Everyone knows Zuri as “the girl with the puffy hair.” Her afro is big and fluffy, and not even gravity can keep it down. People often ask her, “What are you gonna do with that hair?” Zuri finds the answer in her cultural hair-itage and shows she can sculpt and shape her curls and coils into beautiful works of African art—braids, ‘locks, bantu knots—in other words, whatever she wants! This illustrated non-fiction book encourages Black girls to celebrate the beauty and versatility of their natural hair and learn the rich history of natural hairstyles.
Follow Zuri on Instagram: @zurisbeautifulhair
In 2006, as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow, I traveled the world for a year to learn about the practices of hair braiding/locking in seven countries. My research project, “Braiding: Traditional Art, Esthetic Service or Cultural Expression”, involved interviewing women and girls about why and how they braided their hair; hair care professionals about their techniques; and people, in general, about how they felt about braided styles. During my year abroad, I learned that women, worldwide, have hang-ups about their hair and this often affects their self-esteem. Since hair is considered to be such an integral part of women’s beauty, if a woman doesn’t feel good about her hair, she probably doesn’t feel good about herself either. This is why I want Black girls and women to appreciate the uniqueness and versatility of our hair. I would also like people from other backgrounds to learn more about natural hair and to accept that natural hair is beautiful too.
Thank you again for purchasing "What Are You Gonna Do with that Hair?" As mentioned in the book, we have created some resources for you to learn how to do your own natural hairstyles at home. Please click on the link below to learn more!