As we honor and celebrate Black history, you might be wanting to know more facts about Black hair history.
First off, lemme just say …
Black hair is complex.
While it is a source of cultural identity and pride, Black hair also invokes feelings of frustration for many.
The history of Black hair intertwines with slavery, as enslaved men and women were forced to cut or cover up their true roots.
And today, the battle is far from over.
Schools, workplaces, and other parts of society freely discriminate against Black hair, without repercussion.
In this post, you will find five fast facts you should know about Black hair history.
Take time out of your day to read this post. Then, let it motivate and inspire you to wear your crown of glory with pride.
People used hair to express personal identity, religious beliefs, social status, and community traditions.
African ancestors created elaborate hairstyles for various rituals and ceremonies to invoke spiritual protection and blessings.
Slave owners aimed to strip enslaved people of their cultural identity, eliminate symbols of their African heritage, and exert control over their appearance.
They imposed styles such as close-cropped hair, straightening, and head coverings.
They punished anything deemed "African" or "unkept".
This legacy of “forced hair conformity” continues to impact Black hair culture today.
Texturism first began during times of slavery as a means for survival.
Eurocentric features, like smoother hair or lighter skin color, granted opportunities to get out of the fields and work inside the house instead.
Unfortunately, we still see texturism in modern day-to-day life, as some consider natural hair "nappy" or "unprofessional."
This prejudice can lead to negative attitudes towards individuals with naturally curly, coily, or kinky hair.
The negativity then affects Blacks’ self-esteem, career opportunities, and overall sense of belonging in society.
People began to embrace Afrocentric hairstyles as a symbol of resistance and liberation.
The afro hairstyle became a symbol of Black pride and cultural identity. Greats like Diana Ross and Angela Davis (shown in picture) made this style hugely popular.
The natural hair movement has been instrumental in challenging and subverting dominant beauty standards.
It encourages and empowers Blacks to embrace natural hair textures, reject harmful hair practices and norms, and celebrate the beauty of Black hair.
The movement also sparks crucial conversations about race, representation, and self-expression.
These conversations raise awareness about the ongoing challenges people with curly, coily, and kinky hair face.
This powerful source of pride and cultural celebration helps to shape the beauty industry, as demand for natural hair care products increases each year.
Overall, the history of Black hair is a rich and complex tapestry reflecting the resilience, strength, and creativity of Black culture.