The Problem – Bad Hair linked to Bad Health
Hair care remains a dominant theme in the daily life of women of all ages and cultures, whether it’s trying to find the perfect highlight, covering unwanted grey, straightening kinks and curls, managing frizz or camouflaging hair loss. Hair loss is fast becoming an epidemic for women of African descent whose hair has been traumatized over the years with chemicals and damaging hair styles. For many women, hair loss is a serious life altering condition.
Unlike the majority population where hereditary hair loss predominates, African American women disproportionately suffer from distinct “treatable and preventable” forms of hair loss, commonly resulting from traumatic cultural grooming practices. Lack of cultural competency and knowledge barriers between clinicians, cosmetologists, and clients have made pervasive the belief that hair loss amongst black women is an acceptable and unavoidable consequence of their cosmetic choices. Treatment is rarely suggested until the hair is visibly thinner, but by that time as much as 50% of the hair is usually gone. Early diagnosis, health education, behavior modification, and cultural awareness are keys to stopping the cycle.
With hair loss, as with other minority health concerns such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, black women’s lifestyle habits, aesthetic choices, and cultural customs often contribute to onset and severity of disease.
The Solution – Do GOOD H.A.I.R. Project
Improving minority health and eliminating health disparities requires a trans-disciplinary framework that transcends organizational silos and fosters an integrated approach across multiple disciplines. The Do GOOD H.A.I.R. Project introduces an innovative culturally relevant integrative health platform fostered through participatory community alignment between cosmetologists, craftspersons, museum curators, and clinicians.
“Good Hair”, a popular phrase in African American culture, has been traditionally acknowledged as a gift of birthright, transferred passively through DNA. The Do GOOD H.A.I.R. Project redefines “Good Hair” as an active restorative process with a focus on fostering healthy daily rituals and enhancing natural beauty.
Do GOOD H.A.I.R. Project Integrative Programming:
It is in daily rituals that beauty and health come together to support the inner building of identity. This project has the potential to fundamentally change the widespread methodology of hair care in the African Diaspora and engage individuals of all ages in a beauty focused program that improves overall health.
The Do GOOD H.A.I.R. Project is the brainchild of Dr. Monte O. Harris. A surgeon, scholar, and entrepreneur, Dr. Harris’ lifelong passion centers on exploring the richness of humanity with an aesthetic compass. He is an internationally recognized, double board certified facial plastic surgeon and highly sought after for his culturally sensitive approach to facial rejuvenation, rhinoplasty, and hair restoration. His scholarly pursuits have focused on cultivating global aesthetic consciousness and expanding appreciation for the aesthetic diversity of the African Diaspora.