to make it look “acceptable,” and the incredible resilience, self-love, and acceptance they gained by learning to embrace their hair and free themselves from Eurocentric beauty standards.

Accompanied by beautiful and intimate photographs of each woman, the book is an encouraging voice for young Black women and the adults who remember their own journeys to self-acceptance.

Review

I feel like I need to get a hard copy of this book and just keep it for my daughter. When she is old enough, I hope she will know that her hair is beautiful as it is. Should she decide to straighten it, let it be because its just want she wants but not because society has taught her that black hair is unacceptable.

This is such a powerful, affirming read. Filled with beautiful pictures and stories of natural hair was quite powerful. I could resonate with these women. I grew up straightening my hair with heat and at some point, with chemicals. With me it wasn’t about identity but more because I thought my natural hair was unpresentable and unmanageable. A decade ago, I went natural and almost lost my job because someone thought natural, black hair was unprofessional. I stood strong and began a silent revolt that led to the change of policies and now I can smile when I see more women with their natural afros and dreadlocks.

This was quite a thought-provoking read that challenged me on my thoughts about black hair and identity. I enjoyed the celebration of natural hairstyles and liked reading about different journeys that the women took towards acceptance and self-love. What a beautiful, powerful read.

11 thoughts on “Review: My Beautiful Black Hair: 101 Natural Hair Stories from the Sisterhood by St. Clair Detrick – Jules

    1. Agreed. Such unnecessary pressure. My daughter’s hair is curly and I only add colourful ribbons once in a while. There are people already telling me to braid or have it straightened. She’s too young. Scalp still tender. I’m ignoring those opinions. Definitely will keep a copy of this book for her.

      1. My daughter has curly hair and I do not. I had a lot of fun learning how to take care of it. It’s changed textures as she has gotten older. I feel like every couple of years I’m researching and learning new things.

  1. I’ve added it to my tbr. I think your silent revolt is so cool and admirable too. I also grew up thinking my hair in its natural state is unmanageable, which is why I asked my mom to perm it. But I’m so happy now to have my natural hair back again. It blows my mind that now I have to learn how to care for my natural hair because I was so used to having it permed.

    1. Natural hair is no joke though lol. I have an afro for 2 years before I got dreadlocks. The afro still remains my favorite look but the care routine was quite something. My hair is type 4C I think, the shrinkage, breakage and coils was quite something so had to use detangling products and wet it to comb it. It still remains my fave hair though but I totally get what you mean about having to learn to take care of your natural hair.

  2. I remember being a kid and hating my hair. It wasn’t long, straight or silky. I was happy when I got a perm but the damage that it did to my hair and also mentality because of how much I feared getting perms because of the burning sensation. When I went natural again and started taking care of my own hair I saw progress and my hair changed. I started loving my hair and complaining about the maintanence but I’ll take that over a relaxer anyday

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