“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?

  • KitKat

    I cannot wait until this myth dies.

  • Yb

    Yeah she sounds dumb ass hell and looks indistinguishable from some 100% black West Africans I know, so I don’t know why she’s raving about being mixed.

    And why do we continue to attribute long hair to other races? As if we haven’t seen black folks with dreads to there ankles?

  • Patience.

    What! Melanie Fiona said that? I follow her on Twitter and she seems to be a very intelligent, conscious woman. Oh man, please tell me she didn’t say that. Please!

  • Jessi Jess

    Hashtag team sensitive. I am a big person on outlawing the use of words “nappy”, “good hair”, “bad hair” and the like. But her comment was not about having good hair; it was about having a good mix (ethnically) that helps with her growth. And for her, her statement is true. I want for us (black people) to be able to not jump on someone for every single comment they make.

  • isis

    Don’t see an issue with what she said. aint too many full black girls walking around with shoulder length and longer hair. sad but true

  • -A.

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and hope she meant that because of this mix, her hair texture is more prone to length retention. Which in all honesty, it probably is. No shade, ijs.

  • GetOVERit

    So what she said that… people are so sensitive you can not make people talk the way you want them to talk…”we are trying to do away with the term “good hair” well do away with it from your mouth…that’s just like telling somebody they shouldn’t curse. Yeah they shouldn’t but they do and so what. We are not robots you can’t make everybody get on your bandwagon because you don’t like something. I’m not mixed at all and guess what that don’t bother me now who should she please me, you or herself….stop worrying about other people heads and how they describe themselves and worry about your own!!!

  • http://gravatar.com/niknique Serene

    First of all, I clicked on the link at this article was written in June 2012…so why bring it up now.

    As for my opinion, since I’m relatively new to the natural hair community (10 months transitioning), I find that some of the these bloggers make a a big deal out of everything, everything is offensive and controversial. I’m not offended by the comment, nor did I find it tactless….I don’t really think much of it. I think that if we are really happy and comfortable, and confident with what we have, (ie coily, kinky curly, etc.), then we wouldn’t cry foul every time someone that doesn’t fit the script.

  • -A.

    I had a perfectly good comment and it disappeared…haha.. :)

    But seriously, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that just maybe she meant that her hair texture ( a result of her mixed heritage) is more prone to length retention. Which she is probably right about. Ijs.

  • NY’s Finest

    There aren’t too many black women walking around with hair that length not because it can’t grow that long but because of the damage many do their hair.

  • http://gravatar.com/eynapanirb B.Payne

    If I had a problem with this statement, then that’s a reflection on me and my self-esteem issues. People have the right to say what they want about their hair whether it’s the “acceptable” curl or not.

  • Caro

    she said “I have a good mix for growth.” she is part Indian, you know those indians with knee length hair that people buy their hair to make weaves and wigs. She didn’t say she had better hair than you. She says her hair grows fast because of her mixed heritage. People taking offense to that need to check their complex on why the hell it hurts them so much. People we gotta heal from this obsession. and it starts with yourself. ask yourself why this bothers you so much before you start catching feelings.

  • Jaslene

    She’s Canadian I don’t think she knows what those comments mean to those her in the US. Also those comments were in Sophisticate’s Black Hair Styles and Care Guide people are always making off the wall comments like that.

  • Cocochanel31

    she didn’t mean any offense by it but she should just be told why it was distorted by some. Indians do by nature tend to have longer hair than some African Americans, some not ALL, and she just proved the point that it’s genetics that determines hair length/texture and not MANE N PONY, or Do Grow Grease!!

  • Shaliese

    I dont understand when people are so “conscious” that they sound ignorant.. To grow strong as people we have to get rid of weak minds. Why should whatever internal complex you have with yourself, limit my freedom of speech.. Stop taking offense to the facts, CHANGE THEM!!

  • http://elegantblackwoman.blogspot.com Elegance

    She’s Canadian and only a quarter Black! I never even heard the term “good hair” until the movie came out. I don’t know much about her but maybe she doesn’t even hang out with Black people and her family is mostly Indian or Portuguese and they never heard that term and they all have similar hair. Not every Black person around the world knows about African American issues or gets their “memos”.

    I didn’t find her comment offensive. In fact, I think that it would have been inauthentic and misleading to act like she was full Black yet still has hair like that. That would be misleading to the readers of the HAIR MAGAZINE who are trying to get hair like hers. She let them know that it may be impossible because she is mixed and seems to have hair more like Portuguese or Indian women. Her ethnicity has a lot to do with her hair so why should she hide it? She should proudly say what she is.

  • Vasha

    Yes, y’all are over analyzing her comment. She did not say she have good or bad hair. It is true that Indians have full wavy hair.

  • Patience

    She’s Canadian but she has also lived here in the US.

  • Apple

    I don’t know why people acting like what she saying isn’t true. It may not always happen that mixed people have long / fast growing hair but there is enough mixed peopel around with long hair that grows with low effort to see there is truth in it. Stop with the denial

  • Yvette

    It’s not that it’s offensive, it’s that it’s untrue. Everyone’s hair grows at pretty much the same rate. With unprocessed black hair, it appears to grow more slowly because our hair is curlier and lays closer to the scalp. With relaxed hair, oftentimes chemical damage prevents it from growing to a significant length.

  • KitKat

    Why would you want to put a limit on what black people can achieve? That’s the mentality I don’t understand. Why do so many believe anything mixed with black instantly means better? It seems to be an extension of the “I’ve never seen it, so it doesn’t exist” mindset.

  • African Mami

    Much ado about nothing. Whatev! Love me some Melanie Fiona.

  • http://www.eatstyleplay.com Eat.Style.Play

    I agree though, I know unless i honestly have in braids and weaves touching my hair even to wash results in breakage i felt like I went through a period where my hair just wasn’t doing anything, as soon as i put braids in, grew like weeds, personally I see some of my friends hair growing like crazy I can’t lie, they have a soft texture of hair, and bigger curl patterns. I think people are really thinking a bit too deep into this, but that’s just my thoughts. There are some youtubers out there who had this length but it seems like it took longer to achive and take way more care to maintain.

  • http://www.eatstyleplay.com Eat.Style.Play

    I’m not offended at all, personally I know my friend who is the same mix that girl cut her hair and it was down the middle of her back in a year, it took me 3 years to get mine at chin length. So personally I dont see it as offensive to me a black woman with natural hair. I think genetics play a big role in things like this, but I dont think it’s worth recieving backlash for.

  • Patience

    I agree with you there.

    As I have said on another article, people connect a woman’s femininity with her hair. A lot of Black women damage their hair. They damage it to the point that they have no choice but to keep doing so (damaging it) because they have to cover what it already damaged. Does that make any sense? It’s like a woman who damages her hairline because she wears too tight braids, but she can’t stop wearing braids because it is the only way she can cover up the damage to her hairline unless she wore a wig.

  • SS25

    Self-hatred is very alive in our community. SMH

  • LaNubiana

    I’ve learned hair is a sensitive issue even in here… :(

  • African Mami

    girl please, I ain’t got the time, for nonsense! Speak your mind…..

    and with that said, how are ya darrrrrrrrrrrrrrrling!!

  • GetOVERit

    I was just thinking the same thing @Serene…if people are so happy to be nappy why get mad at somebody else because they feel their ethnicity has something to do with how their hair grows.

  • cocopuffs

    lol i dont know what to say about that because i see a ton of females that are mixed whos hair cannot seem to grow i also heard a few Caucasian women say they cannot get their hair to grow past their shoulders
    so can someone tell me the real good mix to make hair grow? i have yet to see it

  • Patience

    She is actually Guyanese.

  • Pseudonym

    I know of black people’s sensitivities, however black people must also acknowledge that some of their hangups are other people’s facts. Having an Indian parent for her is fact. Why can’t she be proud of that? These same people wouldn’t complain if a mixed person with a black parent credited her black heritage to her curves, full lips, or coiled hair. Black people aren’t the only people on this earth with positive/attractive physical attributes that they can receive credit for.

    I don’t think it’s fair that black women can all be free to be proud of their heritage and wear shirts like “I got good hair, I got African in my family,” but take others’ pride in their own heritage to be an attack on black women b/c they have racial hangups and inferiority complexes that they need to work out.

    She’s got good hair, too. She’s got African and Indian in her family. Get over whatever you think there is that’s making you have an attitude over this fact.

    And for real talk:

    Where do they sell 22-inch 100% black (however you define it) hair? Nowhere. Where do they sell 22-inch 100% Indian hair? Everywhere. Also, black people tend to have thick hair (in its natural state) so she has genes for both long and thick hair.

  • beautiful mic

    Mixed identified people (with multiracial parentage or recent mixture) are conditioned to the believe that their recent mixed race state/identity makes them more superior to the rest of humanity. I notice that England tends to perpetuate this myth, strongly.

    But when person actually states it, I just say thank you. You’re not getting my dollars or support.

  • cocopuffs

    ugh and people having a certain mix of hair doesnt make your hair grow long its the maintenance and if your hair breaks due to tangles and such that is why most aa hair do not appear to “grow” all hair grows it just doesnt retain

  • Pseudonym

    P.S. Big Ups to the Guyanese People!!!!!!!!!!

    Maybe next time she should just say that and leave it ambiguously. j/k

  • Shell

    ive seen plenty of bald headed mixed children and grown women…so please

  • Pseudonym

    “People taking offense to that need to check their complex on why the hell it hurts them so much. People we gotta heal from this obsession. and it starts with yourself. ask yourself why this bothers you so much before you start catching feelings.”

    yES! yES! yES!

    B/c if her parents were Indian and white, and she made this same comment, there would be no backlash. People with a white and non-white-or-black parent do it in Hollywood all the time and people nod. Even writers on Clutch have talked about white people’s attributes coming from their “ethnic” roots of being Greek, Italian, Puerto Rican, etc.

    White women don’t get all up in arms about it. Why? Because they don’t have this inferiority complex on their shoulders.

  • Maria L.

    Actually, our hair is more prone to breakage and thus less length-retention. This is due to the structure and shape (oval shaft and curly), which affects how far sebum travels from root to end and general strength. These differences are directly due to ethnicity. So it is not untrue. Even the most contentious naturalista can’t grow the butt length hair of the average rural Indian girl.

    Sometimes we are so PC that we contradict basic sense and the observations of our lifetimes. Our hair is not bad, but duh, its less likely to grow as long as Indian etc.

    It’s like getting mad because someone says, oh, I’m light because I’m mixed.

  • http://twitter.com/SocaMomDC SocaMom (@SocaMomDC)

    She just doesn’t know… people assume that people of mixed heritage have hair that grows faster and longer – she just said what she believes to be true. My hair grew from a very close cut to past my shoulders (when stretched out) in just a year. My grandma is black and Portuguese too, so maybe that’s it – Ms. Melanie Fiona could have unlocked the secret! My hair has always grown like that, and I have a VERY tight curl. I know people of mixed heritage whose hair seems to grow at a snails pace. I don’t think race has anything to do with how long or fast your hair grows. It is probably more genetics than anything else.

  • Pseudonym

    She def looks different from West Africans. I think you actually mean East Africans and that’s because Guyanese people and East Africans have the same mix of genes: mostly African and Arab with a little Portuguese here and there (and some Chinese in the Carib).

    and dreds arent’ really “long hair” per se. They get as long as they do because they prevent hair from shedding. If you were to take down someone’s dreds, the hair that will be left will not be that same length. It will be much shorter once all the hair that would have been shed under normal circumstances is taken away.

  • LaNubiana


    All I’d well. How are you and how are things going at your side of Afrika?

  • beautiful mic

    We’re supposed to believe and internalize, be intimidated by, this myth about “good hair” so that we choose to collectively procreate kinky nappy hair out of our bloodlines. This is how a lot of sub-Saharan descended mixed race people think, stemming back to the colonial era, and is part of the reason why many think they are superior, and oh so different, than sub-Saharan descendants who don’t have non-black social race heritage and/or who have more distant mixed ancestry – admixture (products of hypo-descent).

    Pure ignorance.

  • beautiful mic

    We’re supposed to believe and internalize this myth about “good hair” so that we choose to collectively procreate kinky nappy hair out of our bloodlines (self-inflicted phenotype genocide). They don’t have to rape us anymore to produce the silkier hair textures, we’re doing it to ourselves are shame and disgust for our own inherit traits.

    This is how a lot of sub-Saharan descended mixed race people think, and is part of the reason why many think they are superior, and oh so different, than sub-Saharan descendants who don’t have non-black social race heritage and/or who have more distant mixed ancestry – admixture (products of hypo-descent).

  • Barbara

    Ummmm she is right, First, she did not claim “good hair ” and yes she does have that good mix for growth, rather length retention which is what makes for long hair. Why does it seem like white women and mixed women grow long hair easily? Easy, long hair is all about keeping the hair on your head! Most women grow 1/2 in a month, black women with nappy textures [such as myself, hey :-) ] without extra TLC have a difficult time keeping that growth because our hair coils up on itself, this is a fact, nothing more and nothing less. Our hair (the vast majority) is different to other races and mixed races, no biggie!

  • donnadara

    If you keep those chemicals out of your hair and wait long enough, anyone can grow long hair. It’s call patience. Have you ever seen locs? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-ciMuVhDXA

  • http://gravatar.com/thereluctantsocialite thereluctantsocialite

    “hope she meant that because of this mix, her hair texture is more prone to length retention.”

    That’s what I took from her comment.

    Its not that black women can’t grow long hair. I’ve seen plenty of black women with long hair. I have long hair. Its just that some textures are more prone to breakage than others and if you don’t take care of your hair like you need to, you’ll have a tough time growing it out. So…what she said wasn’t really untrue… she just could have worded it differently.

  • Tiffy

    Black people can grow their hair long but for the most part even if you never permed your hair a day in your life for most people of African descent our hair will never reach the lengths of Indians, whites etc. in that loose state (our hair doesn’t seem to have that problem in braids and dreads) our hair is just too dry and breaks so easily. Melanie wasn’t saying anything wrong all she said is she has a good mix for growth and she does, forget about that Portuguese tidbit Indians and Blacks tend to have beautiful thick hair. She’s not degrading blackness, she’s not saying kinky or nappy hair is ugly, and she didn’t even use the term good hair. She’s just saying being mixed played into her having a texture of hair where she doesn’t have to work hard to maintain length.

  • http://gravatar.com/thereluctantsocialite thereluctantsocialite

    “I find that some of the these bloggers make a a big deal out of everything, everything is offensive and controversial. I’m not offended by the comment, nor did I find it tactless….I don’t really think much of it. I think that if we are really happy and comfortable, and confident with what we have, (ie coily, kinky curly, etc.), then we wouldn’t cry foul every time someone that doesn’t fit the script.”


