“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?



  1. Why are we as a community (African diaspora) arguing about hair (i.e Gabby)….really? We have bigger problems going on in our community. I agree with Perspective, knowing that she is of mixed race, and women from that race typically have full heads of hair, why bother asking? We all know she is mixed (from what I hear Brazilian and Indian hair are some of the best types of weaving/braiding hair)…Not all mixed children have full heads of long hair, but majority of them that I’ve come across, including my cousins, do. If we want to succeed as a community, we really need to stop getting so sensitive about every little misword some public figure says. I am sure her intention wasn’t to say women with hair that doesn’t look like hers is bad. I am sure you all probably just want readers, but you really could have asked her to clarify herself. She probably wanted to say that people of those races have a good chance of growing that type of hair. Its best to clarify and be sure that she is intended to speak in a negative manner.

  2. Mrs. Junior

    It’s really not that deep–or offensive. She didn’t even say she had “good hair.” Just seemed like she was letting readers know that her heritage allows her hair to grow straighter, thus easier to see her growth without chemicals or a lot of heat. In other words, there’s no secret to her growth, it just doesn’t require a whole lot manipulation to show it.


    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!!!!

  4. 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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