How does your hair influence the image you have of yourself? How do other people react to your hair? Simply put, what’s your hair story?

What do you do with your hair?

I am looking for women like you to share with me their hair story in an interview – in particular, I am interested in the stories and experiences of women who are chemically straightening their hair, wearing a weave or those who are currently transitioning from chemically relaxed hair to natural hair. Participants should be 18 years or older and currently residing in Germany or the United Kingdom.

These interviews are part of a larger project that explores identity, performativity and social representations of black hair in women of colour in both Germany and the United Kingdom. Besides interviews with women, bloggers and hair stylists, I use participant observation at hair shops and hair events as well as social media analyses to understand how women of colour talk, style and represent their hair.

My project addresses the lack of research on women of colour living outside the United States, and their consistent underrepresentation in psychological studies. This project aims to lend a voice to women of colour in Germany and the United Kingdom by exploring the importance of hair to women of colour’s identity processes.

If you would like to receive more information, or are interested in being interviewed, please contact me via email – Johanna Lukate (jml87@cam.ac.uk).

About myself: I am a 25-year old Psychology PhD student at the University of Cambridge. Before coming to Cambridge in 2012 to study for a B.A. in Politics, Psychology and Sociology, I received a B.A. in Cultural Sciences from FernUniversität Hagen. My main research interests are in social and cross-cultural psychology, ethnicity, identity and social media.

Joanna