#naturalhair #senegalesetwists #boxbraids #africanhairbraiding #majorstyle
The type of black woman who would wear red (hair color) has confidence and style.”
The long hidden controversy among African-Americans publicly exploded in November when seventeen-year-old Michelle Barskile in North Carolina was turned down for her sorority’s debutante ball. Several weeks later Ruth Sherman, a white elementary school teacher in New York, fled her school after heavy fire from some black parents. The issue for both women was hair. Barskile’s offense was that she wore her hair in a dreadlocks style that her sorority chapter deemed unacceptable. Sherman’s offense was that she read passages from the book Nappy Hair to her mostly black and Latino students. The parents claimed this demeaned blacks.
The two women discovered that few things generate more anger and passion among black women than their hair. Some black critics say that black women are in a frenzied search to shed the ancient racist shame and stigma of “nappy hair” =”bad hair” by aping white beauty standards. Others say that, like many non-black women, black women are hopeless captives of America’s fashion and beauty industry, which is geared to making them more attractive and pleasing to men. Many black women counter this by saying that they are merely seeking their own identify or “to look better.”
“Get gorgeous! Steal the spotlight with this glamorous upswept design.”
They are all right. But the great hair obsession among many black women is deep. So deep that the spotlight is on black women no matter what happens. The beauty care industry has skillfully fed that compulsion with fantasies of physical glitter and social glamour. They are the spotlight and turned them into mammoth profits. Hair care product manufacturers have sold many black women on the notion that their hair is the path to self-esteem, success, and sexual allure. A century ago the legendary Madame CJ Walker built a multi-million dollar empire on the premise that black women want to look like white women and that “good hair” is the key to independence and prosperity.
“Elegance, spiced with Southern flavor begins with a mane awash in a light golden blond shade.”
The dozen or more black magazines devoted exclusively to hair dwarf that of the number of general interest black publications. The hair magazines are so wildly popular that many librarians are forced to put them under lock and key to prevent them from being pilfered by patrons. The five giant hair product manufacturers, Proctor & Gamble, Helene Curtis, Alberto-Culver, Bristol Meyers, and Johnson & Johnson dominate the hair care industry and are household names among black women.
Here a some products that black can use and even caucasion people. these products are made by companies that try very hard to bring natural standards to many;
1. As I Am
2. Jamaican Mango & Lime
3. one ‘n only
5. Sunny Ilse
We sell these products at our our styling salon in Virginia Beach, Virginia. We use these products on your hair as we prepare your hair for the next event you plan to attend.
“A perfect evening entrance begins with a flawless hair design.”
The Afro or natural hair look of the 1960’s and the braid craze of the 1990’s are touted as examples of black women rejecting white beauty standards. The Afro style was short lived, but never completely gone. The Afro was seen as a revolutionary example of black power and conscience. Many groups stood up for blacks during the time Martin Luther King and Malcolm X marched in the 1960’s, these groups wore Afro styled hair and clinched their fists as a symbol of Black Power .As a culture” Black people tend to use what they believe” in and” their situation they are in” (way of life) as all intertwined into fashion. Today’s braided look is closely tied to black pride and a celebration of the ground that was laid by our forefathers in a great struggle. Understanding this and all we have been through the fashion lifestyle is always going to be a staple of black women in their own right.
Even many black women who sport the bald look are fixated on matching the proper clothes, make-up and ear rings with the style. Most soon tire of these hair fads and retreat back to the straightening comb, fashion braids/extensions or a perm. A bald head is not something that is a must for any women to go out and compete. All that I can say is a felling of who a black woman is comes from her heart and no longer from what the television says.
We have heard many stories in the past where blacks needed to conform to what society was doing and those things that seem to matter in the corporate world. Yes we know about the rules and what we have to do in order to survive in an professional environment. But this great hair obsession is driven by the great ancestors from our past thousands of years ago. We see that the line is being drawn in so many areas of life where a persons hair has nothing to do with their mind . Therefore there are people paving the way for people of different ethnicities to have their roots and their religion be seperate from work. Judging a person because of the style of their hair is wrong. It is almost asking a person to sell their soul in order to feed their family in some of these jobs. fashion and hairstyles are the most popular and perverse expressions of those values.
Let us not be afraid to be free and live beautiful. Walk into any room with authority and share in the value of your strength. your style, your hair, and your mind are all a part of you . Celebrate being you with a value on it. You are a winner and you are pretty.
