The debate over hair care and health has reached new levels.
Aside from the snide remarks that two time Gold medalist Gabby Douglas has been receiving over her hair recently, black women and their hair – a topic that has been in the news more often than I care count – are being put on display again. Literally.
The annual “Hair Fitness” competition that takes place at the Bronner Bros 2012 International Hair show demands attention to both high hair and a higher goal in mind. The competition challenges beauticians to create hairtstyles that are both conducive to exercise, as well weight loss.
Dr. Reed Tuckson, former Public Health Commissioner for the District of Columbia and executive vice president and chief of medical affairs at UnitedHealth Group, tells the Huffington Post,
“We’re finding that there are a significant number of people who are more concerned with how they look than whether they are healthy … That’s got to be addressed. This is not a finger-pointing [effort] or a denigration of black women. It’s a celebration and a love of black women that sort of says, ‘Look, we’ve gotta help you overcome this challenge.'”
The competition, a union of Bronner Bros and United Healthcare, is set to increase awareness about obesity rates in African American women, and bring attention to the battle of hair vs. health.
Judged by Dr. Reed Tuckson, celebrity stylist Elgin Charles, Amy Hilliard, James Bronner, and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin, the competition was decided based on how well the hairstyles are executed, their look, and the originality of the style. This was compared to the intensity of the workout, which included categories such as low-impact workouts, moderate-impact workouts, and high-intensity workouts.
Benjamin, who celebrated the goal of “Hair Fitness”, had this to say,
“As the Surgeon General of the United States, my number one goal is to improve the health of the nation and I’m proud to join with First Lady Michelle Obama to attack this problem head-on. I know first hand the important role salons play in our African American culture. I look forward to being an honorary judge of the Hair Fitness competition and to sharing the lessons we learn from this throughout the nation.”
What a phenomenal idea!