From “About Me” to “About We”: Therapeutic Intentions of Black American Women’s Natural Hair Blogs

Danielle Davis, Afiya Mbilishaka, Terrisia Templeton

Abstract


Psychological support is not confined to therapists’ offices, but also transfers to social media forums for Black American women. Black American women bloggers with natural hair care practices have participated in asynchronous computer-mediated communication, where discussion is based around caring for oneself and one’s hair. There is a dearth of research about the role of the Black American female hair bloggers in setting out therapeutic intentions for their online community. Through investigating the theory of PsychoHairapy (Author, year; Author, year) that argues that hair can be an entry point into psychological interventions, this study investigated therapeutic intentions represented by Black American women on their natural hair blogs. Through a content analysis of the “About me” section of the top 40 visited natural hair blogs, 4 independent raters identified that 93% of the bloggers represented at least one therapeutic intention. The results suggest that the blogs serve as a forum for informal support group work derived from the bloggers own lived experiences, fulfilling dual roles of peer and expert. This study provides evidence that natural hair blogging can integrate formal and informal techniques of health promotion, resulting in promoting psychological support for a population otherwise marginalized. 


Keywords


therapeutic intentions; natural hair; blogger; Black American women

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References


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