  • Box

    Love Ms. Fiona but I can’t help to wonder why they put her on a Black hair magazine when she is only a quarter black. Like, was this a setup like come on now.

  • Barbara

    Female what?

  • moemiel

    I propose for 2013 we, as black women, stop being all about our hair. Natural nazis stop belittling ppl who like weave/wigs. Weave/wig girls stop calling naturals nappy headed hoes. Melanie Fiona is talking about her hair being good hair, she didnt say that all ppl who are mixed blck indian and portuguese have good hair just like she didnt say that only mixed ppl have good hair. she says she got good hair from her indian black portuguese mix. She isnt a spokesperson for anyone but herself. From reading our blogs u would think the only topics affecting black women is hair bizness or men bizness. We let go of the single black woman bashing in 2012 so i propose we let go “good hair” fight in 2013. And we can also throw in that light skin dark skin nonsense too.

  • Box

    Thank you. I’ve seen my biracial cousins ask their mom why their hair wasn’t longer than my full black cousin who almost had waist length hair due to protective styling thanks to her mom. While their hair was damaged and dry.

  • http://gravatar.com/xdecadent xdecadent

    Really, Clutch? I don’t think this is that big of a deal. I’m black and I know without some serious protective styling and delicate detangling, it will be very hard for me to retain length. I have super coily hair and its prone to breakage. Not a big secret over here. I dont see this as something to be outraged about.

  • vm

    Who cares?!

  • beautiful mic

    I just purchased my some 100% Human Remy Kinky Bulk Hair. It looks JUST like my natural hair. Our natural kinky hair texture is in demand. It may not be 22 inches long, but give us a few years with the new innovations in black hair care. I bet many of us will be getting into the business of growing our kinky manes past our buttocks then shaving it off for the big bucks.

  • http://gravatar.com/xdecadent xdecadent

    Are we still on this One Drop Rule bull? She is 1/4 black. Whats the problem with embracing her full heritage?

    Plus, dreads grow long because ALL of the hair is in the locs. The hair that would be shed daily is mixed in with hair that is still growing. Plus you aren’t manipulating your hair as much so it retains length and fullness better than if it were loose. Lets be real here – growing long, loose napptural hair takes A LOT of work.

  • Keepitreal

    No one said anything about better just ****different***you are the only one using “better” I’m seeing a lot of insecurities in this thread.

    By the by, if you are wearing her 5th cousin’s 52″ Indian hair on your head or have it in your closet whilst protesting her comment….

  • TT

    I understand your comment but Melanie Fiona is from Toronto which has a large IndoCaribbean, Caribbean, and African population. She’s been hanging around black people and although her intent was not to offend anyone – she should choose her words wisely. As a public figure you must always remember the influence you have.Also, issues of hair and identity are not isolated to the African American population. It has been addressed

  • The Other Jess

    “I’m mixed – my mom is Black and Portuguese and my dad is Indian so I have a good mix for growth.”

    I don’t have a problem with what she said. She didn’t say one part of the mix was better than the other, or one part of her ethnic mix contributed to her hair growth. Y’all are projecting your insecurities onto her!

    The black is part of her “good mix for growth” so why is what she said a problem? She didn’t say the Indian or the Portuguese or the Black was the reason for her having healthy hair, she mentioned all 3 ethnicites and said she had a good mix for growth. period. Nothng offensive here.

  • OW

    I think the biggest wrong in this whole thing is that 1. Thinking the only hair that is nice or “good” is long or straight hair. 2. Mixed hair does grow faster. Since black women think the only way to have pretty hair is for it to be long or curly vs kinky they think that by saying mixed hair grows more is insulting in that it’s something they can’t have. It’s science not colorism//racism. Curly hair is dryer than straight hair and kinky hair is a hell of a lot dryer than curly and straight hair so it breaks easier. The straighter the hair the less the breakage so the longer it is not the longer it grows. Kinks and curls grow too they just break. Black women need to break the perception that the only way hair can be pretty or good is if it’s long and straighter and comments like these won’t seem so offensive. FYI I am Black and have curly frizzy hair that grows out and breaks grows out and breaks, pause repeat.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Honestly I don’t find her statement offensive but her comment did make her sound ditzy. Sure genetics played a huge part in her hair but that isn’t the only thing that made her hair thrive. However I do get the criticism because despite many examples of “non-mixed” black women with great heads of long hair many people still DO believe you have to be “mixed” to have long hair that you can’t simply be “just” black with it. So I can see both sides of this problem. But I love the quote “I got good hair because I have African in my family”…lol

  • African Mami

    Ladies, ya’ll know these are dead follicles…….

  • Pseudonym

    The question (and point) was is it 22 inches long?

    I know all about the people wearing the kinky weaves now, but the long ones tend to be fake. You just said it yourself that it’s not 22 inches long. This has nothing to do with kinky hair being in or out of style, it has to do with the fact that many Indian (and Caribbean Blindians) can grow 22+ inch hair on GP- without the need for blogs about how to do their hair, 15 hour deep conditions, protective styling, or the baggy method. As a Caribbean person with both black and Indian heritage, I can relate. People always ask “What do you put in your hair to get it like that?” thinking it’s some special magic creme when it’s just genetics of when black and Indian people get together and make sweet love.

    [cue the Marvin Gaye]

  • http://www.gallimaufry.ws T.

    Did not even know before today that she had Guyanese heritage!

  • Pseudonym


    How many black women donate to Locks for Love each year? I know plenty of white and Indian women who grew their hair out and lopped it off for that charity.

    And then had hair down their back again within the year.

    I don’t understand this inferiority complex and I agree with OW above that we need to stop the obsession with long hair. When I look at all those “big chop” before and after pictures, most of the chicks look one million times prettier and waaaaaay more glamorous with their short curly/kinky hair than the long permed hair anyway. (Cheekbones be straight KILLIN’!!!!)

  • beautiful mic

    Mixed hair does not grow faster, it’s just easier to retain length with silkier textures without meticulous care because the strands aren’t as dry or brittle as the kinkier/courser, more oval shaped hair strands. The silkier hair textures don’t need as much moisture and delicate handling as the latter.

    But that is remedied in courser/kinkier textures with styles that secure the ends, like twists and braids – protective styling lends. immensely, to hair growth retention in coily/course hair. You’re supposed to, MOSTLY, wear protective styles while growing the hair out, using products that do not strip the hair of moisture; and wait to wear the hair out AFTER you’ve achieved your long hair length. But the rate of growth for this type hair is the same for every other type of human being.

    On average, hair grows 1/2 inch per month across all the races. Silkier textures retain growth easier without meticulous care, but it is not impossible for courser, kinkier hair textures to retain the exact amount of hair growth.

  • Ms. Information

    Black women (including myself at times) have become hypersensitive…..we have been told we are scientifically proven to be ugly, fat, mean, angry, bald headed….this can take a toll on someone’s psyche, especially a woman’s when so much of our identity is wrapped up in beauty standards…Everyone is “mixed” with something or the other and hair texture is genetic…I don’t let comments like her’s mess with me…it’s a bit ignorant but their are bigger issues right now.

  • beautiful mic

    Your diet and environment also play a role in hair growth retention.

  • Pseudonym

    and anyone else notice that the name of the site this quote is from is called “LONGING for Length?”

    Is it THAT serious?

    Longing for hair length?…ridic.

  • African Mami

    I praise Baba God oo for the intelligence that is your comment.

  • Yvette

    @Maria- I understand what you’re saying and partially agree. Yes our hair is more prone to breakage, but everyone’s hair regardless of race GROWS at 1/2 an inch per month. If you can reduce breakage then long hair (even butt length) is possible. Please check out this link for more info.


  • Pseudonym

    And to address this “black women’s hair isn’t usually long only because of all the damage they do to it because they don’t know how to take care of it” excuse:

    There are Indian women living in dire POVERTY in India (and Guyana) who still have long and thick hair.

  • African Mami

    girrrrl, the nonsense that keeps some of us awake at night…..

  • African Mami

    hey girlie!!! :)

  • Ms. Information

    Hey lady!!! How is it going where you are??

  • Apple

    Yes let’s wait 10 years. Not everyone wants to wear locs just to have hair

  • Egypt

    Ummm. I’m going to opt to not pay Ms. Fiona any attention…

    Black hair in it’s natural state grows just as fast as any other texture. In my opinion the use of relaxers and straighters add to the constant breakage, that many Black women experience. In other words, our hair is growing, but our willingness to alter our texture is more than likely stunting growth.

  • http://elegantblackwoman.blogspot.com Elegance

    I am from Toronto and my parents are Guyanese and they have never used the term “good hair”. People should not expect non-American and biracial Black people to know everything about AA issues or terminology. How do you know she has hung around Black people her whole life? Maybe she hung out with Indian, White,and Chinese people. People need to stop assuming all Black people think the same way and have the same knowledge.

    She’s a singer talking about HER hair that she knows best not a spokesperson for afro-textured hair (that she doesn’t even have). This is the sensitivity police run amok.

  • http://elegantblackwoman.blogspot.com Elegance

    No way! I’m going to try growing my hair down to my butt and no one is ever going to cut it EVER!!! They will have to pry it from my cold dead hand lol!!! I don’t think black women would ever sell their hair after it took so much work, money, and time to grow :)

  • African Mami

    Ummmm, I guess my comment was “accidentally” swallowed. I said, thank you to Baba God oo for your intelligent comment!

  • Starla

    We surely don’t have to react to everything. Why is it that with black people we are always so predictable.? This is our greatest weakness, our predictability. Was this comment really worth the responders time and energy? NO! Sometimes we should let people wonder what we are thinking, sometimes when they seek us out for comments, whe should have none.

  • http://www.clutchmagazine.com Clutch

    Clutch did not say anything. We are reporting what someone else stated. Please read the full article. :)

  • black_feminist

    I’d like to know what exactly constitutes “a good mix for growth”. Are there actually racial mixes that are more advantageous in hair growth, or is any racial make-up, other than “just black”, conducive to hair length? I think a better response would have been to simply say that her hair naturally grows long, and leave it at that. It was a softball question. There was no need for her to even mention her ethnicity and wander into this minefield.

  • Apple

    Yes I thought of this. People in third world countries with poor diet(or no food/protein) and no product and high levels of stress still can grow long hair

  • http://www.okdani.com Dani @ okdani.com

    If you check out the Longing for Length site you’ll see that it’s a well written site that focuses on healthy hair care. A byproduct of healthy hair care is length. Why focus on the name of the site? Focus on the quality information it provides.
    Sheesh! Some people will find anything to ridicule or take offense with.


  • Pseudonym

    “Sheesh! Some people will find anything to ridicule or take offense with.”

    You mean like attacking Melanie Fiona for acknowledging the fact that she has both an Indian parent and a Black/Portuguese one and that her genetics may contribute to her long thick hair?

  • D.T.

    I don’t see anything wrong with what she said. Some of you are suggesting that African American women can grow their hair just as fast as other groups of women and I don’t believe that is the case. We can grow our hair long but it may take a couple of years or better. I have BSL natural hair and it took two years for it to grow that long. It does not take other races that long to grow their hair.

    If we are so great with growing our hair long then why everywhere I turn I see ridiculous weaves and wigs with hair that resembles Melanie’s. I could see if black women with long natural hair were walking around everywhere but that’s not the case.

    Black women are very sensitive. If someone isnt telling us how wonderful we are then our lips are poked out and pouting. Get a grip!

  • Pseudonym

    …and that’s totally cool. Black women are known to have faces that just stop aging after the age of 35 until around 65 or 70. Indians got the “effortless long and thick hair” lotto, blacks won the “effortless wrinkle-and-age free skin” lotto.

    Everybody wins!
    Everybody be happy!

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    Seriously (can’t believe how many pages). I’m mixed and my hair is like Melanie Fiona’s (although I have no idea who she is), and guess what, fellow Black women? I’m not attached to it! After having watched some of my female family members with the same hair texture as mine lose their hair to chemo, I realize how insignificant hair is! Geesh…

  • GetOVERit

    @Pseudonym, I feel you on this because my daughter is 16 I’m African-American her dad is Guyanese and she has long thick hair and so does all the women on his side of the family…I’m talking midback & waist length hair. Now my hair is long too but I know for a fact that her length is due to her ethnic makeup because now that she does her own hair (which isn’t much by the way) it still grows like a weed. People are always asking what do she use to get her hair to grow like that,…NOTHING!!! it’s in the dna, sorry but it is what it is. She is not into all the deep conditioning and protective styling because she don’t have to do that to retain length.

  • Yb

    Wow misread much? I definitely don’t think see should deny her heritage and state she’s only black but to attribute her race to her hair growth and appearance, especially when she looks monoracial is dumb.

    And be real with your self. It takes YOU a long time to get YOUR natural hair to grow long. You are not every black woman.

  • Apple

    Good one! :)

  • Pseudonym

    Well, if the only people you know in life are black and white people, then I guess you would think she looks “monoracial.” However, for those of us who live outside of the world of black-and-white, you can definitely tell she is Indian (or Arab) and black. The Portuguese part, I could miss, admittedly.

  • http://gravatar.com/deniserena so what?

    Thank you. It’s not about texture or racial genetics of a person’s parents. It’s about taking care of your hair. Melanie and a lot of the people in this post need to realize that.

    I’ve got two black parents and I was almost sitting on my hair when I was 16 years old.

  • http://gravatar.com/deniserena so what?

    Exactly. It’s not about texture or racial genetics. It’s about taking care of your hair. Melanie and a lot of the people in this post need to realize that.

  • http://gravatar.com/deniserena so what?

    A person can still have long hair even if they have a relaxer. It doesn’t have to be natural to grow long.

  • Whatever

    She’s half Indian… Indian women tend to have very long hair that grows rapidly… Ahem! This is where the majority of the hair used in weaves comes from! What is so wrong with what she said and why is everyone so emotional about it?

    Get a freaking grip already geesh! Being half Indian, yes, she has a mixture that is conducive to above average hair growth.

  • Yb

    Wow, some of these comments are exactly why some mixed race people and people of others races feel superior to black people, especially women.

    Because given the chance, in words and actions we reaffirm the belief that their better than us in any way, big and small.

  • Ponnie

    I think people are just being overly sensitive. I don’t see anywhere in that excerpt where Melanie said her good long hair was thanks to her Indian dad or Afroportuguese mum. So what is all the sensitivity about? if she has a good mix, she has a good mix.

  • African Mami

    @ Pseudonym

    Let’s just get married.

  • http://gravatar.com/phenabena phenabena

    eh nothing wrong with what she said. I mean lets get real, us black women who care about getting long hair to the middle of their back or longer, how long does that take compared to our counterparts? not long. I have natural hair and its going to take me years to get that kind of length.

