Don’t Touch My Hair

Don’t Touch My Hair


This book is about why black hair matters.

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This book is about why black hair matters.

Emma Dabiri takes us from pre-colonial Africa, through the Harlem Renaissance, Black Power and on to today’s Natural Hair Movement, the Cultural Appropriation Wars and beyond. We look at everything from hair capitalists like Madam C.J. Walker in the early 1900s to the rise of Shea Moisture today, from women’s solidarity and friendship to ‘black people time’, forgotten African scholars and the dubious provenance of Kim Kardashian’s braids.

The scope of black hairstyling ranges from pop culture to cosmology, from prehistoric times to the (afro)futuristic. Uncovering sophisticated indigenous mathematical systems in black hairstyles, alongside styles that served as secret intelligence networks leading enslaved Africans to freedom, Don’t Touch My Hair proves that far from being only hair, black hairstyling culture can be understood as an allegory for black oppression and, ultimately, liberation.

1 review for Don’t Touch My Hair

  1. 5 out of 5

    Uchechukwu Oguike (verified owner)

    It’s an excellent insight into African history and culture. Dabiri not only writes with respect for her ancestry, but writes with passion to see young Africans embrace the rich heritage of African beauty made evident in our hair.

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