African hair sculpture is what they call it in Africa and to them it is an art. Africans hardly ever leave their hair or their body plain it is all about “natural” state. Africans spend lots of time and energy on grooming and self-admiration. Sounds like it’s the same way there as it is here because I love to “groom.” Ha ha. Even looking at youth today in the African-American community they express themselves just as they feel. Anyway, Africans did spend a lot of time on their hair and looks but special attention to their hair. The “art” of hairdressing was practiced mostly for women and male hairdressers can hardly be found. The skill of hairdressing has been handed down from generation to generation and requires artistry, manual dexterity, and patience because many of their styles are elaborate and time-consuming. For most African women hair is a medium for creative self-expression.
Now their hair is styled for many different reasons. In some parts of Africa, hairstyles help to determine age, in others ceremonial occasions are marked by special styles. The design and construction of hair depends on different factors, some hair styles may need sisal, clay, the bark of trees, or cloth pads; in other cases it could involve intricate knitting, braiding, and threading of the hair. The most complex styles can take up to several hours and sometimes even days. That’s true here also and we got it from them. The slave master’s wife’s would watch the women braid the kids and each other’s hair and would want their hair to be the same as theirs because the styles were so beautiful. Anyway, they found that you could find complex styles only in the interior of the continent where people still live “primitive” and they have time for all that stuff. In urban areas, the styles are simpler where they have adopted western styles.
OK, if you draw a line running from Dakar, Senegal in the west and to Khartoum, Sudan in the east you will see that to the north of the line live the light-skinned, straight-haired Hamites and Semites of North Africa. These would have been the so called “house slaves” or could even be passed of as being white in some cases. Around the dividing line, the people would have been brown-skinned and would have had curly hair because of Semite or Hamite intermixtures. They were in the middle of everything, they were not house slaves and not in the field just there, but doing work nonetheless. South of the line live the dark-skinned, kinky-haired members of the black race. Each region has it’s own traditional styles, and each group of people has it’s own code of aesthetics, which distinguishes it among the multitude of ethnic groups in Africa.
Hieroglyphs and sculptures illustrate the attention Africans have paid to their hair for thousands of years. Some of the earliest Nok and Benin busts from Nigeria show intricate hairstyles. Men and women from all levels of society wore their hair to indicate their place of birth, material status, occupation and wealth. Religious vows, significant events, and symbols could be represented in braid work. In addition to creating a great do, the stylist also transmitted cultural values.
Flamboyant hair sculptures are in the evidence today in African cultural groups. Women from diverse areas of the continent have a common technique of wrapping a section of hair with thick thread from the scalp to the hair ends, which can be made to stand up straight or can be worn down, framing the face. The wrapped sections of hair can be coiled and attached to each other with more thread, yielding very intricate creations suited for special occasions.
Stylistic considerations have become blurred across the boundaries of geography, ethnicity, gender, and time, but contemporary African-inspired hairstyles continue to demonstrate techniques and aesthetics from ancient times. This art survived the middle Passage, the time when slave trading was in full force. Braiding and hair wrapping have been practiced in their most basic forms for as long as there have been African-Americans, nearly five hundred years.
Little girls received their first simple pigtails or braids by their mom or their grandmother. Brushing, oiling, and braiding the hair helped it to grow. Even with the invention of the straitening comb in the early 1900s, little girls had their hair braided with bangs, barrettes, ribbons, or clothespins. Only on Sundays or special occasions did the younger girls wear their hair loose and curled with hot curlers. These hairstyles require daily maintenance unsuited to the activities and schedules of the kid or the parents. (That is exactly how it is at my house. When I was a child my mom always kept my hair braided and now my sisters hair is always braided up so it wont take extra time to get ready in the morning.)
A rebirth of cultural awareness among African-Americans, starting in the 1960s, resulted in the gradual acceptance of cornrows, which filled in for the Afro as a stylish expression of identification with the “Motherland.” The braiding technique was named for neatly planted rows of corn. Cottage industries prospered as African-American women who had been practicing met an increasing demand for the convenient and versatile coiffure. Professional stylists introduced innovations based on old techniques. Variations included extensions-synthetic or human hair woven into the hair top to give it a longer appearance and so you could wear beads. Black print media, especially Essence magazine, acted as cultural agents for the dissemination of creative new braided looks. Television helped performers such as Stevie Wonder gain renown for their elaborate cornrows as well as their artistic achievements.