  • http://gravatar.com/shaneebabychick shaneebabychick

    What’s so freaking offensive about what she said?!!She’s part Indian so of course her hair is going to be longer!Why can’t someone brag on their mixed heritage she’s not even all the way black. Black women are way to damn sensitive over anything that has to do with hair this post is absolutely pointless!

  • Marcia

    A case of folks being way too sensitive…sigh.

  • amarie

    “Regular” Black hair grows just as quickly as anyone else. The problem is our hair breaks off very easily when it’s dry or manipulated too much. I didn’t learn to really “do” my hair until 3 years ago. Moisturize your ends daily and cut down on the manipulation and it will grow. The secret is to retain the length.

  • Sick

    Perhaps, she is too ignorant to know that African textured hair is a good mix for growth!!!!!!

  • Please Excuse Me

    I totally agree with you.

  • donnadara

    I’ve been locing for two years and my hair is to my shoulders. Apple, why don’t you look at some natural hair sites before you make uninformed statements?

  • LaNubiana

    Wait, so saying I’ve good hair is a bad thing? Are we really that insecure to be defined by our bloody hair? Who gives two rubbish how someone perceives my hair good or bad, it’s my bloody hair. For bloody sakes black woman, we’ve got to get this inferiority complex sorted out. This sick obsession and mental slavery has to GO! Stop being influenced by white people’s standard of beauty. I have a head full of AFRIKAN hair that has never been touched with chemicals or straightener, it’s mine and what I bloody do with it my business as long as I keep it clean and presentable. It is bloody kinky/tight curls and I bloody love it.

    I wish we would bloody be done with those silly looking weaves as well. Bloody damn shame and embarrassing!

  • Please Excuse Me

    I don’t see the big deal in what she said…her mixed heritage contributes to her hair being long and straight

  • LOL

    I find it rather interesting that people are so in love with their hair and happy with who they are, yet black women spend more money than any other group on hair products to achieve a certain look that includes naturals, relaxed & those that wear weaves. The girl who wrote the original article use A LOT of products on her hair, is she not happy with what God gave her, do she need all these products to achieve a certain look? Okay, sound like somebody mad they got to work a little harder to get what Melanie has naturally.

  • Pseudonym

    @African Mami: I am cracking UP!!!!!!


  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Sadly I agree! I get people not being phased by her comment and not being offended by it per se but some of these comments are going ABOVE AND BEYOND to confirm and uphold HER view as being correct….something to go *hmmmm* about I think most people get her heritage and background plays a role in her features nobody is denying that but how did this get spun into black women are x,y and z smh… Yikes!

  • omfg

    Well, i think if you understood your natural hair texture, you’d understand that tightly curled hair like ours has a tendency to be extremely dry and fragile; so it breaks easily. our hair often requires extra extra tlc to SEE the growth.

    other people, mainly those with straight hair, do not necessarily need to be so nurturing with their hair and will still RETAIN LENGTH.

    and what we’re talking about is RETAINING LENGTH. the growth is there. black women who have long hair often have it because they really take care of their hair.

    it always saddens me when people clearly don’t know who they are in some aspects.

  • isis

    I understand why black women feel sensitive about this subject. it does suck to be the short haired one but what can u do but accept it? Ppl keep saying our hair grows as fast as theirs I’m sorry but that’s just not true. an Asian coworker who had waist length hair cut it to neck length after I cut my hair. her hair is already shoulder length I’m only bsl

  • http://www.longing4length.com EbonyCPrincess

    Hello – thank you for your comment. The name of my site does not define my love for hair, short, long and all in between. I personally prefer long hair…the name is catchy and memorable. Nothing more, but again thank you for your comment.

  • http://www.longing4length.com Longing 4 Length

    I appreciate you thinking enough of my article to repost the majority of it here on Clutch.

  • http://www.longing4length.com Longing 4 Length

    Thank you for your compliments Dani.

    @Pseudonym – I’m not sure that what I originally stated was an attack on Melanie Fiona. It was more a reaction to her statement if anything. If hair is not that important to you to “long” for, we can agree to disagree! :-)

  • Elyse

    Not everybody can reach “butt length”. It has to do with genetics and terminal length. For more info, please check Audrey Davis-Syvasothy’s book “The Science of Black Hair”

  • jourdan

    “I need to send her one of those popular t-shirts with the slogan: I got good hair – I got African in my family!”

    Well, she did say that her mother was BLACK and her father was INDIAN. No where in that interview did she put one over the other. As we all know, biracial kids tend to have a nice, fine grade of hair. So we’re mad because she actually said what we already knew? Ummm …what?

  • Thanks4thegum

    Ok – WHY are some of us kinky-textured women SO sensitive when it comes to others mentioning or EVERY admitting having a more stretched (I would have said smoother but don’t want Longing4Length.com and Black_Feminist to stroke out) texture of hair???

    Yes, the saying “Good Hair” should be banished BUT Ms. Fiona did NOT say that she has good hair (and to think that a published ‘writer’ misquoted this). She said that she had a “good mix for growth” – and isn’t that obvious as 2 of the 3 races she claims currently chop and sell their hair on the black market which is sold MOSTLY to AA women that are in line for HER LOOK? Seriously though, we buy more hair from India than from anywhere in the world. Maybe we [you] should witch hunt the Sistas that are funding this “good hair trade!”

    Also, here’s some quick hair chemistry – a tighter coil or kink is usually finer and has the tendency to be dryer and more fragile than a straighter strand so yes, breakage is more likely with or without the use of a relaxer. Have you actually SEEN the girth of a strand of most (not all) Indian OR Portuguese hair? Generally the only hair type stronger or more resistant is Chinese or Mexican hair and I’m no racist, I am a former hair dresser who has worked on and studied this.

    It is what it is girls, her ethnic blend actually does make for a super strong head of hair which Ms. Fiona and her mother probably HATED to manage when she was young.

    Allllllll of this to say, GET OFF your angry soap boxes and stop bullying people for the way that they say sh*t!

  • Q.Lazen

    I agree. She didn’t say she has good hair she said she has a good mix for growth of which she attributes not only to her indian heritage but also her black heritage.

    Her words a bit suspicious but not enough to write an article on.

  • KitKat

    If the only place I saw Indian hair was at the weave/wig shop I would believe like you too. Because I truly do believe ignorance to be a contagion, It’s a wrap.

  • http://www.longing4length.com Ebony @ Longing 4 Length

    Thank you everyone for your comments! I appreciate those of you who co-sign my sentiments as well as those who feel I may be overreacting to her simple statements.

  • apple

    i understand my natural hair texture, i was natural longer than a decade so i know what my hair is capable of.. jesus christ himself could come do my hair and it would still break off or not get to the length that other races do..they can fry it dye it and abuse it all they want and still have hair that grows long and if they ruin it they can jsut cut it all off and have it grow back in 3mo-1 year.. some people have long hair because it grows long and some people do eveyrthing under the sun and they will either have long hair or just won’t.. i have a friend and shes been planning to get her hair long by doing all these healthy techniques..2 years later same length but she hopes within SEVEN years it will be down her back.. people like melanie can get that in 7 months with even taking a deep breath. so whatever

  • Zaza

    Some black women kill me with their sensitivity. She said nothing wrong, it’s the truth. Whilst black hair can GROW as fast as other types(have friends with very long black hair), black hair is very fragile meaning without very good care the ends easily break off= thus killing off all the growing your hair’s done.

    European/asian hair is less fragile/prone to breakage. Less breakage means longer hair quicker, equalling European/Asian hair being better for growth.
    People are reading what they want to read. She didn’t say mixed hair is good hair full stop. She said it’s good for growing which is true.

    Really, women offended by this, find a better issue to worry about.

    I hope Fiona doesn’t see this ‘backlash’ and take it seriously. Not all black women are jealous, insecure haters rushing to be offended because they are insecure about their hair/looks. Calm the hell down ladies, not everything is an ‘attack’ on us.

  • Yb

    @ Pseu

    When you become a West African woman and mean I one of DIRECT descent, have two passports like me, and as many stamps in your passport as me THEN you come at me telling me she doesn’t look west African.

    Until then enjoy drowning in your assumptions.

  • Pseudonym

    Hmmm…Regarding this ridiculous conversation, it must be so nice to be read this and be black hijabi.

  • Pseudonym

    Yes, Yb. Because at this moment, you are DEFINITELY the only woman commenting on this site who has a passport with many stamps on it and has been to parts of Africa.

    Talk about drowning in one’s assumptions!

  • jcross

    African Mami always brings some much-needed levity to these discussions :)

  • Donna

    Yea it’s not that serious what she said. It is what it is. Gettiing ur pants in a wad about what she said is frivolous. There are other things to get really upset about. I am sure there are things she does not like about herself, to be jealous of this one thing about her is not productive.

  • African Mami

    I bloody heart you sis!!:)

    You should consider altering your name to LaNubiana-the bloodyAfrican

  • ajacks

    Oh my gosh…ladies GET OVER IT! I didn’t find her words offensive. It’s HER hair and HER heritage. EVERYBODY’S hair grows!!!! This is so idiotic. Everyone thinks thier a hair expert. Can we PLEASE get over the hair thing because its so not that serious!!!! Grow up!!!!!

  • black_feminist

    “As we all know, biracial kids tend to have a nice, fine grade of hair”??? By whose standards? And “she actually said what we already knew?” Who is “we”? Please, please speak for yourself! “We” don’t all agree with that premise at all. No, we all do not uniformly agree that biracial hair equals nice grade of hair. That line of thinking is the whole problem! Hence many of the comments questioning or challenging Melanie’s statement.

  • Patience

    I assume it is because most people are ignorant of her ethnic makeup and probably thinks she is just Black. Probably the same way people think Chili from TLC is a Black woman even though she has Middle Eastern ancestry through her father.

  • Patience

    I am not trying to be funny or anything, but I assume it to be very difficult to make a wig of out Black hair.

  • TheBeautyComrade

    …does that mean that she thinks that if she were “just Black”, she wouldn’t have any length?

    That’s what it sounds like she’s implying, and that might be why people are up upset by what she said.

    It’s a “Black hair magazine”…for women with “Black” hair. She needs to interview with the audience in mind or, you know, this will happen.

    I’m sure Melanie did not mean to offend anyone.

  • African Mami

    @LongingforlongHair Sistas,

    Ya’ll made a mountain hill out of a mole hill. What’s killing me is that these hills are DEAD…..iCan’t….iWon’t….iShan’t….Rosa Parks ain’t refuse to give up her seat for no follicle meow meow.

    On another note,

    , I’m in need of serious length, going to check your site ourrr, and see what’s up!!! Bookmarking it. :)

  • jourdan

    @black_feminist Okay, when I say biracial kids have nice hair, I’m not in any way implying that black/white/latino/asian kids don’t! I didn’t say their hair was BETTER! I’m trying to figure out what’s wrong with Melanie calling her hair “good”. I’m 200% black and my hair is kinky, curly, and everything else but I consider it GOOD. Don’t you think your hair is GOOD? I mean, in my opinion, whoever’s complaining about this statement is being a little sensitive.

    Melanie never said she had a “better chance” of growth. (THAT would’ve dead wrong) She said she had a “good” one. Hell, so do I! Kinked up & all

  • African Mami

    thank you kindly. :) #deadfolliclesunite

  • GetOVERit

    Maybe we [you] should witch hunt the Sistas that are funding this “good hair trade!”

    Exactly…preach on it!!! So many sistas want the “good hair” look and will spend hundreds of dollars to obtain it but in the same breath knock someone who has it naturally. Don’t make any sense to me.

  • Jean

    I am really confused about the backlash- she said she is mixed.. her mom is Black and Portuguese and her dad is Indian- she said it was a good mix for growth – she didn’t say my hair is better than your hair…. What else was she suppose to say?? Mixed or not, she has NO CONTROL OVER HOW HER HAIR GROWS or HOW HER HAIR LOOKS.. some things are just FACTS… she has a different type of hair based on her heritage and that is what I took from her statements – people are sensitive about things for which PEOPLE CANNOT CHANGE.. give me a break!!! it’s HAIR PEOPLE!!!! the same way that I have grown my NATURAL HAIR but it is NOT THE SAME TEXTURE as other Naturals – so what I must be mad at the girl on the train who has natural hair too but has the style that I want but cant have because my hair texture is different!! OMG!! There are so many other important things in this world besides HAIR AND HERITAGE things which we cannot control or change once we are here!! There are wars going on, elections about to happen, children are getting killed and stopped and frisked for no reason… FIND A REAL CAUSE AND TALK ABOUT THAT!!!

  • http://twitter.com/gennatay Gennatay (@gennatay)

    But, part of hair growth is genetic. What part of her statement was wrong?

  • LaNubiana

    Lol I just get a bit irritated with such rubbish really sis :)

    So many beautiful in our interior as well as our exterior and we still obsessing over the most frivolous things.

    I heart you too sis!

  • Chrissy

    I agree with Yb

    She most definitely doesn’t look all that mixed to me. If she sat in a classroom with ‘black’ students she would not immediately stand out as being ‘mixed’

    What part of her looks mixed???

  • Apple

    Nubiana you must be from England! “Bloody” and “rubbish” I love it!

  • http://hbny.tumblr.com Ebony Nnenne

    Black women need to get off the gas and stop denying the fact that long easy to manage hair isn’t regarded as a status symbol in our community. It is wonderful that today we can embrace the diversity of our textures, crown and glory and educate each other. On the same hand we got a ways to go seeing as though many insecurities lie at the roots of our kinks. Long hair isn’t end all, be all of beautiful healthy hair!!!!! I am AA & Nigerian with waist length natural hair, I KNOW have to work harder to maintain length than Melanie, she got a good mix for growing long hair with less effort. Fact!!

  • Fuchsia

    It’s not that deep. As a matter of fact I think Melanie was right. She probably didn’t do anything special to her hair and some people really do have naturally long thick hair and maybe it is purely genetics. Manageability of said hair might not be easy to handle either, so IMO it’s nothing to get offended by.

  • Wanda Woman

    Oh man, people can’t speak the truth anymore without being ridiculed. What inaccuracy did Ms. Fiona say? The fact of the matter is that she does have a good mix for hair growth. It’s no secret that the African American or African West Indian or the original African people have hair that does not grow as rapidly as Caucasian, Chinese, Indian, etc, etc people. I am the same mix as she is but a couple of my siblings have taken more of the black genes and they are the ones with the kick ass bodies. Not to mention the full lips they have – no collagen or anything just plain natural beauty. Did you also notice that MF has those full black lips – but WAIT, she had better not say that cause the Indians and Portuguese will be all up in arms about that!!!! All I can say is this girl’s got it all, she’s pretty, intelligent, classy and yep she does have a head of well -groomed glossy healthy hair that grows quickly due to her Indian/Portuguese heritage with the added bounce and curl from her black heritage. The same type that many of our black sisters pay $$$$$$ to get “tracked” into their own natural hair. So let’s not stick our head in the sand about the real truth. And let’s not forget that we have taken an interest because the girl can SANG!!!!!

