We all know about HIStory and we know about HERstory… however, we want to talk a little bit about HAIRstory! Long gone are the days of sitting in the kitchen while grandma heats up the comb on the stove (yeah, that’s a real thing. Google it.) Now we have flat irons and brush irons and all kinds of other things to create the looks we want.
Women weren’t always as bold as we are now, in fact it was the exact opposite. In this day and age, we aren’t afraid to stand out and try different styles and colors. The more unique the look, the better. In the 1920s and 1930s, the goal was to fit in and look the part to be accepted in White America. Women of color were compelled to alter their hair texture to a smoother appearance. Sarah Breedlove, more commonly known as Madame CJ Walker, is one of the women that made it possible for women of color to achieve the sleek look.
As the forties came to an end and the fifties rolled in, the hairstyles worn by African-American women showed more variation. Some women wore tight curls or other strictly smooth-styled their hair, while few others wore their hair natural.
1960 was the Civil War era and it was all about the Afro. The Afro represented black pride and beauty. The bigger the Afro, the better. Initially, a lot of women received awkward looks and were ridiculed because straight hair was considered proper grooming. But as time progressed, the Afro caught on and became a symbol for Black power. It was very common to see a beautiful Black woman with her Afro, her pick, and her Black pride.
The jheri curl came along in the 1970s and ruined headrests and pillow cases one household at a time. This style was designed as an easy wash and wear style that was low maintenance. The jheri curl was easier to maintain, but a lot messier than a perm.
Fast forward to present day and you guys know we love a little bit of everything. Perms, weaves, box braids, faux locs, cuts, colors, and everything else… you name it, we will try it. Next time you are picking out your bundles, remember, we have come a long way!
Written By: Karla Stovall