"Come on, y'all know Black women be ashy and can't grow their hair": Unlearning 'ugly' myths about Black skin and hair


Dr. A. Breeze Harper without make-up, May 2013.

Dr. Harper, November 2012 with daughter, Eva Luna.
Dr. Harper, November 2012 with daughter, Eva Luna.

Growing up, I experienced a lot of women of color telling me that Black women ‘just can’t grow hair.’ I never doubted this, as I thought that that was true, as my hair never seemed to grow. In addition, I thought us Black folk were just supposed to have not only have hair growth problems , but always ‘be ashy’ and have ‘dry looking’ skin. Why did I accept such a myth, which seemed to be more about harboring internalized racism about the ‘lack of natural beauty’ of Black women, than it did with any ‘real’ facts. I remember one day at Sally’s, hearing two black females working there, joking about how black women are always ashy and that we can’t grown our hair to saves our lives. I was in my early 20s and perhaps it was because I had finally been introduced to bell hooks (LOL)– but their comments were quite upsetting and infuriating to me. Why did so many of us think this way about ourselves? However, little did I know that a year or two later, this was indeed a myth and I could   ‘easily’ achieve glowing skin and strong healthy hair with a change of lifestyle through a plant-based diet and hair/skin care regiment. I want to share this wisdom and my experiences with you. Will you join me?

My name is  Dr. A. Breeze Harper of the Sistah Vegan Project. I have been complimented often about how much my hair grows and how much my skin glows. I do not go to hair salons or spas, and nor have I worn make-up for about 15 years. I have also been asked for years, to offer quick and basic classes to teach women my secrets. Growing your hair and having a natural (i.e. afro) is possible through holistic methods. In this webinar, I will teach you what foods and herbs you can take, as well as put on your hair and scalp, that will help your hair grow, become stronger, and healthier.  I will also focus a portion of this webinar to growing you hair back, after giving birth. Postpartum hair loss is all too common amongst women. I know women who had children 2 or 3 years ago and continue to have hair loss and thinning problems. With a few tips from me, they were able to grow their hair back.The second part of this webinar will teach you about the herbs, foods, and topical treatments I use to achieve glowing and healthy skin.

  • Learn how to combat breakage
  • Learn how this one simple and cheap natural oil can grow your hair, add hydration, and is also excellent for your skin
  • Learn how easy it is to ‘go natural’, with the right shampoo, oils, herbs, and conditioner

Date: June 30, 2013 Time: 10:00 am PST

Cost: $30.00

Spaces Left: 27 out of 30.

Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes (approximately)

Technology requirements: a computer with a fast internet connection and a free WebEx account (my webinars are hosted through WebEx, so if you don’t want to call a regular phone number to access it and then pay per minute, you can join the webinar with a password via a free WebEx account). You should have speakers or headphone to hear. I will be using video and audio so participants will be able to see and hear me present. The webinar will be recorded and available to access for free for you who have registered, to refer to as long as you desire. There will be Q&A at the end.

How to pay: please sent payment to my PayPal account. My email associated with that account is breezeharper (at) gmail (dot) com. In the memo field please type in “hairjune2013”

About the Instructor: Dr. A. Breeze Harper is the director and founder of the Sistah Vegan Project, a organization dedicated to critical race feminist perspectives on veganism, as seen through the collective experiences of Black North American females. Dr. Harper started the project in 2005. She holds degrees from Dartmouth College, Harvard University, and University of California-Davis. Her innovative ability to integrate the use of educational technologies to analyze Black female vegans food and health philosophies earned her the Dean’s Award from Harvard University in 2007 for her Master Thesis work: this is an honor only bestowed upon one candidate per program.

Dr. Harper’s knowledge about diversity within the field of food and wellness has marked her as a highly sought after paid consultant and speaker for many American universities. She has given many keynote addresses including at Boston University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, University of Oregon, and Southwestern University. She teaches students, faculty, and staff how and why people have unique relationships to food and wellness and how these relationships are impacted by race, socio-economic class, gender, sexuality, and ability. She has published extensively, including Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health and Society (Lantern Books 2010). She graduated summa cum-laude from University of California-Davis with a PhD in critical geographies of race and food.

Disclaimer: I am not a certified practitioner or medical doctor. Please consult with your practitioner before trying any of the foods or herbs that I recommend.

2 thoughts on “"Come on, y'all know Black women be ashy and can't grow their hair": Unlearning 'ugly' myths about Black skin and hair

  1. I’ve never actually heard a general statement about Black women with my own ears. I have heard other people mentioning something they heard someone else say, but I’ve never experienced something like that first hand. However, my sister did say that her hair doesn’t grown, but she was specifically and exclusively speaking about herself. And to think about it, I’ve only seen my sisters hair at her chin…never any longer, but sometimes shorter…but usually at her chin.

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