  • Itsmesnitches

    I am not upset about her comment but I see why others are here is a picture of her mom and dad.

  • Queen Liz

    Sounds to me like the “Longing4Length.com” writer who started this whole controversy is just plain jealous of Melanie’s natural ability to grow her hair, The website name says it all.

  • http://hbny.tumblr.com Ebony Nnenne

    *is regarded as

  • Julie

    Those of u offended by her comments have major issues. All she did was state a fact. Get the fuck over yourselves. Her racial mix means her hair WILL GROW LONG! Wake the hell up! Stating a fact is not insulting anyone! Black Americans are messed up! Stop over-thinking everything! You will never move forward thinking this way.

  • Diane C

    Oh my goodness…now the woman Fiona needs to hate herself …love the hair …now back to her music please

  • Patience

    Melanie said she doesn’t like when people call her Fiona. Fiona is her middle name.

  • Nic

    seriously, I grew up as the only black girl in my class for 13 years and there were always a good chunk of white girls who had thin hair that couldn’t get past their shoulders.

    I’ve had the experience of both white and Asian ladies saying they wished they had as much hair as me (again, the ones with that frail, 5 strands, short hair).

    all hair grows about 1/2 inch per month. that is pretty much standard no matter who your parents are.

  • Nic

    Yeah, it’s all maintenance since plenty of non-black people have thin hair and they have trouble getting past their shoulders.
    Ugh, I know so many white women with hair like that…

  • Nic

    Yes, very true…my hair grows very fast. Two black parents. Have had biracial friends who never could get their hair past shoulder lengths. And had two black college classmates that had super short, nearly shaved hairdos that were full on shoulder length bobs just from growing out over the summer.

    I don’t know why so many people are so ignorant about all of this stuff but it just makes me wish we spent more time paying attention in science class and less time worrying about this BS.

  • Nic

    I think a lot of the people who think all white, Asian, and Indian women have a lot of hair just don’t know a lot of white, Asian, and Indian women. B/c I grew up around lots of white girls who never had and will never have long hair, and my whole career has been in tech and engineering and plenty of asian and Indian girls don’t have thick hair or long hair, and even have issues with female pattern baldness.
    Plus, I’m surprised that with all of the reality TV, people don’t acknowledge how many white girls use extensions to achieve both length and thickness. Most white female celebrities and models are using someone else’s hair for the same reason some but not all black women use it. B/c they don’t have a lot of length or volume on their own.
    But yeah, the women in my black family have long hair, and I’ve always seen plenty of black women with hair ranging from straight to kinky that had long hair, and I’ve seen women with the same kinds of hair who will never have long hair either.

  • apple

    no she just wouldn’t have that length

  • apple

    most people aren’t attached to what they can get easy..

  • http://freespiritwildheartoldsoul.tumblr.com/ FreeSpirit

    I absolutely agree with you all she said was she had a good mixture for growth.. thats the truth. She’s not of 100% African descent so when she discusses her hair regimen or what she puts on her head evidently she’s not putting the same stuff someone of 100% African descent would put on their hair. It’s not her fault her mother raised her to love and accept her natural hair. Get over it.. I don’t understand why you even addressing Melanie’s hair? She doesn’t represent African-American women. Everyones soo focused on hair ..it’s just hair .

  • Pseudonym

    I’ll give you this: since so many black women are walking around these days with long weaves made of Indian hair, I can see why you’d think she looks like a classroom full of “black” students. HOWEVER, if you have them take those weaves off or you consider the fact that her hair is actually hers and just look at her Google Images, you’ll find that she often looks more Indian than black (which makes sense b/c her genetic pool is actually more Indian than black). In terms of looking Indian or black, she definitely looks more Indian.

    But- like I said- you do have point. So many black women wear Indian hair on their heads, it may be hard for some people to tell them apart from Indian women. I guess.

  • http://gravatar.com/heavenleiblu heavenleiblu

    Kinky hair most often isn’t coarse. People seem to confuse curl pattern with hair texture. If hair is in fact, course, it’s actually less fragile than finer/thinner strands with the same curl pattern. My hair is extremely coily, but absolutely not coarse; although someone else with my curl pattern may be different. I just want to make clear that black/kinky/coily hair doesn’t automatically = coarse.

    Second, this statistic of hair growing 1/2 inch per month across races is misleading. Yes, this is the AVERAGE. Scientifically speaking, all this amounts to is: “the value obtained by dividing the sum of a set of quantities by the number of quantities”. In other words, it doesn’t mean that of all people in the sample the most common growth rate was 1/2 inch; which is the expectation and interpretaion that so many people have seemed to take away.

  • http://gravatar.com/heavenleiblu heavenleiblu


  • Chrissy

    You know, I actually did look at her pictures of her and I still did not see the mixed. I actually looked at a picture of her parents as well.

    Her mom is black and Indian and has similar features to my mom, especially the nose. But my mom is not half Indian…Hmmm I guess I can see the mixed. But it would not be for her hair.

    What would you call Indian features? Is it just hair? Complexion? Some people tell me I look Indian and I do not have long hair and don’t wear weave.

    I guess mixed is in the eyes of the beholder. But sometimes the features between the ‘races’ overlap.

  • S.

    Your comment is like an oasis in a desert of ignorance!!!

    I have kinky 4a/b hair and her comments were the LEAST bit offensive! I swear, some Black women KILL me

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    I agree Nic, it kills me when people think black women are the only ones using extensions, obsessed with hair or that we are the only ones who suffer from the “the Rapunzel Complex” when that is NOT the case I have a similar experience like you because I went to an all women’s college (where most of my peers were white) and trust me they complained about their hair and it wasn’t a hair candy feast on campus. There was ONE girl who had just gorgeous golden thick hair down to her butt that she has been growing for awhile (she was donating it to locks of love) and trust me other white girls were jealous or saying how they wish they had hair like hers or that it can grow like hers! I am just tired of people thinking black women have a monopoly on hair woes when we don’t or that other races of women have an advantage when it comes to beauty when they don’t. To me I am not mad a Melanie’s answer sure she could have stated it more clearly but to me she is just one of those people who simply has a great head of hair trying to make it more than what it is or try to bring race into it is just crazy.

  • Anthony

    Fiona is guilty of telling the truth. She is part Indian and part European; that means her hair will grow longer and straighter than some who has much less Non-African heritage. Why get worked up over it. I know the good hair bit is biased a bit nappy hair, but we blacks, as a people sure act like still love good hair even though we swear we don’t!

  • Keepitreal

    She may still have that length but it would take some time and effort.

  • Keepitreal

    Seeing this go to 8 pages just screams it’s not “just hair” after al ” but no one wants to admit that.

  • Keepitreal

    LMAO, Yeah, I’m sure you have but let’s not even try and act as if that is a normal occurrence or that the exception is the rule. I swear, “We” can’t even be honest about something as simple as hair. GMAFB

  • The Other Jess

    judging from the look sof her parents, melanie fiona isn’t even mixed. they look Black to me. But either way, who cares?

  • Erica

    people find what she said problematic because it discourages black people with kinkier textures from believing they can grow out their hair. i used to have that same mindset that because my hair was kinky it would never get much longer than shoulder length, but then i started taking better care of my hair and using much less heat and now it’s down to the middle of my back. genetics is only part of the picture, you could have the genetics for waist length hair but if it’s over processed its not going to be waist length. and no one seems to take into account that people with looser texture hair are under much less pressure to do damaging things to their hair like putting heat and chemicals in it so it’s just generally less damaged because of that.

  • http://cupofjo-jo.blogspot.com bk chick

    I didn’t want to jump in on this, but I don’t think the problem is that Melanie is just stating “her truth”, it’s that it’s not the truth. Is there scientific evidence that her particular mixed heritage is naturally prone to “growing hair” I dunno. But I know that my hair has always been kinky, and always been long. I didn’t even necessarily have to take care of it for it to be long either. Now what if I said “well my natural Haitian heritage provides me with a great background for growing hair” people would be like 0_o?? If she were to say her texture of hair doesn’t break easily and therefore prone to growth then maybe it would make a little bit more sense. I know plenty of “mixed” girls whose hair doesn’t grow, and plenty of kinky-haired girls with long hair. In fact there are plenty of non-mixed black women (Both parents are black w/ kinky hair) who have the same hair texture as Melanie Fiona. But I do believe kinky textured hair is more prone to breakage and leaves less potential for the oh so coveted “growth.” I would love to see an experiment were a group of like a thousand black, kinky haired women do nothing to their hair–no processing, heat, etc.– for like 15 years and see if their hair is healthier/longer (since people love to conflate healthy hair with length). It’s hard to tell if kinky hair “doesn’t grow” on such a large scale because of nature or nurture, cuz so many black women begin processing their hair at a premature age.

  • OhMyEyes

    I’m not offended by her comments, but just so you know…many non-black people have trouble growing their hair. The fact that one’s hair isn’t tightly coiled doesn’t mean is just grows and flows like a mermaid or something. Likewise, there are plenty of non-mixed blacks who’s hair grows like wildfire without much effort. The myth that blacks can’t grow hair is due to the fact that too many of us don’t know how to properly care for it so it doesn’t break off.

  • LaNubiana

    Lol actually I’m Ethiopian/Egyptian and currently reside in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. However, I attended school in London as Well as Nashville, TN USA. I guess I picked up lots of the bad while in London :).

  • Afrostyling

    So she is not black? You people like to hold on to every single person with a hint of blackness. Geez!

  • http://kissthedragon.tumblr.com/ Ciderkiss

    I agree with what Melanie said. It’s the truth she has a straighter hair texture which makes it easier to grow her hair long. It takes alot of time money and work to grow out nappier hair. When I look at all of these Hairspiration blogs, and all I can hear when I see these women with full kinky hair is ka-ching. She is mixed and not fully black at all. So whats the problem? Oh I see. It’s the truth! Kudos to Melanie for being honest regardless of her delivery.

  • Niki

    Indians and Portuguese both have very thick, coarse, quickly growing hair. That’s just….the truth. So what if she said it. She can make a statement without all of Natural Hair America overreacting. Stop thinking everything is meant to offend you. People shouldn’t have to tip toe around the hypersensitivities of Black people. As a Black woman who is mixed who has always had natural hair, shut up.

  • http://gravatar.com/test F

    After reading the comments, got a few things to say so bear with me.

    Firstly, there are some people who come here and say things like ‘some of you are just haters’, or ‘black people kill me sometimes, just accept yourself blah blah’. What absolutely shallow statements to make about the sensitivity of black women. Have you no knowledge of the things we’ve had to go through that render us almost ‘naturally’ insecure? Being at the bottom of the beauty barrel, being grossly and unjustly maltreated by all other echelons of society for centuries – and not just in the United States, mind you. All of these factors have made it incredibly difficult for black women (and I’m talking about those of us that aren’t evidently mixed) and it seems that almost every where we turn, we’re constantly told that we will never be considered attractive because of our inherent factors, that we are, essentially, worthless. Now if that sort of thing doesn’t miss with your head, or if you believe it doesn’t, you must not be human. Many of us have been fed the myth of the ‘strong black woman’ and often react in a manner that propagates this myth, unfortunately.

    Secondly, a lot of you seem to be drawing conclusions of hair growth and genetics but I’m seeing absolutely no scientific proof. I also see people interchangeably talking about growth and ‘good hair’, once again linked to ethnicity/race, which is in itself evident of passing litmus tests based on scales that adhere to white supremacist ways of thinking. Naturally kinky black hair may not grow down ones back (hello, it’s not naturally straight so) but that does not signify that the hair is not ‘genetically’ good for growth.

    As someone with 4c hair who recently, my hair has grown considerably since my BC and in fact, surprised me as I thought it wouldn’t, but I have deal with the fact that length for my kind of hair, and this growth, is cannot be measured in the same way as someone like Fiona. If I had been growing my hair for the 20+ years I’ve been alive and straightened it, perhaps it might be on par with hers. But you cannot, absolutely cannot, use the same scales of what is good vs. bad that you would for someone like Fiona for someone like myself. This is again, as others have said, why we cannot perpetuate this notion of ‘good hair’ as it is something that usually only favours people who have hair that mirrors white supremacist notions of beauty. Good hair lies not in racial factors, but in the care one puts into ones hair. This is why what Fiona said is problematic.

    Kinky hair is not,by default, a defect in relation to hair growth. I’ve seen women who’ve been natural all their lives and have huge afros – is their hair not long? Or is it because of its form that it is not deemed good, genetically speaking, for growth?

    Please, don’t claim semantics to dilute what she said. We were not born yesterday and can read between the lines.


    Y’all are carrying on for no good reason! Obviously this was a trick to get more ad dollars for clutch online because if you look to the side of the post there are nothing but hair product ads! People always fall for the stupidity!

    Melanie is living her MF life, so should y’all!

  • Denise Howard

    Another black woman of mix racial parentage! So what! I don’t acknowledge her diffrent from a host of other girls as a child growing up. plenty of kids who were not of mix parentage had long hair. That’s the reason I will not buy mix-chick hair products. what a joke either your hair is course, straight, curly or variation of all. It’s all good hair. Not nappy hair vs good hair. So don’t get your mind twisted by what she said. Just another Black girl period.

  • http://gravatar.com/dginki Kim

    I was not offended at all. Yes, she is Mixed race and her hair will most likely grow longer than mine. It really is no big deal. The problem is when Black America chooses to ask a Mixed race woman a question about her hair and expect her to answer the question as if she was a Black woman. Come on now.

  • http://gravatar.com/dginki Kim

    There you go. People just won’t except the fact that many of these woman are Mixed race. That is the truth. There is nothing wrong with it. It is simply what it is.

  • http://gravatar.com/test F

    meant to say *makes it difficult for black women to love ourselves, and *mess instead of ‘miss’.

  • http://gravatar.com/test F

    YES! All of this. You really said it all.

  • http://gravatar.com/dginki Kim

    Jessi, thank you. I did not read where she said she had “good hair”. To S: what is 4a/b hair?

  • http://gravatar.com/dginki Kim

    If herparents were indian and white, she would not have been asked the question by a black hair magazine. What black hair magazines can start doing is asking black women about their hair. Problem solved. LOL!

