Actress Kim Coles On Black Hair & "The Other N-Word"

No two manes are the same, and that's why Black-girl hair is so beautiful to actress Kim Coles. "It's so different and beautiful and fluffy," she says in the above video. "It's lovely to my hands, it's lovely to my eyes."

Coles and comedian Amanda Seales are the latest women to star in the new video series Hair Tales, created by writer and cultural critic Michaela Angela Davis. This particular episode features the duo and their individual stories in a three-minute-plus video. And although their narratives are presented parallel to one another, their accounts couldn't be more different.

For the majority of the '90s, Coles wore her hair in weaves and/or braids. "[My mom and I] spent so many years, and so much time and so much energy, putting [my hair] away before it hurt somebody," she says. In the video, she talks about the generational divide between herself and her mother. "In her culture, in her growing up...you put [your] hair away. There was a hot comb that lived on the back of the stove, that was its permanent place," she recalls. "She has a problem with the word 'nappy.' It was the other n-word."

Despite her mother's take, Coles decided, one day, to cut off her hair and, in her own words, "reveal what I really looked like." In her journey toward self-love, she turned to what many women who are going natural turn to — YouTube videos. "I just came to fall in love with these girls, and came to fall in love with their journey, and came to fall in love with how much they loved themselves," she says. "And I thought, If they can do it, I can certainly try."

Watch Coles' full story along with Seales' above. The latter includes the comedian's account of childhood pressures, T.I., and the one interaction that changed her whole hair game.
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