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In a piece for the Huffington Post, Ben Arogundade, an author who has studied the ways in which the aesthetic values of blacks have fared throughout Western culture, proposes his own hair manifesto.

1. Action, not hair, is what makes you black

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr remains our best example of this. The ultimate signifier of his blackness was not his hair, features or skin colour, but his words and deeds.

2. All hair and hairstyles are good

Providing you choose them for yourself, rather than through any forms of pressure or coercion, from family, friends, haters or society.

3. Know your black hair history

Knowing the cultural history behind the hairstyle you choose empowers your choices. For example, for those who wear wigs or weaves, this type of adornment dates back over 5,000 years to ancient Egypt, where they were worn for ceremonial occasions, and as sun protectors.

4. Know your own hair history

For many black women, their preference for straight hair is driven by bad childhood memories of being teased and tormented at school about their natural hair, or being made to feel insecure by parents who insisted on the hot comb or hair relaxer. Understanding your own psychological back-story, and the way it has influenced your choices today, is fundamental, thereby raising ones consciousness from "choice" to "informed choice".

5. Understand who controls black beauty today

They are media owners, magazine and newspaper publishers, advertisers, cosmetics manufacturers, Hollywood producers, directors, casting agents, etc. If you translate this list into people, those in charge consist predominantly of white men …

Read Ben Arogundade's entire piece at the Huffington Post.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.