  • GetOVERit

    Right!!!! I think everyone who think she is wrong for what she said would be happy if she stated that she use sulfate free shampoo cowash two times a week, alternate using a moisturizing DC & protein DC, moisturize and seal nightly with some herbal or organic product out of the fridge,free of mineral oil, air dry her hair, never use heat and protective style all the time except for the most special occasions such as a performance……then EVERYONE would be stealing her regimen…this post would be totally different like oooh girl what kind of conditioner do you use, where can I get the EXACT oil you seal with from….SMH!!! Yall ain’t fooling NOBODY!!! Truth is yall some haters for real and I’m a black woman I see it all the time on the boards. So stop with the self hate and start loving yourself. Quit making these people rich and learn how to take care of what God gave you regardless if you choose to be natural, relaxed, wear a weave or wigs. Stop biting other peoples regimens and discover what works for you. Putting someone else down because you feel what they do isn’t about genetics or isn’t a healthy hair practice WILL NOT make you hair grow faster, healthier or longer.

    Signed a Relaxed chick that toots her own horn.

  • http://gravatar.com/dginki Kim

    Like a stated before, the problem can be solved by the black hair magazine ask black women about their personal hair care.

  • Marvel Deez

    must be a slow news day…

  • apple

    well 1000s of people in africa (poor or not) don’t process their hair ,..do they have long hair ?

  • A

    I’m black and Asian. My mother is black. Whenever I hear that ignorant shit about me having “good hair” I INSTANTLY correct that person and ask “well, what is ‘bad hair’??” My mother has course hair and that is disrespectful to ME if someone says something about my mother. Also, as a black woman, I understand that our hair is apart of who we are and when people exclude others or put one texture over the other it is beyond ignorant. Most importantly, I think people need to put into historical perspective WHY black people are sensitive about our hair. It has been used as a tool to divide us.

    Like my mom always said: “If you have HEALTHY hair then you have good hair!”

  • http://gravatar.com/dginki Kim

    She said her mother was black and Portuguese. BIG difference.

  • http://N/a Nivi

    Why, as black women are we so easily offended. She clearly stated black as part of her “mixture”. To me she’s attributing that being a part of her heritage along with the other race, which is her truth, as the secret to “her” long hair. That has nothing to do with anyone else long, short, kinky, wavy, or whatever kind hair. We have got to stop this. She was very careful with her words. “Good mix for growth” does not translate into “Good Hair”. We all have our own unique blend or pure blood line that make us some of the most beautiful creatures on earth. From our many different shades of skin tones(so many the cosmetic industry can’t get it right) to our multi textured hair(hair care lines trying to catch up with us as well) our lips( their injecting to achieve fullness) etc. The list goes on and on. It’s ok to just celebrate or differences and not expect one cookie cutter answer for All women of color. Your truth or her truth is not my truth. But I can appreciate your truth. Can you at least accept mine?

  • http://coolpinkfashion.blogspot.com Tamiya

    ok. this is a sensitive issue for women of color. but we’ve GOT to learn to get over it. most of us have several different hair textures present in our own heads, which means there are thousands of texture combinations in the world. melanie fiona’s hair is no exception. could she have found a better way to say what she was trying to express? certainly. were her comments slightly ignorant? absolutely. but her perception of what “good hair” is shouldn’t have such a huge impact on the way other black women view themselves. yes, we are a community. but we are, whether we choose to fully acknowledge it or not, a community of extreme diversity. it’s not wise or healthy to get offended when someone with a different grade of hair than your own discuss their hair texture or growth patterns–even if the person’s comments are a little off-kilter.

  • ARO11237

    OK so I “googled” her. Now I know that she’s a singer.

  • Ohplz

    Question: I feveryone is so over the whole “good hair” meme and so gung-ho about loving your natural texture etc. Then why is everyone clammoring to buy Indian, Malysian, Brazilian hair to tack onto their scalps…hair that much resembles Melanie Fionas? Let’s get real about what people are really mad about. What she DIDN’T say was that she had good hair, that her hair was better than yours, that people who are not of mixed race can’t grow their hair long or anything other than the truth about why HER hair is long. Simply put. It grew out of her head that way. Sorry to those of you who were expecting a lengthy hair regimen, but everyone doesn’t have to do that. In my opinion, asking someone what the “secret” to their long hair is implies that it’s not possible that it’s a natural thing and that “black women” or whatever she chooses to identify with can’t grow their hair naturally and there must be some secret. So really, y’all need to be checking the interviewer for even asking that. Maybe she’s born with it?

  • http://modeltheface.tumblr.com Carla

    Well that’s another story in itself. They might not have the same access to certain products or information as we do….doesn’t mean that their hair won’t grow it just means that people do certain things to provide their hair with extra protection from breakage.

  • Pema

    Eh so what. Indian women do grow very long hair. Isn’t that why the expensive weaves are made from Indian hair? I don’t see why her statement is considered offensive. Sounds like a lot of insecure women to me.

  • http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2012/10/melanie-fiona-sparks-backlash-with-comments-on-mixed-heritage-and-hair-growth/comment-page-7/#comments Mimi

    I saw Melanie on a flight back to Switzerland and she looks like Pocahontas! It took me awhile to recognize her because she looks more Indian in person, and looks black in pictures and tv.

  • Teri

    How did Ray J get in? Bleh…

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    EXACTLY! i was just about to say that!

    don’t most hair care blogs say that long hair can sometimes be genetic? so wtf is the big deal?

  • she likes

    She sounds like she doesn’t think about what she talks about. Black people who are not mixed often have hair that grows fast. Black people who are not mixed also often have hair that grows slowly. In my opinion, hair that “grows” slowly does so because of the use of products that are filled with strong chemicals, poor diet, lack of exercise, and not so much because the person is mixed. For centuries products marketed for black hair have not been researched well for what effects they will have on the health of black hair. Researched instead for how straight they will get the hair. Healthy nappy hair grows out long and nappy.

  • Tara

    I think people are being ridiculous. I didn’t take her comment negatively at all. I understood it to mean that both portugese and indian cultures are known for having full, long hair so these attribute to her growth. I feel sometimes like people are just waiting to accuse someone of something as if her comments mean she’s not proud to be black, but that desire comes from an animosity they have within themselves. People need to look within….if you are comfortable and happy being you, little that others say will matter of offend.

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    indians use the hell out of coconut oil though. and coconut oil.. *gasps* is great for your hair! encourages hair growth and conditions really well. it’s a staple in most indian homes.

    i use a product called “vatika” oil and has coconut oil,amla oil,henna, and lemon oil. it has improved the condition of my hair!

    indian women take great care of their hair from a young age and they oil it often. if black folks took care of their hair the same then we would get the same results. simple.

  • Erica

    yes some do. there are a billion people in africa to assume they all have short hair is ignorant. a lot of them choose to wear their hair short. just because our culture values longer hair over short doesn’t mean every culture does.

  • Pseudonym

    I agree! I think the style she has in pictures and TV help her to fit into the mold of what is expected of R&B.

  • Zaza

    What are you talking about, judging ‘this indian nose here’ and ‘this black eye there’…her father is Indian, her mother is part Portugese, therefore she is part asian and european, and black, she is ‘mixed’. I am full black and I don’t get the sensitivity some black women have over acknowleging mixed people. Just as you are proud of your background and family, why can’t they be proud of theirs? and say yes, that they are mixed?!

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    hold up! how come when i mentioned on another hair article about mixed women’s hair growing back 2 months after cutting it (i even mentioned a mixed friend i know that this happened to) i got thumbed down like crazy and people called me self hating and ignorant?!

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    women in those countries use coconut oil and other oils on their hair. they don’t use blue magic or pink hair lotion. the stuff they use on their hair isn’t detrimental and full of crap.

    women in those countries take excellent care of their hair starting at a young age.

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    i can TOTALLY tell you aren’t american. you say sort out and bloody. how awesome : )

  • Nikol

    I think people are overly sensitive. I think people are more sensitive if they use the term as a clutch for why they harbored negative feelings towards themselves. I read the comment and in no way felt offended or attacked. Focus on the growth of your knowledge and teach others the same without being pushy or preachy. At the end of the day all you can control is yourself/

  • http://www.ldvfashionfix.com Candace

    It’s not that damn serious and she does have a good mix for growth. Duh… People need to get over this hair typing crap. It’s just hair.

  • http://twitter.com/TheLarryWilson The Larry Wilson (@TheLarryWilson)

    Growing Curly dosen’t equal growing slowly. Long hair doesn’t equal “good hair” either. No shade was thrown at all. Shoutout to the confident women who weren’t offended.

  • loving the natural

    Wow! are we still on this subject, its all dead cells anyway, just be you and take care of you.

  • Nicka

    Ummm she is Guyanese! A lot of them are of mixed heritage (black, east Indian & Portugese). What’s so offensive about her statement? She never said that she had good hair. She said her racial heritage was a good mixture for hair growth, and it is! To keep it real, she has more Indian in her than black. Get over it people!

  • apple

    Then maybe people should show it more since it exists so much..i have seen lots of docs, soap operas, and i watch alot of african based television but i dont see the thing you speak of….

  • FLHoneybee

    She was a one hit wonder and not particularly good at that hit. I listen to the song every now and then–when I am in the mood for a cat wail.

    She isn’t the prettiest and she is no Ledisi, Susan Boyle, Adele in regards to singing talent.

    Frankly, if touting her cultural albeit nationality bloodline makes her feel special, earn points and sells records–how is this different from Rihanna announcing her father was some derivation of Irish or was it Scottish?

    We make ourselves the laughing stock–for all of these black people claiming Portuguese, French, Irish–do you not find it interesting–these other cultures, nationalities NEVER EVER–claim black? When was the last time someone white announced–well–my never aging skin comes from my black slave great grandmother?

    It doesn’t happen.

    Think of it–if Melanie is claiming Portuguese where are her Portuguese speaking counterparts claiming her?

    She is ignorant and ridiculously irrelevant. And I’m deleting that stupid song from my Ipod.

    Thanks for the tidbit. One does wonder–is her stupidity directly related to her sinking like the Titanic career?

  • Pseudonym

    This is a big misconception that a lot of black Americans have. When someone is mixed, they like to retort by saying, “All black people are mixed up anyway.” I think a better way to understand it is to not look at it as “race mixing” but rather “culture mixing.” A wedding or meal at her maternal aunt’s house it probably completely different from the same thing at her paternal grandfather’s house. She’s not trying to feel special; she’s just staying a FACT.

    As people said before, the mindset behind this particular comment is what needs to change for the sake of black people. They reek of inferiority complex.

  • Mina

    People get butt hurt when others who are mixed want to claim their mixed heritage for growing their hair when they themselves blame their own race for not being able to grow their hair. It is true that mixed heritage doesn’t grow your hair long.

    But back in the day, that was my answer as well. People would get mad whenever I told them so I just didn’t say how it grew long because I literally didn’t do anything for it to grow long but heard your genes/heritage is what made it grow and that’s what I repeated. Now I still don’t say anything. I just say water, oil, and conditioner is what makes it grow so people can shut up. Good hair I never liked that term so I never said I had good hair. But I wish people would stop being overly sensitive. People are going to have different hair textures and hair growth rates based on genetics. You can’t help what your race or racial admixture. If she wants to claim her genes, she can. She said she had a good mix for growth. Technically she didn’t say she had good hair. She said she has good genes for faster hair growth.

  • Laina

    The problem was with the question, not the answer. What was the point of the question? She is of Guyanese descent. It is should be common knowledge to anyone that went to school that people of Guyana include decendants of enslaved Africans and East Indians. East Indians women have long hair. It is quite obvious from looking at Melanie that she has East Indian and her background was mentioned in other articles. So once again, why the question? As far as everyone being so sensitive about hair, the only thing that should matter when it comes to hair is that it is clean. As far as hair length, who cares that you hair will only grow a certain length. Short hair has nothing to do with a poor diet and poor hair care. It has to do with the how God made you and if you do not like the short hair that God gave you, well that is your issue.

  • alexis

    There’s no reason to be offended by that comment. She didn’t say that her hair growth was due to just being mixed, she attributed it to the particular mix of indian and portugese. Its statistically true that on average people of these heritages have very full thick hair that grows quickly just as it is statistically true that on average black people have tightly coily hair. No one should have to ignore thier inherited features just to avoid offending others.

  • http://www.facebook.com/winsheba Grant Winsome

    Oh please! her Mom is a black Guyanese, (African descent) That means she is bi-racial…black and Indian…Period. I do not get the Portuguese, since when is her mom mixed with portuguese? Why can’t her mom be just black? If she’s referring to the little European blood…miniscule percentage that’s in her mom’s blood line then that’s ridiculous. If that’s the case then ALL blacks in North, South/ Central America and Caribbean can claim some European blood…British. French/ Spaniard/ Scottish/ Irish whatever. Her statement is ignorant and clearly proves she is ashamed for her mom to be just black, desperately claiming her oppressor, slave mater’s blood. That is nothing to be proud of dummy!!

  • Pseudonym

    The one-drop rule is a United States concept used to (1) keep black people down (b/c a black person can’t simple “marry up” into white society- because their descendants will always be denied the privileges of the white class- like that Bible story of Noah and his two sons that whites used to justify slavery in the first place) and (2) penalize any white people who mingled with married, and procreated with black people (b/c their children would be considered black and, therefore, denied any of their white parent’s white pivalege).

    Black people need to get off this one-drop rule nonsense. White people did not create it for your benefit, but rather the exact opposite, so please stop perpetuating it like it’s the golden rule.

    (Thank you.)

  • Pseudonym

    and (3) allow white men who raped slaves to not acknowledge their descendants- to be thorough.

    Again: not in black people’s favor. So stop letting the One-Drop Rule run your life!!!!

  • Tippy

    I don’t see anything wrong with what she said. Relax!

  • E-GO

    Melanie is right! Indians are well known for their beautiful, long hair! Many of you have some Indian’s hair in your head right now! We’ve become too PC and we jump down celebrity’s throat about anything. They should not be the moral compass for you and they have a right to their opinion. Get a life! Good hair is whatever you say it is, don’t ban anything!

  • http://thebrokejetsetter.com Brokejetsetter

    She’s guyanese. Not African American. Those ‘indians’ came to the caribbean to work and stayed. Why all the hating anyway? The negativity is rather bothersome. Have you been to the caribeean? Mixed is an understatement.

  • http://thebrokejetsetter.com Brokejetsetter


  • Kim

    Girl, my hair is so nasty I am about to wash it now. LOL! I am ashamed at how dirty I let it get .

  • Pseudonym

    Girl, don’t even bother- they don’t understand. Someone posted a photo of her parents and people looked at her Indian father and said, “Well, he looks black to me!”

    There is no saving some.

