Why did Louretta Hawkins hate getting her hair done in "Soul Brothers and Sister Lou"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although Louretta doesn't particularly like getting her hair done, I don't think she actually hates it.   Her twin siblings "(hate) to get their hair washed, and she hate(s) the job of getting them ready", but she herself seems resigned to process - "when Momma decided it was hair-washing day, there was nothing to do but go along with it".  Louretta dutifully removes the pins that hold her thick braids on top of her head and undoes the plaits, leaving her hair hanging "to below her shoulders and fanned out in crinkly waves".

Louretta is sensitive about her hair, however.  Her hair is different from that of her family and friends; it is a dark brown color which others perceive as having a red tinge.  People make fun of Louretta because of her hair, and her sister Arneatha voices the suspicion that Louretta has a different father from the rest of her siblings.  Momma puts those suspicions to rest, assuring Louretta that she does indeed have the same father as the other children.  There are a number of members of her father's family who have white characteristics, and she has nothing of which to be ashamed.  Louretta, who had asked that Momma dye her hair black so that she wouldn't be different, feels much better after that explanation.  She looks at her hair in the mirror, and, with a new sense of self-acceptance, announces that she no longer wants it dyed, nor straightened either (Chapter 3).

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The Soul Brothers and Sister Lou

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