“Good hair” is a loaded phrase in the black community, as it often excludes kinkier textures and tighter coils in preference of straight locks or loose curls. It’s a sensitive topic, and the firestorm surrounding Melanie Fiona’s comments to Sophisticate’s Black Hair Styles and Care Guide shows that the wounds are still fresh.

Here’s an excerpt from Fiona’s feature in the June/July 2012 issue:

SBH: What’s the secret to your gorgeous long hair?
Melanie Fiona: I was born with a full head of hair, and my mom wouldn’t let me cut it until I was 12! I’m mixed – my mom is Black and Portuguese and my dad is Indian so I have a good mix for growth.

Some bloggers were outraged that Fiona would attribute growth to her mixed roots. Ebony of Longing4Length.com writes:

“In the future when asked this same question, a much better response would be “I’ve been blessed to always have a head full of hair and never had to concentrate on growing it long.” You can acknowledge your ethnicity but that whole ‘good mix for growth’ girl, if I were part of your PR and marketing team, that statement would be forever banned from your vocabulary! Secondly, where have you been Melanie? Did you not get the memo that we are trying to do away with the term “good hair” in all of its traditional uses?! I need to send her one of those popular t-shirts with the slogan: I got good hair – I got African in my family! Shoooo, she needs the accompanying earrings too! Or maybe we need to have Rev. Al Sharpton conduct a public funeral for the phrase good hair as he did for the N-word!”

What are your thoughts, Clutchettes? Was Melanie Fiona’s “good mix for growth” comment tactless and offensive? Or is being read into too deeply?


    I read this article JUST for reading pleasure and that’s it. The headliner caught my attention and now i’ve been sucked in and here I am posting a comment when I can actually be doing something way more important than discussing Melanie’s hair vs. heritage. I’m 100% American by way of slave trading and I love my African heritage and hair is just that…. hair…. and with that being said I’m going to go EARLY VOTE instead of worrying about Melanie “not representing” the black community because the community gots way bigger problems than “good hair”………. GO VOTE!!!!

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  • Bridget

    By the way, white races who have straight hair have to deal with tangled hair, but do not define their hair as a race, as tangled, the way black hair is defined as kinky. Hair may tangle naturally just as it may kink naturally, but one race’s hair is defined by this tendancy and the other is not. Why is that? Therefore, kinky is an insult.

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