  • Ms. Vee

    First i will say this, Melanie Fiona is not a black woman, but a multiracial one (black, white and Indian). Furthermore, if you are a black woman and took offense to what she said then you have self-hate issues. I quite frankly am tired of the “good hair“ BS in the black community. As long as you possess a thick head of healthy, full hair, then it is good regardless of its texture. Black women need to start embracing our hair as individuals, work with what we have and stop comparing it to non-blacks. Melanie has gorgeous hair, but that doesn`t mean i would ever trade in my beautiful 4c hair. Lets stop the nonsense folks.

  • Mercedes

    I don’t see anything wrong what she said. She DOES have a good mix of ethnic groups that generally mean you won’t have any problem growing your hair. Women who are 100% black tend to have hair with tighter curls and thinner cuticles, meaning that their hair breaks easier and does not retain length as well. Melanie attributes her hair length to the fact that she is mixed with other ethnic groups that don’t have such curly hair with thin cuticles, meaning less breakage and better growth retention.

    What’s wrong with that?

  • Donna Lee

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with what she said. That is her truth…no one should take offense to that!

  • kathy

    They asked her where did “your” beautiful hair length come from. She answered truthfully…….I don’t see what the big deal is……the point is she is mixed and its contributes to her hair. Nothing wrong with that.

  • http://gravatar.com/cynthiachea cynthiachea

    I don’t see what the big deal is. She didn’t say she had “good hair”, she said she had a good mix for growth. Like Melanie Fiona, my mother was Guyanese of mixed heritage (Indian, Black and White). Unlike Melanie Fiona, my father is Liberian. I too would say I have a good, even GREAT mix for growth. I have locs that are past my rear. People are making it a “good hair” issue. It is not.

  • http://www.clutchmagonline.com Kenyatta

    I think that she put her mouth before her brain. I mean a child would say something along the terms of what she said. obviously decorum is not something is well versed in.

  • http://gravatar.com/jzaylees jzaylees

    I don’t think, there is any thing wrong with what she said for her circumstances. Now is it true for everybody? No, it is not. I have relatives that are multiracial and not all of them have the luck (for the lack of a better word) to get fast growing hair. It all depends on the flip of the genes. Also in my experiences, my cousins that are my age and multiracial would compliment my hair, because it was long. I too, am like Melanie. I was born with a head full of hair and had long hair all my life. Why? because my mom took care of it and my parents are black. While on the other hand, their hair would not grow, or was never my length, till they started taking care of it themselves. So i state again, that for Melanie that is the guess, but it isn’t true for all multiracial people. Its the luck of the draw.

  • http://gravatar.com/jzaylees jzaylees


  • http://gravatar.com/niaboo87 niaboo87

    First of all she may be “multi-cultural” but here in America you are either Black, White, Hispanic or Asian there is no in between. Other music artist like Jordin Sparks and Alicia Keys etc. all have a background of dfferent cultures but they always refer to themselves as being BLACK WOMEN! Second I see nothing wrong with what Melanie Finoa said, must our cluture of women be so ignorant towards one another geez let the girl have a right to freedom of speech.

  • Kamilah

    There is nothing wrong with her statement. We all know that blacks with mixed heritage have longer hair or at least have an easier time growing it. Matter of fact that goes for all other ethnicities. If black hair was as easy to grow as everyone else’s I doubt we’d have the thousands of hair care video channels and blogs that give advice on how to retain length. It’s is a fact that curl hair is harder to grow because of its fragility and BLACK people have the CURLIEST hair on the planet. Honestly, when have you ever heard someone attribute their long hair to black heritage? Never, because it doesn’t happen. We may attribute thickness and versatility to black hair but never growth. That doesn’t mean we can’t or don’t have long hair, it just means it requires more TLC. Melanie never said she had good hair, she just said she has a good mix for growth and she’s right. How many of us are walking around with an ASIAN girls hair sewn to our scalp? That 22″ Remi sure as heck didn’t come from Africa.

  • Chrissy

    I think you are confused. My comment was in reply to another person, but it did not post under their comment.

    I did not say she should be ashamed of her mixed heritage. What are you reading? I am also not sensitive about people claiming mixed heritage. I think black people should STOP including mixed people in the black box.

    If you notice I did not even comment about what she said about her hair.

    Someone said she looks more Indian than black. I said I could not actually see it. I googled a pic of her parents and noticed her mom has similar features to my mom. So if I just looked at her mom I would not see the mixed.

    My point and I guess it flew over your and other peoples head…Is that sometimes certain features are not exclusive to one group and they overlap.

    I also asked what are Indian features? Besides hair? Complexion? No one answered. You didnt either. I also said if she is mixed I could possibly see it, but not for her hair.

    Maybe you should stop being sensitive.

  • Jenny

    Who really cares – what does ‘black’ really mean in today’s world anyway? How many black people can look in their family tree and say that none of their ancestors were from another race. Black people are so ‘mixed’ now – (the ones in Africa, America, Caribbean and Gujurat in India) that we should all spend time enjoying the diversity and beauty that has been created. No race is as diverse as the black race and we should embrace that instead of finding reasons to create division.

  • Jenny

    This is definitely not true – the average rate across races is stated as half an inch a month. In general some races are known to have a faster rate of growth than others with the Indians growing their hair particularly fast and retaining much of that. If it was due purely to curliness then it should technically be the Chinese who have the longest hair as their hair is some of the straightest hair around – but Indians usually have longer hair so clearly there are a number of different factors to consider.
    I agree it’s not offensive, she should have given her wording a little more thought maybe but there’s no insult there.

  • Youwishyoucouldbeme

    Kamilah, I couldn’t agree more. I think that many of the people getting offended are showing their own insecurities. Like you said, she never said she had “good hair.” What she was trying to say is that having mixed heritage makes retaining the growth she has more visible, because of its texture. We all know that not every “mixed” person has the kind of hair texture Melanie has, but she does have a silkier and looser texture of hair. Most of us know that hair grows at the rate it does, regardless of what texture you have. But that kinkier textures shrink more and thus don’t show the growth (unless straightened) as much. Also, kinkier textures don’t get the same amount of sebum/natural oils, so it is more prone to breakage. As many of us also know, when a kinky hair texture has the proper moisture balance, the hair can and will grow very long. Thus, the secret to having long hair is taking care of it, whether you are “mixed” or not.

  • Rachel

    Im confused…she is mixed…she has hair that grows pretty fast…. whats the problem??? Who cares? She was speaking about herself…people need to get a life

  • http://gravatar.com/thisismyoyster Valsays

    What’s the problem here she’s right for the most part. We are waaay too sensitive about this, we need to make peace and let it go because it’s making us look petty at a time when we have bigger fish to fry.

  • ruggie

    If Melanie Fiona were peddling her own brand of Miracle Doo Grow oil, people would be buying it off the shelves. If she had a Youtube video with the ‘special regimen’ that made her hair long, folks would give it a million hits. But she comes out and says her long hair is largely inherited, and people get mad.

  • Janaé

    And black people aren’t as smart as other races either right?

  • NOitAll

    I couldn’t disagree more. It’s not that Black women can’t grow long hair. We manipulate our hair to the point of exhausting our follicles. We put so many chemicals and other garbage in our hair that we damage it severely. And then we wonder why it doesn’t grow.

    With that said, I don’t have a problem with Melanie’s statement. I don’t think she was making disparaging remarks against Black women’s hair. Besides, the question she was asked was loaded to begin with.

  • arthur

    Unfortunately,she doesn’t know much about african history.There is so
    many sterotypes about people of color,that she just don’t know.I encourage her to read black authors,and magazines.There is a black pers
    pective,and as is always marketed a white perspective.a

  • KTAN

    Making a mountain out of a mole hill. I am natural and not offended at all. She should have said she has a good mix for “easy retention” because everyone’s hair GROWS but some people can hold on to strands with less effort than others because their hair isn’t as fragile and doesn’t break as easily. Melanie will never see the difference in the words she used if we all use this as an opportunity to ostracize her and critize her. We should either leave her alone or teach her politely that maybe she meant to say retention not growth. No biggie, get over it–your insecurity is showing.

  • Pseudonym

    There are plenty of black “naturalistas” not living in poverty who use all natural products, 5 hour deep conditioning, protective styling, blah blah blah…and they still don’t grow from chin-length hair to the middle of their back in 6-12 months- shoot sometimes not even in 6 years…

  • Pseudonym

    yES! Two issues that heat up Clutch: black hair and single motherhood.

    Approach with caution.

  • Pseudonym

    @Jenny: that’s the thing people arguing against Melanie Fiona are missing. Sure, black people can claim to have some ancestry of a different race, but the real question is: do you actually know these people? I mean, yes, you “have Indian in your family.” Do you actually have an Indian aunt of uncle you talk to? or Mexican? Native American? Whatever other stuff black people claim to try to say “we’re all mixed up anyway” in these situations? If I come to your wedding and you invite your entire family, are there going to be any non-black people there?

  • http://www.blasianbytch.com N’jaila

    So we are angry at Melanie Fiona for saying that Her Black/Portuguese/Indian racial make up as why she has “such beautiful hair” but not a magazine that promotes her long straight hair as an ideal for Black women… oh okay. That makes sense.

  • Mitt_Romen_Noodles

    When being black aint enough again, huh? Melanie Fiona, Beyonce, all these people who just can’t be black.

    Love yourself. Love black people.

    These girls that have to push the issue of being more than black, then ironically complain about good black males not dating enough black women.

    Yall don’t even want to be the black women you’re supposedly fighting for.

  • http://gravatar.com/arlette81 arlette

    thats a really ignorant way of thinking. who are you to tell a person what race they are, she is multicultural, end off. If she id as that, why should some ignorant people dictate what she should be seen as?

  • http://gravatar.com/arlette81 arlette

    You are spot on. Its not that hard, the looser your curl pattern is the easier it is for hair oils to travel down the hair strands thus causing less split ends and breakage compared to someone with kinky hair. ‘Black’ people with her hair type are usually not actually black, but multiracial. Nothing wrong with that. Although my hair is back length but harder to grow than hers, i wouldn’t swap mine for hers coz i love my hair and it wouldn’t be like this if i wasn’t black. My hair is like this coz im black her is like that coz she is not and its stupid to think there is anything wrong with acknowledging it.

  • zelda

    I think she was ignorant of what she really meant or….she just mis-spoke.maany people of all races including blacks themselves believe the myth that black women can’t grow long hair because idk our hair is “nappy”.that is a misconception.the truth is its harder for our hair to grow long because for centuries we. Been trying to use all kinds of chemicals and techniques used by people with silky hair.those techniques have never worked but only broken our hair and stunted it….there4 the world sees black women with short damaged hair…and others with long flowing hair…what else are they gonna think? The truth is we don’t have any genetic predispositions that determines that our hair will be short.we just have to do a lot more to grow it…..or actually I should say a lot less.its simple: no relaaxers,harsh shampoos,weaves or other junk that breaks our already fragile hair….and we can all be running around here with hair to our butts if we want. As for Melanie I don’t blame her…she wouldn’t understand because she doesn’t have kinky hair….so yea

  • Nak

    ANDDDD… what the heck does that have to do w/ her response? She didn’t say she wasn’t Black, she said her hair grows b/c she’s mixed.

    I know plenty of Black women w/ beautiful long hair, so obviously her comment is a little off the mark, however I get what she meant. Pure(ly beautiful) Black people have more fragile hair that is prone to breakage and to make matters worse it tangles easier, which also leads to breakage. It is much harder to attain length w/ very coily, drier hair than straighter, more oily hair.

    Anyone who got offended by her comment has a chip on their shoulder.

  • http://Yahoo.com LIngram

    What’s really funny about this is the majority of those hating on her statement are running to the beauty supply asking for a bag of 12″, “Melanie Fiona”…LOL!

  • ScriptTease

    Cut her a little slack, good grief.

  • http://tameke lisa

    whoaaa she has indian! just like me hahaha. well no she has black and portuguese too. ya’ll should cut her some slack. aint her fault she got it better.lol

  • Eric


    In the future, always copy & paste b4 posting

  • alexis

    Thats unfair. Being just black is enough when you are just black. But just as it’s wrong to deny your african heritage, its wrong to deny the other heritages inherited by birth. What you’re saying is like telling a child it’s not okay to be different, that they have to be what everyone else is comfortable with. You shouldn’t be offended by someone who is happy with who they are. She is a proud black/indian/portugese women and there is nothing wrong with that.

  • http://gravatar.com/dginki Kim

    And yet the llikes of you are on a black womans blog and Fiona interjects herself into the lives of real black women. Come on now. Who is really better? Cut the ish out and have a real conversation instead of your juvenile BS.

  • http://radiant-brown-beauty.com Michelle @Radiant Brown Beauty

    what is the big deal already. A good mix for hair growth could also be interpreted as “Having a looser curl pattern, she doesn’t have as many challenges with dryness (or breakage which helps with maintaining length.

    People are too darn sensitive.

  • Redtopp

    ok this is way out of control — i am sure she meant no disrespect to other groups of women who don’t have full heads of hair (and have to purchase it)– She is right for the most part–Indian/Hispanic/Asian–do tend to have heavier hair that SOME other cultures–this does not mean that African American women (who are ‘not’ mixed don’t have full/long heads of hair–she was simply speaking of herself…ARE WE EVER EVER EVER gonna get over this hair thing…as my grandmother used to tell me it’s not about your HAIR…BUT YOUR HEAD–AND WHAT’S IN IT!

  • DoubleR

    Exactly what I was thinking. She did not mean this in a way to be offensive. She just stated “loose hair” in a different way! Black women need to put this to rest already!

  • Fatima

    Yup! She looks Peul to me, but that is probably because that is what I am surrounded by.

  • Beautiful Mic

    Point blank, she was ignorant for implying that there is some genetic, or heretical, formula for producing a hair type that will grow. Furthermore, she was wrong for implying that mixed ancestry is synonymous for hair growth.

    Hair growth and hair growth retention are two different things.

  • Nak

    But you KNOW that’s wasn’t her point. She was explaining why she had long hair.. Nitpicking the vernacular/thought process is silly. Kinky hair is shorter b/c of it’s makeup. Yes it still grows, but it breaks. To many people, they can’t see that the growth rate is just fine, but instead their hair is breaking. They assume their hair grows more slowly than others. So, for there to be “backlash” (exaggerating would be an understatement since nobody cares about Fiona like that), over a COMMON misconception would be ridiculous.

  • Beautiful Mic

    People don’t realize the difference between the two, and people tend pass along the message that kinky hair is bad hair because it doesn’t grow. Also, there is a prevalent perception that mixed ancestry produces a certain hair type. Her statement, for me, is loaded with the stereotype and myth.

    She was ignorant for that…Her thinking that hair growth ability is relative to racial heritage is flawed. Her explanation for her hair growth is flawed and ignorant, point blank – no nitpicking necessary. There is no need to even make the distinction of ‘having a good mixed for growth’ because no specific degree of mixture is even a determining factor in the ability for hair to grow OUT OF THE SCALP.

