Hair Tells a Story

Hers, Yours and Ours


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SKU: 9781476688619 Category: Tag:

About the Book

The body is the canvas upon which women paint their secrets, their hopes and dreams, pain and disappointments. Hair has long played a role in the struggles for power, self-determination and autonomy—serving as a nonverbal language that represents women’s lives. However, pain, anxiety, racism, sexism and rigid beauty standards can too often underlie these stories. Modern events like the Black Lives Matter movement and the COVID-19 pandemic have exposed societal barriers that prevent the free and equitable expression of hair.
Although countless books and articles address body image, the personal psychology and the meaning of hair have been missing. This work empowers women to understand complex hair-head-heart connections, and pressures. Above all, the text emphasizes that hair is never just hair.

About the Author(s)

Margo Maine, PhD, FAED, CEDS, is a clinical psychologist who has specialized in eating disorders and related issues for over 35 years. She lectures nationally and internationally on topics related to women’s health and maintains a private practice in West Hartford, Connecticut.


Bibliographic Details

Margo Maine
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8861-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4797-5
Imprint: Toplight

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface 1
Introduction 5
Hair Matters: Untangling the Universal and Unique
1. Every Woman’s Issue 11
2. Women and Hair: A ­Love-Hate Story 19
History: The Roots of the Past
3. It’s Never Just Hair 27
4. Hair Throughout History 33
5. Hair, Sexuality and Gender Politics 41
6. Hair Economics 52
Hair Stories: The Realities of Hair Today
7. Hair and Me 63
8. Our Mothers: Our Hair 72
9. “Hair doesn’t get fat”: Hair and Body Image 82
10. Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow 88
11. What’s Age Got to Do with It? 105
12. Tangles, Snarls and Transitions 118
13. “Good hair”: The Dilemma of ­Non-White Hair in a ­White-Powered Culture 130
14. From the Roots to the CROWN 141
15. Hairapy or Therapy? Stylists as Essential Workers 153
Conclusion: Connection, Connection, Connection 169
Appendix: Questions and Exercises 175
Chapter Notes 181
Bibliography 191
Index 193

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Once again Margo Maine knocks it out of the park …this time on a new topic, seldom written about but of great importance. Using wide-ranging personal stories, she vividly illustrates how women’s hair has been sexualized and how attempts to control and cover it have restricted female autonomy around the world for thousands of years. This insightful and witty book is a pleasure to read and a significant addition to feminist literature.”—Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., creator of the Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women