Thursday, September 2, 2010

The History of Our Hair

Whenever I look at old photos of Blacks I am constantly fascinated about the evolution of our hair. In the 1800s, I notice that most Blacks were wearing their hair in their natural texture. Yet, the hair was usually pulled back/pinned up in some form or fashion.

Next came the era of the pressing comb by Madame C.J. Walker. This sparked the age of Blacks wearing their hair straightened and loosely curled. I would have to say that the straight hair is the look that has lasted the longest in the Black community.

The hair evolved from the afro, to the conk, to the jheri curl, to the relaxers, to the extensions, to the extension braids, to the new edgy 'dos, and so much more. We can see that Black hair is constantly experiencing innovative and new ideas.

However, I have a curiosity about our hair even before the 1800s. I want to view the different hairstyles from different African tribes. I want to see the hairstyles from the ancient civilizations. I want to the hairstyle of the slaves in American. I want to see every aspect of our hair. Why? Simply because I want to see where we have come from and where we are going.

I understand that I can't find this information in one day or even one week. It is for this reason that this will be a continuing segment. I will continue to post pics and details of the different hairstyles that I have discovered. To kick off this segment, below are a few pics showing the evolution of our hair.
This is a sculpture of Queen Tiye, the wife of one of the greatest Pharoahs, Amen-Hetep III. The sculpture seems to show her great hair texture with some sort of headband/crown. Era: 1415 BC - 1340 BC
This is the slave Juno (Waller)Seymor. I have noticed that most slave women wore their hair under wraps/scarves. Era: 1853
This is a photo of Portia Washington, the daughter of Booker T. Washington. Her hair is pinned up, however I can't really see the texture of it. Era: Around Late 1800s early 1900s.
This is a photo of Tuskegee's Nursing Graduates. There is a wide variety of hairstlyes in this photo. Yet, they are all pinned up. Era: Around Late 1800s or early 1900s.

I will continue with more pictures in the future. I just wanted to give an initial idea about the different hairstyles we have worn over the years.

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