    The backlash is the continued perpetuation of negative and discouraging untruths about kinky textured hair as it relates to black non-mixed ancestry and or non-mixed identity. It does grow with the right care.

    In essence, it doesn’t take being of mixed ancestry to have the right genes for hair ‘growth’.

  • Beautiful Mic

    She made her point VERY clear – she believes that she has long hair because she’s mixed race. Her hair has growth retention ability BECAUSE she has mixed race ancestry/heritage. That FLAWED thinking – ignorant!

  • Dymo

    Um, isn’t India the top producer of human hair weave? Isn’t most African American hair thick? Aren’t Portuguese woman known for their long wavy hair? Her hair has the thickness of AA hair, length of Indian hair and the waviness of Portuguese hair=an easy to manage combination of the 3 textures of hair from the races shes mixed with or a good mix of the 3. BTW, genetics does have a lot to do with your hair and how it grows…baldness is hereditary

  • Tab

    I was a fan of Melanie Fiona until I heard her on the Ricky Smiley show one morning state that everyone in Canada is beautiful because were bi-racial. Basically saying that if your not bi-racial your not beautiful!!! “Dumb Dora”

  • Tab

    She has said on numerous occasions…Everyone in Canada is beautiful because were mixed (biracial/multiracial) like being one race wouldn’t make you beautiful!!! I do see something wrong with that!!! Everyone is beautiful in Gods eyes!!!

  • http://gravatar.com/dorisjean23 Jean

    I don’t know if she is all that correct, genetics can throw you a wild card. I remember this Dutch model who was “mixed”: white skin, blues eyes and a gorgeous, pride of African kink. I think that Mother Nature pulls it in and gives it a whirl. As far as hair growth, I think its how well your care for your hair and if you are eating healthy, with as little stress as possible.

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  • Lady G

    Stop! She is just repeating what she has been programed to believe. Which is that her long semi-straight hair is beautiful and that means good hair. Now, we just have to have journalist repeat the same types of questions about short natural hair. And have our beautiful black women of color make very positive comments about their hair being good. When I see young black women with natural hair in a style that I think is attractive on them I say so. When I see young dark complexion African American women with flawless skin I complement them on their beauty. All of us have a responsibility to promote our beauty. We can fight the negative perceptions about our hair and skin tone if we accept and define our beauty. It starts with the right questions and the right attitude. It is very hard for us to control positive images of dark skin women but we start with the acceptance that “MY BLACK IS REALLY AND TRULY BEAUTIFUL” and it is a hard sell when images are constantly reminding us that few really think so. Self-love must be programmed.

  • jac

    There are a ton of comments here!

    I don’t know why we expect a celebrity to have any more insight than any other person. Just like when people talk about Rihanna/Chris Brown. They’ve grown up seeing abuse, therefore what they see in their relationship is normal for them, but then the public wants every celebrity to be able to set examples for the rest of the world…besides the lifestyles & money, they are still just human.

    Fiona is black, her mom is black, so just like the rest of us black people they’ve grown up to learn what “good hair” is. This is an idea that so many can’t let go of. I haven’t had a relaxer in maybe 5 months, and every single time I see my grandma we have to talk about my damn hair. She saw that I didn’t straighten it and that I had cut a lot off, and told me I was “going to mess up my hair.” And this conversation happens literally EVERY TIME…. So yeah, it sucks she’s just another black person perpetuating this idea of “good hair,” but I’m not going to get my feelings hurt because I know better. I accept that the hair growing out of my head is definitely not straight, and that’s okay with me. We can’t look only to a celebrity to encourage self-love, we have to do it for ourselves regardless.

  • http://thehoodproper.blogspot.com Lola Wants

    I am black and I wear my hair natural. When I straighten my hair it’s down to my ass and it’s longer than most of my white peers here at school. For her to think that certain ancestries are more pre-disposed to long hair is absurd but like a lot of other people her belief is just a clear case of ignorance. I don’t think she was being racist. She just needs to be better informed about hair and biology. There are certain genes that help contribute to the growth of long hair but this has nothing to do with ethnicity or race. Anyone, regardless of race can have these genes. I hope someone helps her with her ignorance so she will never say something as ridiculous as this again.

  • Figure it Out

    She NEVER said anything about “good hair”, she SAID her heritage had a “good mix for growth” which is actually true, Indian women are world renown for having amazing hair and hair growth you can see the truth in it by the loads of African American women flying it off the shelves of every beauty supply. One should learn how to correctly read instead of putting there words in others mouths.

  • http://blackfemaleculture.wordpress.com blackfemaleculture

    Fiona is not Black. To be Black you must have 2 Black parents, not just one parent with one Black parent. Actual Black people need to stop trying to make folks with one drop of African blood identify with them and boost their self-esteem. No person of pure African blood has Fiona’s hair texture. If you have issues with YOUR own hair, that’s your issue; it is not a problem for some random bi-racial or multi-racial person to solve.

    Part of the reason we have this issue in our community is because some of us simply refuse to accept that being bi-racial or multi-racial is NOT the same as being Black. Real Africans do not have this issue in their community and they do NOT consider “African-Americans” (who are all mixed with something) Black or Africans. Think there’s a connection?

    We do the Black collective and ourselves a disservice when we try to make non-Black people Black. And then want to force them to hide their non-Black parents under a bush, so we can pretend that they are also Black. SMH. But it’s not their fault. SELF-esteem cannot come from outside of you. And “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.

  • LisLis

    Thank you! I seriously do not understand what is wrong with her comment. I got it the first time I read it.

  • Kit

    My father, father had an Irish father and mixed mother. I grew up w/thick below shoulders kinky hair. In the south its humid so imaging having that heavy hair that either had to be pressed with a hot comb or in high school perm. My daughter has soft loose curls long hair. My mother and her mother had straight no curls long hair. My sister is a full bodied woman her long hair is in braids because of her work and she don’t have time to be bothered Like me, my daughter, my mother all Americans are of mix ancestry. The 1% in the 17th Century created race, blackness, whiteness to control its labor by creating myths that people were different hence the need for separation. Google race and learn and stop this nonsense. Every one has a head at the top and feet to stand on. We are all the same. Look beyond the body which is nothing and look to the person which it something.

  • Kit

    As I have said Americans are mixed. Plus the human gene pool, which you studied in biology, behaves in certain ways. I’m so tried of people of color and that includes those of pale complexions with green, blue, yellow color eyes repeating myths about themselves and others that are not true. We are all the same. Just because i now wear my hair cut short instead of long don’t make me less, I’m loving, lovely and a loved person.

    I grew up with and around people of color in the southern part of the US who valued, respected and liked them selves and that is what I apply to my self every day and that’s what we taught our child. If you had no one to teach you to love your self feel free to love, respect and value you self, you and those around will be glad that you do.

  • BLove

    Amen! I couldn’t have said it better!!!

  • http://gravatar.com/ohyeaohyea ohyeaohyea

    It’s hair-get over it. Worry more about what’s in people’s heads than what’s on it.

  • B

    So I guess when us “mixed African-Americans” are being treated the same way as “real Africans” by law enforcement in the US, we ought to give a damn whether or not “real Africans” consider us black? Churl, sit down. And crack open a history book.

  • Pseudonym

    Americans are not all mixed. They don’t even know people of these cultures they claim to be mixed with. I’m so sick of this “claim.”

  • [email protected] (under construction)

    I 100% agree. As a beauty blogger, I implore us to stop making hair a political or racial statement. Right now, we have a nation under a siege of unemployment, a president being attacked for everything that goes wrong in the world (including the plague of locusts that tormented Bible-era citizens) and international terrorism to contend with, but we’re arguing over how the characterization of this woman’s hair?

    How ignorant …

  • supernova

    Right on and well-stated! Positive, self-affirming RE-programming is how we undo negative, stereotypical programming! It is how the brain works, and how society evolves. Best of luck to us all.

  • Patience

    @ Lady G October 20, 2012 at 9:29 am . Thank you Lady G and others who have posted similarly for your insightful comments. Melanie expressed how many still feel today. No surprise. What the receiver hears is that those who don’t have “good hair” aren’t good enough; ultimately that the receiver is not good enough and with that comes pain. There are still women and men who primarily want to mate with a certain kind of skin color andor hair texture. Lady G, I love the promotion of complimenting each other. I try to do so, but will make more of a conscious effort to do more of it.

  • http://twitter.com/ivywriter Kellea Tibbs (@ivywriter)

    While I see where some of the controversy may come from, I do think that everyone is blowing this out of proportion and misinterpreting what she said. And I quote, what she said was: “I’m mixed – my mom is Black and Portuguese and my dad is Indian so I have a good mix for growth”

    My interpretation of that is that she’s equating the idea that since both of her parents heritage, traditionally and genetically have a history of a thicker, sleeker texture of hair, that, because she was born as a result of both, this is why her hair texture is as thick and as fully grown as it is. And while I am just as hyper-sensitive to “racially” and “divisive” words that have plagued our community for decades, I do think that we, as women, need to re-examine Melanie Fiona’s words here and read them for what they are. I don’t think that her words in any way are saying that the reason she has the hair texture she has is because she is mixed or that somehow that makes her better than the rest of us. It is what it is. That’s just my interpretation of it and if I’m missing something, please help me out. And of course, there is no such thing as good hair. period.

  • soulfullyreal

    People with mixed backgrounds (black mixed w/something) tend to have an easier time growing out their natural hair length wise than someone who isn’t. Of course that’s not true for every single one of them, but for a majority, yes. It’s just genetics, not a good or a bad thing. I have that good ole steel wool, and it takes a lot of care for me to get length. It is what it is.

  • Perspective

    Ok, I see there a lot of comments on this one I’m going to have to charge black women to the game on this.

    1) Why ask her a question about her hair – when you know damn well the chick ain’t all black

    2) I’ve said for years on this site for black women to stop co-signing biracial women. If she was with a white man many of the same women mad about what she said would be boasting about just how black she is and how much she’s bringing “black women’s beauty into vogue” Sorry I gotta charge black women for that one also

    3) For the rainbow coalition sistas, who swear up and down that non-black men want them but have color issues and claim that black men don’t want them. If you get with a non-black man – you daughter will be like this WOMAN. She may not say the things that this woman says, but there is ALWAYS THAT CHANCE.

    “What’s the secret to your gorgeous long hair?”

    Why would you ask a mixed woman that question – as if you didn’t already know?!

  • Perspective


    Good point on the “where do they sell”

  • Perspective

    Co-sign Pseudonym again – Longing for hair length… I know.

    How about Longing for light skin – I’m sure that wouldn’t fly, but hair – that’s cool.

  • http://gravatar.com/ebony82 ebony82

    The problem is not growth but LENGTH RETENTION! I wish people would get it right. It makes sense that the looser the curl, the easier it is to retain length because there are/may be fewer knots and tangles. Being mixed does not automatically mean longer hair.

  • http://gravatar.com/ebony82 ebony82

    I think people have a problem with her preceding the statement by commenting on her ethnic background, as if you have to be mixed in order for your hair to “grow long”.

  • Perspective

    Let me see if clutch will allow me to post this

    “While I don’t have dreadlocks, I’ve seen enviously beautiful heads of locked hair, which grow so long. However, why is their hair growth so noticeably abundant? Now, there is a conflict of theories when it comes to locks and African Americans who have them. There are some people who say, that African Americans can not grow long hair, but then I see an African-American person who has grown their dreadlocks down their back, which basically discounts the aforementioned theory. Who is right?

    Some people may argue, that most of the hair that those with dreadlocks have is shed hair and not real growth. While shed hair does remain on the hair strand and contributes to the length (Khumalo, Doe, Dawber, & Ferguson, 2000), locks also contain new hair. The hair strands themselves while locked are intact from top to bottom. If you pull someone’s dreads, they won’t just pull apart like cotton or wool. The person will feel the pull at their roots, which means the hair has grown from root to tip in length.

    The research article, African Hair Morphology: Macrostructure to Ultrastructure, reports on a study of people of African descent with natural tightly curled hair. Participants have experienced breakage to the point that most of the hairs collected from the comb for observation were broken and not shed, so “combing is in fact like a daily haircut. (Khumalo, 2005 p.11)”

    Read here about trichoclasis, a type of breakage that affects natural hair

    The suggested reasons for the broken hair found in the study is in strict contrast to those who dreadlock their hair where no combing is done at all. The study states further that perhaps this may be the reason “people who twist their hair into “dreadlocks,” which are never combed, can achieve great hair length. (Khumalo, 2005 p.11)” The hair is allowed to grow, undisturbed by any styling tools such as combs, brushes, hot curlers, blow dryers, flat irons, need I go on? This technique of leaving hair to its own devices may be the key to naturals achieving longer length.”

  • Perspective

    I hate comments like these on so many levels

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    ” I’ve said for years on this site for black women to stop co-signing biracial women.”

    I don’t understand what that means?

  • http://gravatar.com/adorecrissy Crissy

    I’m so confused as to why people are acting a fool about her describing “her” hair. She wasn’t downing anyone and their head of hair. She was talking about why “her” was long and grows good. People blow simple stuff out of proportion. I find it sickening that people go ballistic at the mention of having “good” hair. If you are offended then does that mean you consider your hair “bad” hair? I mean I’m just trying to understand why someone would get all bent out of shape because this woman spoke on her personal appearance. I honestly feel like if you are secure with yourself and what you look like comments like these won’t rip a bandaid off what seems to be a never-healing wound. People should seriously get a life!

  • mixedafroandproud

    I don’t see what the issue is because she described her hair. I am mixed. Dad is Nigerian and my mother is Jewish and Irish. I did not get the “good” hair (as some would call it) ; in fact I have a big afro without the relaxer and flat iron. My hair is good to me and for me and I prefer my type of hair. I am proud of my hair. It is very thick and I love who I am all around. People need to find something else to discuss; that is newsworthy. My son has straighter hair and his dad is black. So I think it’s genetics

  • Ladybeetle

    I’ve got wonderfully kinky hair and I don’t have a problem with her comment. Scientifically, it is more difficult for black hair to grow because it has a shorter anagen (growh phase before shedding.” Native American and European heritage have longer ones. We make things more complicated than what they need to be because our lack of understanding and over sensitivity!

  • Denise

    People really need to stop tripping. When she said good mix she is saying a good(big) mix of ethnics. Just like if your cooking and someone says add a good amount a sugar. Damn!!. Stop taking everything so personal just cause your jealous or not happy with the way you look. Smh. Sigh why do people always think negatively. Smh

  • Denise

    Thank you girl!

  • Airotciv

    Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    October 22, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    ” I’ve said for years on this site for black women to stop co-signing biracial women.”

