The PsychoHairapy Research Lab focuses on using hair as an entry point into mental health services. The current lab is based out of the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, DC. Stay tuned for more information!

Please become a participant in the "Hair, Health, and Heritage Study"  by completing this survey link:


PsychoHairapy Publications

Mbilishaka, A., Mitchell, D., & Conyers, C. (2019). Grandma’s Hands: Memories of Hair Styling Interaction with African American Grandmothers. Journal of Intergenerational Relationships. DOI:10.1080/15350770.2019.1658008.

Mbilishaka, A., Ray, M., Hall, J. & Wilson, I. (2019). ‘No toques mi pelo’ (don’t touch my hair): Decoding Afro-Cuban identity politics through hair. African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal. DOI: 10.1080/17528631.2019.1639298.

Mbilishaka, A. (2019). Statement on Behalf of the Association of Black Psychologists on the Need for Hair Anti-Discrimination Laws. Psych Discourse.

Mangum, T., Mbilishaka, A. & Apugo, D. (2019). “Protective Syltes: Documenting and Disrupting Hair Bias Towards Black Girls in Schools. Psych Discourse.

Davis, D. , Mbilishaka, A. & Templeton, T. (2019). From “About Me” to “About We”: Therapeutic Intentions of Black American Women’s Natural Hair Blogs. Journal of Social Media in Society, 8 (1), 105-123.

Mbilishaka, A.M.& Lacey, A. (2019). Don’t Sweat Your Hair Out: The Frequency of Exercise for African American Women with Natural Hair. Journal of Exercise and Nutrition.Volume 2 (Issue 1): 4-11.

Neil, L. & Mbilishaka, A. (2019). “Hey Curlfriends!”: Hair Care and Self-Care Messaging on YouTube by Black Women Natural Hair Vloggers. Journal of Black Studies, 50 (2), 156-177.

Mbilishaka, A.(2018). PsychoHairapy: Using Hair as an Entry Point into Black Women’s Spiritual and Mental Health. Meridians: Feminism, Race & Transnationalism. Vol. 16(2), 382-39.

 Mbilishaka, A.(2018). Strands of Intimacy: Black Women’s Narratives of Hair and Intimate Relationships with Men. Journal of Black Sexuality and Relationships, 5(1), 43-61.

Mbilishaka, A.(2018). Black Lives (and Stories) Matter: Race Narrative Therapy in Black Hair Care Spaces. Community Psychology in Global Perspective, 4(2), 22-33.

Wilson, I., Mbilishaka, A., & Lewis, M.  (2018). “White folks ain’t got hair like us”: African American Mother-Daughter Hair Stories and Racial Socialization. Women, Gender, and Families of Color, 6(2), 226-248.

Mbilishaka, A.,Coffen, P. & Lacey, C. (2017). “Don’t harm a hair on their head”: Culturally Meaningful and Ethical Psychological Data Collection in Black Hair Care Spaces. Psych Discourse.

 Smith, T., Mbilishaka, A.& Kennedy, K. (2017). Press and Curl: An Examination of Ebony Magazine Covers to Understand the Cultural-Historical Trends of Black Women’s Hair. Media Psychology Review. 11(1).