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Afro Archives Episode Four

02 May

Afro Archives Episode Four: What Do You Hate About Your Hair and Being An Actor?

Our Hair is Not Our Own

A common view that I found came out on Afro Archives Episode Four is that as an actor, our hair is not our own. Changing our hair, means getting new acting headshots.

When we walk into the audition room we are expected to look like our headshot and this can be particularly intimidating when you walk into a room and you are the only person of colour. Many people in this country do not understand afro-textured hair. They don’t know what can be done with it or what to do with it.

Actress Annabelle Brown talks about her European hair and the decisions she has to make. She discusses the length of time it takes her to prepare her hair for roles because of its texture. This episode shows how we all have so much to say and have our own anxieties and issues, when it comes to our hair.

Afro Archives A Performer's World

Annabelle Brown

Stage & Screen

Afro Archives Episode Four begins to gets into the experience of women with afro textured hair as we work with other people who don’t have the knowledge to deal with our hair. Episode Five and Six explore it further looking at theatre and screen work experiences. From the comparisons I’ve made, it’s clear that we feel that as women with afro-textured hair, we are not catered for. Our race determines our hair’s appearance and its behaviour. Via DNA, race determines hair texture. If certain hair-textures are not catered for, the affect is that certain races are not catered for, and those people are made to feel that their natural state is not normal, and not desirable.

Actress Judith Quin shows us her haircuts and styles over a two year period and talks about how much she can and has done with her hair despite it not being supported by her acting agents. An interesting comparison between Afro and European hair, and a shared experience by actresses.

Afro Archives A Performer's World

Judith Quin

This month is the flip side of the last – in Episode Three we asked “What Do You Love About Your Hair and Being an Actor?”. Check out and compare what was said in both episodes.








Afro Archives Episode Four

“For a long time black women have felt really embarrassed about their hair. We’ve conformed to a European standard of beauty.”


Afro Archives Episode Four

“In acting hair is important. It can change the shape of your face, and therefore the character you’re playing.”


Missed previous Afro Archives episodes? Catch up with my commentary over on Africa Fashion! 


Ayesha Casely-Hayford with Africa Fashion

Ayesha Casely-Hayford with Africa Fashion

Hair stories shared, friends and voices on Afro Archives:

Afro Archives, A Performer's World

Amrou Al-Khadi

Afro Archives, A Performer's World

India Ria Amarteifio












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