    I don’t understand what that means?
    I wondered that as well. If you get an answer, let me know.

  • Ash

    Personally, I think that the reason people think looser “mixed” hair grows has little to do with innate ability and more to do with what types of hair care is available.

    Speaking from my own perspective, I always felt that hair products and styles catered to European standards. Mixed hair often fits these standards more closely and therefore there is more available to suit their hair type.

    During my childhood there was very little out their to support the health of afro-textured hair…it was all about supporting the health of straight, silky, and wavy hair. We all have different needs and there is no way my hair would grow if I treated it like those with a vastly different texture than mine.

  • Airotciv

    She’s really not that good looking in my opinion, and not so talented that she can put her mouth on “auto-pilot.” I seriously doubt that we will know what she is doing 10 years from now.

  • Airotciv

    With all due respect “soster,” have you ever heard of the “one-drop,” rule?

    I have hazel eyes, honey colored skin, and natural blonde streaks in my hair. Do you know what that means outside of the black community (not a damn thing). Anyone who thinks their “heritage” means anything to anyone but them is just fooling themselves. We are all equally black to white people.

    If the lynch mob is looking to string blacks up do you really think they’s skip over Melonie Fiona? Wake up and smell the coffee. This divisiveness that we practice is inherently ignorant, and it’s embarrasing. We’re ALL black even if we are too stupid to know it.

  • S.T.

    I still don’t get it…what’s wrong with her preceding her answer with a statement about her ethnic background to support the fact that her hair grows fast? Is it not true that her “good mix for growth” is genetically relevant? I mean if a light-skinned woman of mixed ethnicities was being complimented about how well her skin holds up in the sun and she contributed it to being partially of African-American descent, I don’t think anyone would bat an eye.

    Just as it is typically the case that black people tan well due to the amount of melanin in their skin as a result of their genetic composition, I would also think this holds true in other aspects of our anatomy, including eye color, hair texture, etc. Case in point, people of Indian decent tend to have hair that grows very fast and has great length retention!!

    Does a woman of Indian decent typically having long hair necessarily mean that a black woman cannot naturally have long hair as well? No. They are not mutually exclusive, but there is a tendency for this phenomenon of rapid hair growth and retained length to occur for an Indian woman than an African-American woman. It tends to be the case but is not always the case, and it’s a result of our genetic make-up. Just accept it and move on. I don’t see white women huffing and puffing over the accepted notion that they tend not to tan well. You see it when they burn just like you see your hair breaking from that comb and, unfortunately, it won’t untangle itself.
    OWN IT.

    Of course there are many black women with long hair, but I think as an intelligent individual, you have to realize that some things are more commonplace than others and it’s likely due to genetics.

    Now can we put this dumb ass debate to bed?

  • http://elephantchronicles-nell.blospot.com jamiroqaigurl3000

    define “ethnics”…

  • Joan

    Figure it Out, thank you! I don’t detect any attitude of superiority in Melanie’s answer. I do, however, detect some hierarchical views in the interviewer’s question. I feel the question was inappropriate and it put her in an awkward position with black folks. The reality is that she is racially mixed. The reality is also that her hair is considered by many people (especially the interviewer) to be “good” hair. Another very uncomfortable reality: A whole lot of black women spend a lot of money to achieve a look that she gets naturally. Her genetic mix gave her a higher chance of length retention. There was no guarantee when her folks got together that it would happen, but at the genetic gambling table for “gorgeous, long hair,” she won big. LOL. She told the truth. She could have lied and pretended that she was like every other black woman we see on the street, but she acknowledged the fact that her racial makeup quite likely had something to do with it. I have a head full of kinky/curly/coily hair and I have absolutely no problem with what she said. It reminds me of how many of these natural hair product companies put a racially mixed woman with 3A/3B hair in their ads and then they pretend that this is what 4B-Z hair will look like if you use their products. No…like Melanie, the woman in the ad had a little genetic assistance.

  • Kp

    There is only drama about this issue because she is a woman of color.If a white woman was asked the secret to her hair length and she opted to say she was blessed with her mothers long hair (thus in the genes) no one one would care. However, when a woman of color says it’s her genes then something must be inherently wrong? Why can’t it be your genes and be proud of it? I’m sure if we were all part ‘fill in the blank’ and it gave us long, easy to manage hair, you wouldn’t complain. Lets just grow as a society and be happy to be uniquely who we each are. We are not all the same and shouldn’t be expected to recite from the same conformist minded book of what all black women should be (and say) to make all other black women feel good.

  • ***Sigh***

    I have no problem with what she said about HER hair. I think that as BW, some of us can be overly sensitive. Her hair is beautiful– so what? Some of us will never have that kind of hair, but that’s fine. Realizing that there are other beautiful things about us and having higher self esteem would make what Melanie said a non- issue. The obsession with hair length, texture and skin color is a disease, a mental illness.Some of us need therapy for it.

  • http://gravatar.com/zajakamara Zaja Kamara

    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.

  • 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.

  • Ariel

    I did not find it offensive. While back women can most certainly have long hair we have to work harder at achieving and maintaining it than other races or even people of mixed races.

  • Kiya

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with what she said. She just stated that her genetics, as a mixed-race woman, allowed for her hair to retain length easily and thus allowed her to have long hair without concentrating on growth. Genetics do play a huge part. That is fact. I am 3/4 black Caribbean and 1/4 White Canadian. Me and my brother both have long hair. It would be false for me to assume “well who knows where I got my long hair from, it could have been my black heritage, I mean, I just take care of my hair.” No. The likelihood is that the ability for my hair to be much longer with ease  was passed from my White grandmother, to my mixed father, and then to me. My mixed heritage contributed to the fact that I am able to grow my hair long, without focusing on it. Why should that be denied? 

  • Debbie

    I find nothing offensive about Melanie’s comments. In fact, I think this entire topic of discussion is ridiculous. We will never get away from the phrases “good hair” or “bad hair”. It is what it is so let’s move on and instead become outraged about things that really matter, such as a woman losing her hair because she is batting cancer and a cure has yet to be found!!! (Stepping off of my soapbox).


    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!!!!

  • Melissajamaica

    Its so interesting to note that because her skin is dark, people think she should be speaking on behalf of the Black Race, and should be a representing for us black people and our issues, by my calculations, she is half Indian, quarter Portuguese and quarter black, and in that case she is REALLY MIXED, its really not that big of a deal and it does not offend me at all.

  • http://gravatar.com/janschild janschild

    This is a non-issue, really. She did not say that she had “good” hair; she said that her heritage was a “good mix for hair growth”. In no way did I find her statement offensive, nor did I think she meant any harm. Hair Police, pls. take a chill pill!

  • http://controledcreativechaos.wordpress.com April Chaires

    He hair is beautiful just as someone with kinky hair… Maybe we should use the term “beautiful hair” since “good” comes with so many negative connotations

  • http://www.facebook.com/akeyria Akeyria PurpleSwagga Edwards

    *Shrugs* I don’t think she was saying she had “good hair” because she’s mixed, I think she was just simply acknowledging that her genes are the main reason she has “beautiful” hair. I’m not as mixed as she is (lol) and I think my hair is beautiful partially because of my heritage, and partially because I put in the work to look good and then the other part is just because it’s mine (and i am wonderfully made). She actually acknowledged her African heritage, along with the other parts of her ethnicity, and therefore must consider it to be an equal contributor to her “beautiful” hair. I think people are a little too sensitive about “good hair” because of the scars that still remain from the days of enslavement when we were told that EVERYTHING about us was ugly. *Steps off of soapbox*

  • http://www.facebook.com/akeyria Akeyria PurpleSwagga Edwards

    p.s. I think that people who are getting all upset are inadvertently making the statement that her African genes couldn’t have contributed to her long, luscious locks when in fact, her African roots (pun intended) are most likely, a major contribution to her hair length, color, and texture. I think she did a good job of acknowledging her entire lineage and I don’t think she was trying to say that being mixed the only way to have long hair… She was simply saying that this was the case for her.

  • http://gravatar.com/bbermudez BriaBanana

    Your putting a bit too much into it. Isis didn’t say anything about anyone being “better” – YOU did. She said that black women in general have shorter hair than other races. And for the most part, it’s true. Why do you think black women with hair down their backs are hyped up in the black community? People don’t hype up commonalities. Black hair grows at the same rate as any other race of hair but it is the driest which is why it is fastest to break off if you don’t properly manage it and of course chemicals and heat damages the hair significantly as well. This is a combination of chemical/poor management of hair and genetics.

  • Ashleigh

    well said!

  • Dionne M.

    I was sitting in a room with some of my coworker who were all over the age of 40. They were women both black and white, and all had short hair (which could lead to another conversation but I will not digress). The image was so refreshing—to see that hair did not matter anymore.

    Though the issue of “good hair” and/or hair texture remains prevalent in communities of color, I see our real hang-up now being with hair length (and/or growth).

    Women, no matter the race, often desire longer hair. But they’re just strands; yet, we give them so much power. In various cultures and ethnicities, hair commonly defines beauty. But it should not (point, blank and period!).

    However, my issue is not with Melanie’s comment or with hair at all, but with a lot of the statements on this post. No one here can define what “black” is or who does and doesn’t “look” of African descent. So, let’s stop trying.

    If everyone had a picture next to her/his comment, we would see— even more— how diverse we really are. We all know (hopefully) people of the African Diaspora can be light, dark, thin, full-figured, etc. So, why are we reverting to stereotypical thinking?

    If people of color, especially African-Americans, based their value or esteem on others’ preconceived notions of “what we are,” we would see ourselves as unattractive, uneducated, poor, diseased, unhealthy, and so forth. Does that define you (because it surely doesn’t define me!)?

    One person or a 1,000 people do not speak for an entire group. And that applies to hair and hair length as well. We are boxing ourselves in and that is what is most dispiriting.

  • Terence

    I can’t believe people are reading so much into this statement. With the body of musical work and talent that comes this lady. She is intelligent, humble, definitely sexy and very talented. I know MF is a tough lady and this will bounce off of her later water off a ducks back, but everybody talking and thinking negatively should just fall back and let her live her MF Life (pun intended).

  • Lila

    Stop defining your identity by how white people see you. The one drop rule was not created with neither truth or your benefit in mind. Everytime a mixed persons heritage comes up for topic, out comes the one-drop rule!? If people are still accepting this ‘rule’ as fact that is truly shameful. we may no longer be colonised peoples, but we damn sure have the enslaved mindset

  • wozah

    If she is of caribbean heritage comments like that are part of conversations among caribbean people. We are sooooooo mixed. I am black and portuguese and my hair is different from hers as my mom was indian and african mix. My children’s hair however is like hers. I think she may have been trying to explain her genetics. As I said this is part of caribbean culture. Maybe she needs to be apprised of what is acceptable or not in america. That residue of slavery surely left scars.

  • patricia

    Ms fiona is mixed hun..mixed with indian, portuguese and black…and her parents are from the Caribbean. The Caribbean people are very diverse..especially countries like guyana and trinidad. where there are indians, blacks, portuguese, and chinese people!

  • http://gravatar.com/journalista112 journalista112

    i think she is not try to offend anyone she was blessed with the hair she has so was i and i am not mixed but do have arab blood but that or my african blood has nothing to do with my hair it just dna

  • Bridget

    I see nothing wrong with her saying a good mix for growth. If one races hair grows long naturally, adding that to your own heritage would be a greater probability that your hair would grow long. She didn’t say good hair, she said good mix (greater probability). Also if we want to ban phrases the word kinky should be never used. It has a negative connotation. Use curly or ribbon, because that’s what it is.

  • 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.

  • Penelope

    Comments like the ones made by Melanie Fiona are the reason why at least every other day some black person wants to ask me “what you mixed with?” :rolls eyes: I used to get angry when every person-especially men-wanted to know “where you’re from?” (And I’d answer “USA, the south”. Both of my parents are black and I’m proud of it. I’ve had hair since I was a little girl and it falls in between bra strap and waistline-no split ends, fine textured hair. Some folks grow hair and some don’t and it’s not a race thing. Black people used to have more hair too before we started doing all of this stuff to it. Just the other week I was in a restaurant where a black man started yelling at me from across the bar “what are you, Creole? Cape Verdean? Spanish? You regular black?” And he just stared in disbelief when I nodded “yes” to regular black. Comments like these perpetuate this myth. I went to an HBCU where the majority of us had our own hair and it was long. I don’t know if it’s still like that because it was years ago, but we as black people need to be happy with ourselves. Yes, I am proud to call myself “regular black”-whatever that means.

  • http://thenakedwar.wordpress.com Morgan J

    I see no issue with her comment. Everything doesn’t have to be made into such a big deal. Her heritage does play a large part as to why she has the grain of hair she does. Why would anyone be offended by that? I honestly believe that those who get offended by “mix hair” or “good hair” comments, have insecurity issues. If one loves their hair as much as we all like to proclaim these days, then someone’s comments in regards to their OWN hair, shouldn’t cause a ruckus.

  • http://gravatar.com/jeanettesdaughter jeanettesdaughter

    no ma’am. a rose by any other name still a rose. my tightly curled and coiled hair IS kinky. i forget whether it is 4b or 4c. depends on the weather, the product, so many things. nothing wrong with the words, kinky, nappy. it’s the intent, how you use them and all of who we are that makes us who we are. i think we need to stop looking at ourselves through other eyes. i’m kinky and i know it. the fact that others think my hair is bad makes me smile. i know it is not.

  • True

    Fuck melanie fiona and every other bitch that wants to claim being mixed to make you look better. Face it, your a mixed breed. A mutt! At least black people know their roots and dont need to pretend to be what we are not. Just cause you have long wavy hair and mixed roots dont make you special.

  • Tawana Daniels

    Melanie Fiona never said she had “good hair”, nor did she imply that she was better than anyone else due to her hair or race. She attributed her hair growth/length to her racial make-up, and that may very well be the case. She was being interviewed by a black hair magazine about her hair (not anybody else’s hair), and no one should be offended over her clarifying what her race is. If she hadn’t said she was mixed race, people would’ve pointed out that being the reason why her hair is long, wavy, etc. The phrase “good hair” has historically been used as a slight against black/ethnic women with kinky textured hair, but let’s not make Melanie Fiona a scapegoat by pretending like she was putting anyone down.

  • Crystal

    I think the comment was taken out of context…I think she was saying her genetic makeup passed down from her family is attributed to her hair growth…period point blank. Indicating that she probably does nothing unique that encourages her hair growth or strength. She didn’t say she had good hair…she said she inherited her hair from her family…just like everyone else has. She has a right to say she has a good mix if she wants to…just like anyone else can…no shade on anyone else.

  • Malik

    She didn’t say she has “good hair” she said she has a “good mix for growth”. Long hair doesn’t define “good hair”.

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