The history of hair in the black community

Freshman Aeri Peters describes the important history behind hair in the black community.



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Hair is life. The way that we style it, the way that we treat it, it is a part of us and it always will be. Our community is very diverse and from a standpoint as a Black young woman, I would say I have options for my hair and that there is history behind it. When I was younger growing up, having hair that was very different from my peers was a challenge. I didn’t really know how to style it, so it made me upset and not like it. I always had questions, like what type of hair I had, (4a,4b,4c ect.), how to maintain it, and wondering how in the past my ancestors styled their hair. As I got older I found answers to these questions, like how to keep my hair protected with scarves and bonnets, how much and how little product I can put in it, and how I came to cherish it and discover it’s worth. I began to have control over my hair which made me feel like it had an even bigger importance. That importance also came along with the education of hair/hairstyles. Here are a few history points of black hairstyles.




History


~ Braids (Box Braids, Cornrows, Dreadlocks, Ghana Braids, etc.) have been dated back to about 5000 year from African Culture all the way back to 3500 BC.


~ Box Braids, Cornrows, Dreadlocks, Ghana Braids, are protected hairstyles that help black hair grow, strengthen, and give Black women and men a variety of hairstyles all while taking care of their natural hair.


~Oils are used to help contain moisture while helping the hair grow healthy and strong.


~ Braid patterns would show how old a person was, what African tribe were they from, how rich they were etc.


~ Braids have been used as a form of communication, expression and as a form of art.


~The origin of braids dated back, “from box braids to dreadlocks and afro shape-ups, many of the most iconic black hairstyles can be found in drawings, engravings and hieroglyphs from Ancient Egypt.”

(Horne)


~African tribes and places that used these types of Braids (such as Fulani Braids, Ghana Braids, Cornrows, Box Braids and Dreadlocks & Faux Locs) include the Himba Tribe, Fulani Tribe and places such as South Africa, West Africa, Sudan and the Horn of Africa.


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