In 2016, Perception Institute conducted the “Good Hair” Study, the first study to examine implicit and explicit attitudes related to black women’s hair. In conjunction with a creative team at SheaMoisture, manufactured by Sundial Brands, Perception Institute created the first “Hair IAT” to assess implicit bias related to natural hair. The study included 4,163 participants: a national sample of 3,475 men and women, and a sample of 688 “naturalista” women from an online natural hair community.
The study included the Good Hair Survey and the Hair IAT. The survey assessed women’s explicit attitudes toward black women’s hair, hair anxiety, and experiences related to their own hair, and the Hair IAT assessed implicit attitudes toward black women’s hair.
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“Many black women will feel affirmed by the ‘Good Hair’ Study – it is what they have always known and experienced: wearing natural hairstyles has deep political and social implications. Our hope is that those who create the images we see in our daily lives will consider how bias against natural hair can undermine the ability for black women to be their full selves and affect their professional trajectory, social life and self-esteem.”
– Alexis McGill Johnson, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Perception Institute