Ayana Byrd is a freelance journalist who lives in Brooklyn, even though her heart is in Barcelona. She is the co-editor of the anthology Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips and Other Parts (Perigee/Penguin). Her writing has appeared in magazines like Glamour, Marie Claire, Essence, Vibe and Rolling Stone, on websites including The Daily Beast and BET.com and in the anthologies The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know Before She Turns 30. She’s had the same hairstyle since 2003 and is always announcing it’s time for something different.
Lori L. Tharps is an assistant professor of journalism at Temple University. In addition to Hair Story, she is the author of two other books, Kinky Gazpacho: Life, Love & Spain (Atria) and the novel, Substitute Me (Atria). Both The Washington Post and Salon.com declared Kinky Gazpacho one of the Best Books of 2008. Tharps continues to write about race, identity, parenting and hair for media outlets both online and in print. She is the founder of the blog MyAmericanMeltingpot.com. Tharps lives in Philadelphia with her husband and three children. To learn more about Lori, please visit her website.