Dr. Oz and I delivered some much needed Hair Therapy during his Season 5 Premiere week

Watch Below!>>>

So back in August I got an email from a producer of The Dr. Oz show. She was in the early stages of planning a hair segment and came to me to consult about content development and casting. Whether or not I appear on it, when folks need a hair show, they come see me. And I give willingly and freely of my time because I really care about how we’re represented. So naturally (see what I did there?!), I was flattered, but the excitement I used to experience for such opportunities has long since diminished.

I get it. I know why, when it comes to television, we are often left out entirely, left offended, or left confused. The main problem here? Most of the producers don’t look like us but they’re surely making TV for us. And thus stereotypes get driven, not always deliberately or viciously, but driven nevertheless.

Need an example?  Ricki Lake.  First, let me say, I love Ricki! But her producers though…*side eye*”
Late last year her folks reached out. It seemed promising and we began developing what was shaping up to be a great show. Similar to past experiences, the producer, who knew nothing about natural hair 24 hours before, became the expert and quit listening. Next thing I knew, the conversation shifted from quality of life and style versatility, to her asking me what year the first hot comb was invented and how my decision to go natural was directly influenced by my African ancestors.

*Record scratch*

Confused, I was like, ‘but boo, I don’t even know my African ancestors. And my tribe is from the Westside of St. Louis.’ She wanted me to discuss ancient tribal traditions and hair dressings and I was all, ‘I’m a therapist, not an anthropologist.  I need for you to getcho life… maybe you should reach out to Ayanna Byrd?’  After more requests of this kind, including one to conduct the totally played out soda-can-dissolved-by-relaxer bit, I knew it was going to a place that I was #NotHereFor.

So I sent an email suggesting they don’t do what they were planning to do, offered my help in case they wanted to change direction and gracefully bowed out. To which she responded, ‘We really want you on the show. We’ll give you everything you want. Plus, you have a new book. You need this publicity!’ I immediately dialed Hubby and asked if he would think less of me if ‘I climbed through the phone and judo chopped this heffa in the throat thoat’. Enter Black woman with a black belt, #DontDoMe. To be fair, I can’t comment on the actual show, as I didn’t even bother to watch it. 

So yeah, I have a long history of being disappointed with the outcomes of these hair shows. They devolve into 2 minute interviews, looking for the most dramatic angle which usually consists of conflict amongst Black women #TeamNatural #TeamRelaxed #TeamWeave #TeamNotSureJustHereForTheDrama

The Dr. Oz experience was starkly different. The producer, Nicole, was genuinely interested in learning about the natural hair movement, our online community and how hair practices can impact self-esteem and quality of life. *Queue CeCe Peniston – “Finally it’s happened to me, right in front of my face…”.* She respected my views and those of the natural hair community. She even went so far as to stop getting Brazilian treatments to properly get into the head of the curly girl!  
How do I feel about the end result? Well, it’s daytime TV, but together, we developed what I believed to be a fun, educational show that approached the topic with sensitivity and grace.  Also Dr. Oz is EVERYTHING!  Did you know homeboy still performs heart surgeries on Thursdays?! Dope.  If you didn’t get to see it, check out the pics below!  View clips from the show HERE or watch below!

“Momma told me there weren’t any toys on set, but here they are climbing ropes! And all I got was this carrot and a Dr. Oz sticker! The nerve!”

Hubby was snapping pics backstage-

We spoke with 3 women, Dr. Oz offering medical advice while I handled the emotional side of things. 

I suggested the lovely Youtube Phenom, Tori, famous for burning her hair off with a curling iron, opt for CurlFormers instead!  Heatless, dope curls!