Overcoming relaxer-induced alopecia, a hair loss condition that teases 73% of African American women, inspired the Social Entrepreneur in Information Technologist Mireille Liong to build going-natural.com and the photographer in the Suriname native to picture Black hair differently. BAD Hair Uprooted features a decade of Liong’s work capturing African Americans wearing their hair naturally.
The natural hair portraits literally paint a different picture of a people whose hair still is in bondage.
Black people are the only ones on planet earth who don’t have the basic human right to wear their God-given African strands naturally so the norm is to see Black women with processed, usually straight, hair.
Natural hairstyles like cornrows and dreadlocks, perfectly suitable for African hair strands, are mostly stereotyped and banned, not just in the army but also in the workplace. Only by way of court can Black people be granted an individual right to wear one of those natural hairstyles in corporate America but not even that is guaranteed.
Using her camera as a weapon Liong shines a brightening light on this social injustice by portraying some outrageously beautiful and intricate natural hairstyles.
In the photographer’s words: “Trough my lens, I like to show people a different reality. Not only do I hope that the beauty of these styles make society realize that it violates a basic human right but also what a disservice it is to deny the world the beauty of African hairstyles.”
From sculptured dreadlocks to dazzling dense afros. From big colored hairdos to blowing in the wind twist-outs, this book delivers what the title promises and even more: BAD Hair uprooted celebrates Black Follicles by picturing a different perspective that challenges the status quo.
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