MetaTOC stay on top of your field, easily

African American Personal Presentation: Psychology of Hair and Self-Perception

, , , ,

Journal of Black Studies

Published online on


A great amount of literature is dedicated to racial identity and self-perception, but very little addresses how hair may play a critical role in how African American women view themselves and others. African American women choose to wear their hair in a variety of styles, including weaves, wigs, dreads, chemically processed, or non-chemically processed (often referred to as "natural hair"). Researchers conducted a study that explored 282 African American females from urban and rural communities, varying in age, socio-economic status, and education levels and discussed the reporting of the hairstyles they currently wear, what styles they believe are more attractive/unattractive, what styles they believe are more professional/unprofessional, and what influenced the style they currently wear. In addition, these women completed the Rotter’s Locus of Control and Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scales. Regression analyses indicated there was a slight but significant positive correlation between a higher internal locus of control and those who choose to wear their hair in a natural state; however, the regression showed no statistically significant predictive value for hair selection. A discussion of the psychological implications for the findings, thoughts of self-perception, and how these findings can be used for future practice is addressed.