Black Hair & Beauty
Black women’s hair has a rich history and has long been a symbol of identity, beauty, and culture. Here are some iconic Black women’s hair fashions, both historical and contemporary:
Afro: A symbol of Black pride and the civil rights movement in the 1960s and 70s, the afro celebrates natural hair texture in its full, rounded glory.
Cornrows: Originating from Africa, these tightly braided patterns can be simple or intricate and have often carried cultural and symbolic meanings.
Bantu Knots: This style involves sectioning the hair and twisting it into small, coiled buns.
Dreadlocks: Locked hair has been worn by various African communities and is also rooted in the Rastafarian tradition. Dreadlocks can be styled in various ways, from free-flowing to updos.
Braids/Box Braids: Individual braids, often adorned with beads or cowrie shells, have been popularized globally. Box braids, in particular, have been a go-to protective style.
Twists and Twist Outs: Two-strand twists or flat twists can be worn as a style or unraveled for a textured look.
Bald or Buzz Cut: Celebrating the beauty of simplicity and the contours of the head.
Wigs and Weaves: Providing versatility, Black women have embraced wigs and weaves in a myriad of textures and styles, from straight to curly.
Relaxed Hair: Chemical relaxers straighten hair, and this style was especially popular from the 1950s through the early 2000s.
Finger Waves: A popular style in the 1920s and 30s, it has made a resurgence in modern times, especially in short hairstyles.
TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro): A style celebrated during the early stages of the “big chop” or transitioning from chemically treated hair back to natural.
Natural Hair Movement: Embracing the natural texture of Black hair, this movement promotes self-love and has led to a surge in natural hair care products and techniques.
Lace Fronts: These wigs provide an undetectable hairline, giving the appearance of natural hair growth.
Protective Styles: Styles that protect the ends of hair and reduce manipulation, such as braids, twists, or updos.
Hair Accessories: Headwraps, beads, ribbons, and other ornaments have traditionally adorned Black hair, paying homage to cultural roots and adding flair to hairstyles.
In recent years, there has been a significant pushback against societal standards that sometimes deemed natural Black hairstyles as “unprofessional” or “unkempt.” With the rise of the natural hair movement, there is a renewed celebration of the diversity and beauty of Black hair. This journey not only involves styles but also delves deep into the understanding of hair care, health, and embracing one’s unique hair type and texture..