Bilingual Mom and Author Wants Black Girls and Women to Know That ‘Bad Hair Does Not Exist!’

Sulma Arzu Brown

Bronx-based writer Sulma Arzu-Brown hopes that her latest book will help black women of all ages to appreciate their natural hair by combatting the idea of “good hair” or “bad hair.”

Arzu-Brown, who hails from Honduras and is of Garifuna descent, admits that anti-blackness takes on a unique place in the diverse Latino community. Her book Bad Hair Does Not Exist!/¡Pelo Malo No Existe! employs colorful illustrations by Isidra Sabio to showcase natural hair in many forms and textures, from locs, to afros, to twists.

Arzu-Brown was inspired to create the book after having to tell a caregiver, who had straightened her daughter’s hair, that “bad hair does not exist.” She also made it a point to teach her daughter appreciation for her natural hair texture. She stresses that the message of the book is important for all women.

“It looks like a children’s book, however the message is a mature one. It’s target demo is from the age of comprehension to adulthood,” Arzu-Brown writes on her website.

The book is even more effective when I am able to deliver the message behind it. While in college, I was on a quest to find myself. That is when I took on a project about my Garifuna culture, just to learn more about me. It was at that point when classmate labeled my type of hair as “malo/bad.” She had no idea what I was going through, nor the reality of my challenges as a black latina woman. I have to admit, if the young lady and I had someone like me to come deliver the message of Bad Hair Does Not Exist – the class argument would have never happened. So please, I ask with all the respect in my heart not to “judge a book by its cover” or font size. Purchase Bad Hair Does Not Exist/Pelo Malo No Existe and help me spread this powerful message!

Sulma Arzu Brown