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From the Kitchen to the ParlorLanguage and Becoming in African American Women's Hair Care$
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Lanita Jacobs-Huey

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195304169

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195304169.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 January 2021

A License to Touch

A License to Touch

Cosmetology as a Divine Calling

(p.47) 3 A License to Touch
From the Kitchen to the Parlor

Lanita Jacobs-Huey (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Based on findings from a two-year study of a non-profit organization called Cosmetologists for Christ (CFC), this chapter shows how African American Christian cosmetologists use religious discourse in their everyday lives to craft moral selves, spiritual practices, and sacred and professional workplaces. Their testimonials, prayers, and fellowship provide explicit examples of hair salons as gendered sites of moral and professional socialization, and spirituality as one of many lenses through which black hair-care is framed. In monthly Bible studies held in an affluent Beverly Hills salon, African American women members of the CFC advocated the laying on of hands and the use of spoken prayer in their workplaces to minimize conflict between themselves, their clients, and their colleagues. Some hair stylists also blended spiritual and scientific genres to socialize clients and stylists alike into a greater appreciation of the “truth” about salon hair care and cosmetology.

Keywords:   cosmetology, Cosmetologists for Christ, religious discourse, African American, spiritual practices

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