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The Hub Entertainment Watch List: “The Hair Tales”
A woman’s hair is often one of her greatest forms of self-expression. Whether it’s long, short, relaxed, natural, loc’d or sewn-in, the liberation that comes from being in control of how one chooses to wear their hair is unmatched. Executive producers Oprah Winfrey, Tracee Ellis Ross and Michaela Angela Davis, sought to shed light on Black women’s relationship with their hair through the six-part Hulu series, The Hair Tales.
The series is hosted by Tracee Ellis Ross and kicks off with a look at the business of hair and getting in touch with what hairstyles may communicate to society. Oprah Winfrey and Ross sit down to unpack the famed television host’s personal experiences with her hair. In episode two, Ross speaks with Insecure creator, Issa Rae, for a discussion on the versatility of Black hair. The actress and media mogul is known for gracing our television screens or the red carpet with a wide variety of hairstyles and manages to stun audiences every time.
The Hair Tales continues with a special interview between Ross and Massachusetts Representative Ayanna Pressley. Representative Pressley rose to popularity as a member of “The Squad” in congress, but she also captured attention after announcing her journey with alopecia. Episode three does a deep dive into the congresswoman’s story while also explaining how she found peace and embraced her beauty despite losing all of her hair.
Episode four explores rapper Chika’s hair journey – from cutting off her perm to making a decision to loc her hair. Throughout the conversation, Ross picks the rapper’s brain for an understanding of how her hair’s various changes impact her artistry. Similarly to Chika, viewers get to hear from Black-Ish star Marsai Martin on how hair choices play a role in her development as an actress. The actress-turned-executive shared that she has never permed her hair and details how she maintains the balance between expressing herself when it comes to her style while taking on different characters.
The series concludes with a conversation between Ross and multi-talented artist, Chloe Bailey. The singer is one half of the R&B duo, Chloe x Halle, alongside her twin sister, and the two have become known for the locs. Bailey discusses her experience as a woman in the spotlight who fully embraces her choice of hairstyle. Regardless of any criticism she may receive over her locs, Bailey made it known that she is comfortable with her hair and that it does not lock her in a box.
In addition to centering each episode on a main interview, the series is able to creatively insert hair shop conversations, archive footage and commentary from industry experts. The conversations touch on subjects ranging from the miseducation of Black hair terms to Black hair being represented in the media. While listening to the various stories shared, it may not be uncommon to find similarities between yourself or someone you know. Everyone’s story and relationship with their hair is unique, but The Hair Tales series is able to tell an engaging story of self-acceptance and self-expression.