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Press Release: New Online Platform Launches to Open Conversation

(June, 2012)– Today, blogger and researcher Dr. Tina Opie launched Hair as Identity, a new website that will serve as a hub of untapped conversations, stories and research on the social implications and reactions to natural hair. The site will explore topics from eliminating coloring to dealing with balding to sporting curly hair.

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Boston, MA (June, 2012)– Today, blogger and researcher Dr. Tina Opie launched Hair as Identity, a new website that will serve as a hub of untapped conversations, stories and research on the social implications and reactions to natural hair. The site will explore topics from eliminating coloring to dealing with balding to sporting curly hair.The new website is designed to promote and initiate discussion around the relationships between hair and self-esteem and perceptions about professionalism.

Through videos, blogs, photos and personal stories, the website will provide an ongoing series of key topics that will echo the sentiments of people striving to manage their professional image.Funded by Babson College, Hair as Identity is designed to complement and prompt dialogue around the research of Dr. Tina Opie, a Boston-based Babson College professor. Her research explores how issues of race, power and status influence public perception about hair, particularly as it relates to what is accepted in the workplace. For the past twelve years, Dr. Opie has consulted, researched and written about creating workplaces that leverage individual differences and motivate members of workgroups to engage. This consulting and research is the basis for many of the discussion topics shared on Hair as Identity.

“I look forward to creating a community where there’s open dialogue between men and women from diverse backgrounds about how natural hair is perceived,” said Dr. Opie. “It is our hope that this site will be the starting point to redefining the perceptions and challenge the stereotypes around natural hair.”

As the hair and beauty industry gears up to celebrate this year’s National Natural Hair Day on May 19, Hair as Identity prepares to be a key  voice in the natural hair community that will reflect the sentiments of not only African-American women, but also of men and women from other ethnicities. Discussions on the site will include considerations about wearing natural hair, the challenges of hair in the workplace and struggles with self-confidence as it relates to hair.
Media inquiries and guest bloggers are welcome. Dr. Tina Opie, editorial director of Hair as Identity, is also available to answer questions about the background of her research or featured discussion topics.

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Hair as Identity is an online platform headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Its mission is to promote and initiate discussion between men and women from diverse backgrounds around the relationships between hair and self-esteem and perceptions about professionalism. For more information about Hair as Identity, please visit www.hairasidentity.com.