Now Dreadlocks is the last thing im going to talk about. Dreadlocks are NOT new. This hairstyle is possibly as old as the existence of Africans. Sculptural renderings of some of the Egyptian pharaohs seem to indicate they had dreads in their hair. Rastafarians did not adopt the style to start a new trend; based on a Nazirite vow they have declared to never let a comb or scissors to touch their locks. While the style is sported by some of the ultimate black self-affirmation, and even some whites have successfully adopted it, general acceptance was slow coming and is just now becoming popular here in the U.S.
After reading books on my ancestors I have a deeper understanding of where I come from and that the hairstyles from back then are the same but different. They are the same because people still wrap their hair, braid it up and have dreads. It is different because they are not the same styles per say, their styles back in Africa were all about who they were. Nevertheless, I guess if they saw ours, they would wonder why they are so plain as our upbringing is who we are today in a culture we live in that is not our own. Anyway we are finding our way and teaching ourselves what we have as a culture just looking back.
When we think of braids. At least when I think of braids I think of memories when I was a child. I used to watch my sisters getting large single braids for years. As the time went by and we all covered our hair nightly we began to see results of our mothers care. Long thick natural hair full of life. As many styles came about through the years many of us have ventured into things with our hair that our parents would hardly approve of.
I went through so many things with my hair cutting, coloring, and relaxing. The thing that I thought I would never have to go through was hiding my hair. Wearing wigs was something that I said I would never do during my life. But my wig wearing is only for purpose of styling changes on a daily basis. As I still have to Braid my hair for protection and the safety of my locks.
As the times have changed I did realize that Natural is about who I am. It is very important to learn who i am and love myself. My heart longs for self improvement and I wonder to myself how did I begin to unravel what I was taught as a child and put my body through so much with the so called style, to the point where I damaged my skin and my and my crown of hair that was so dear to me. As I begin to clean myself up and free myself of chemicals freedom and great health follows.
At this time I would like to say that Braids are wonderful and exciting and beautiful. It takes maintenance to have any style of hair on your head whether it be natural or not. Also I am obligated to clean my hair and maintain moisture and security of my whole crown as I lay upon my jewel of a crown nightly. For this I say to my tender head and my hair that flows in one direction. That I have learned from those who speaks to me of things that are not true to the fact of a braider. It is said and hurtful to tradition that I would blame a person for my lack of responsibility for my own hair (blaming someone for loss of my own hair).
Now let my wonder to myself why I might be mad at a braider because my hair is not lasting when I request that my hair be styled a certain way. Well first off I know that there are daily styles, weekly styles, and bi-monthly styles. So when I tell a braider that i want my hair really big iI know that I must not expect the hair to last two months or even six weeks. I also know that receiving braids or twists without adding hair to the braid or twist it is good for two weeks maybe three. My job in this part of receiving a service to my hair is understanding that i am a consumer and I am responsible for what I purchase. So I research and find out what I need to do as the manager of what belongs to me.
I need to take time for myself. I need to love myself. I need to be a lover of my hair just as i love my nails. I is a sexy feeling to have health in all ares of my life. Beauty reigns from my crown jewel and it catches the eye of my husband and he is satisfied. As I strengthen my crown with what i need to feed my hair naturally for cleanliness and moisture I shall shine. I need plenty of water and vegetation in my life because my foundation depends on all that I have to balance the power of life . If I can get my hair to shine then I shine. My roots are from my ancestors and I am happy to have the memory of my mother including my family where I can see what all the love was about. My mother had the true love of God in her hands also in her heart. This is why I tell you today that protection, natural hair ,box braids, senegalese twists, tree braids are all in the family of motherly love. I am convinced without a shadow of a doubt that Braids are for love of self. Yes I enjoy an Afro. With this style of hair it allows the hair to catch filth to often so I recommend that the hair be washed immediately once arriving home.
Woman are very important to life. With this I say to you all,” next time”. I shall point out to you all next why women should learn how to shine and not with jewelry. Please do not let me stop you from shopping my sisters.
People of Newport News If you are looking for a stylist from the African Hair Braiding community Seek out a specialist that enjoys hair and loves customers. Chesapeake I challenge clients to come and see us. Portsmouth we know how you have traveled for years to get your hair braided and twisted.