An Economic Twist on Hair

What's the most reliable economic indicator? Try the black women's hair index. Our take on the pressing state of our roots.


WEDNESDAY, 12 P.M. — Have a pressing hair question? It’s time to get things straight. Share your hairstory with The Root and join the Live Online discussion: AN ECONOMIC TWIST ON HAIR with Yodith Dammlash and Delece Smith-Barrow.


The bank might be calling about the mortgage. The lights might get cut. The car may break down on the way to the salon. But as the old joke goes, black women will keep a hair appointment, no matter what. Still, the tough economy is testing the sacred bond between black women and their stylists. In a collection of essays and photo galleries, The Root explores the many tangles and twists in this deeply committed relationship that goes back centuries to our roots in Africa.  

Click through as faithful client Delece Smith-Barrow explains why she’s keeping her regular appointment, as Detroit-based stylist Paunice Savage reveals her secrets to survival in the midst of the auto-industry meltdown and as A’Lelia Bundles, great, great granddaughter of Madam C.J. Walker, brokers an end to the hair wars. Wanna see if we captured your style? Check out Strands of Strength. And, black men, we know you take pride in your ‘dos, too. We give you your props in Sheen, Mean and Clean

Then listen in as The Root’s writers extend their hair pieces to radio this Friday, March 27, on NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin

Read, look, listen, sound off and help us untangle our beloved, bewildering roots!