Abstract

Most Black women who experience psychological distress do not receive mental health services because the dominant model of service delivery is often inaccessible and culturally disengaged. This mismatch of westernized approaches to mental health neglects the cultural significance of informal helping networks, spirituality, and interdependence found in the Black community. Based in Africana Womanism, an exploration of healing modalities in traditional African societies reveals the influential role of hair and spirituality in holistic wellness practices. Therefore, “PsychoHairapy” is a community health model created to secure space for Black women to address mental health and well-being through hair care. PsychoHairapy is grounded in traditional African spiritual systems that are culturally relevant by focusing on relationships that promote healthy practices. The theory and the practice of PsychoHairapy includes training hair care professionals in micro-counseling techniques, psychologists housing private psychotherapy sessions within the hair care setting, facilitating salon-based group therapy, and the distribution of psychoeducational materials and workshops to Black women.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.