Tatyana Ali says her hair texture often left her feeling like an outsider.
In an interview with VLAD TV, the former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star says she felt ostracized as a child for having what some refer to as “good hair.”
“I didn’t want to be different,” Ali said, “I grew up wanting to twist my hair and wear my hair like my mom did and like my aunts did.”
Ali feels like her story is not often told in the Black community, where we tend to regard people with “good hair” as more beautiful and desirable. The daughter of a Black mother and an Indian father, she said she felt “separated” from family members whose hair was different than her own.
“When Chris Rock did Good Hair, I was like ‘Oh my God, he should’ve interviewed me!’ because I feel like there’s one side of the story, which he told very, very well, but then there’s another side of the story, which is…you have a group of cousins playing together and you separate the children that way, you’re doing as much damage to that child that you’re calling out for having good hair…You’re creating this separation that isn’t true.”
“[Just that term “good hair”] is crazy,” she added. “Caribbean people do it even worse. They’ll say crazy things like, ‘Oh yeah, she’s so dark but she has good hair.’”
These days, Ali focuses on keeping her hair and her body healthy.
“As I get older, I realize the healthier I am on the inside, the healthier my hair is,” she said.