The Motley News

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Global Readers

Hello Readers!

For those of you who are not familiar with the going-on’s of Blogger, let me tell you the awesome stats function available to us authors. With a click of a mouse and through some Google magic, Blogger keeps count of the audience for our blog and their respective countries. I check in occasionally to see who’s reading. Just today, we’ve had readers from:





Knowing this is utterly fascinating to me! I want to know how a reader stumbled upon our little blog and what they think of it. Are these ex-pat black women in other countries in need of some natural hair resources? Are they merely curious international readers who find our content interesting? Either way, Evelyn and I are honored!

I will remind you that we surely value our American readers, we’re definitely more familiar with their needs and experiences. They’re probably the audience we write to when we’re reporting on hair, food and political issues.

But Ev and I are also Citizens of the World. Are you from a reader from South Korea who wants to tells us more about your life there and how it pertains to natural living? Are you a reader from the UK who wants to share your experience with product purchasing? If so, please let us know. Our purpose in creating this forum is to better understand the world we live in and the people of it.

Evelyn doesn’t have Sociology training for nothing! My living in Bangkok hasn’t only whetted my appetite for more international travel. Getting to know people in other countries is our duty, responsibility and pleasure!
So please, if you’re from another country with something to say, please drop us a line at: 
Just leave a comment below telling how you came to know us, what your natural hair experiences are beyond the US, or questions and criticisms. We’ll take it all!

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Relaxing in Ghana

I saw this YouTube ad yesterday for Dark and Lovely boxed relaxer that was targeted for the women of Ghana. It follows the same formula of the commercials here in the states. As you can see there’s a beautiful young lady with her friend, letting the wind whip their straight hair around. She walks past a young man who’s all “Whoa, check out her hair!”

This commercial is also perpetuating the same myths surrounding perms and relaxers:

  • It’s fine if you find a relaxer that claims to be a moisturizer. This one happens to be “blend shea butter” with its “Moisture Seal Technology”
  • A man will become attracted to you and potentially fall in love with you when your hair is not just “straight, but silky straight. . . with extra bounce.”
  • You will gain confidence with straight hair, causing you to dress better, hang out with prettier friends and potentially pull yourself up out your depressed socio-economic state.

This is where my Shea Butter comes from too! So it makes me fume when the announcer of the commercial says that the super toxic chemical treatment is infused with shea butter. Whether that’s true or not, I’m not sure. And so what if it is? The chemicals of the perm are the active ingredients and they are all dangerous.

I was so intrigued by this commercial that I scouted about for more information about the straight hair influence in Ghana and found this amazing article written by Yukiyo Oda, entitled: WOMEN WORKING AT HAIRDRESSING: A CASE STUDY OF A RAPIDLY INCREASING BUSINESS AMONG WOMEN IN URBAN GHANA

I learned that Ghana only gained independence from British colonizers in 1957 and today, because of their industrialized society and Free Zone Act of 1996, they have received a major influx of foreign products from both America and Europe. Relaxing kits are one of those booming imports.

The western influence and the urbanization of some parts in Ghana are some of the reasons why homegrown salons have been spouting since the 1980’s. It’s a great way for women to make money. Women who don’t want to work manual labor like farming and forestry, can work in their own homes and now they can get certified. I’m all for women have the opportunity to work and make their own income, but it saddens me that it’s through an industry that continues to hold women back from becoming their natural selves.

But of course, not all of the women of Ghana are on the hair straightening bandwagon. There are many who are trying to free themselves from years of European influence. I was excited to read this Facebook discussion between Ghanaian woman on the subject of natural hair. It’s slow moving, but it’s happening, just like here in the states.

I think they are getting to their natural hair revolution too. I hate to sound ironic, but soon, even the “Motherland” will be natural.