The Hair Issue: Political Attitude and Self-Esteem as Determinants of Hairstyle Choices Among African American Women


  • Tajia Joseph


This paper presents a two-fold study. First, the study focuses on whether self-esteem influences hairstyles among African American women. Second, it focuses on whether hairstyles are an indicator of political beliefs. A survey questionnaire was distributed to 100 African American women in order to analyze their attitudes regarding hair in relation to political beliefs and self-esteem. Using Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient and OLS Regression, the findings suggest that those with high self-esteem are more likely to wear their hair in a natural state. Therefore, African American women with high self esteem are more likely to wear their hair in a natural state, while African American women with low self-esteem are more likely to process their hair. Meanwhile, political attitudes do not affect hairstyle preferences. Finally, more educated women prefer to wear processed hair compared to less educated women, who prefer to wear their hair natural.