Black History Month is a celebration of all the beauty in Black culture, achievements, history, life, and our truest essence. I believe this type of celebration should be every day. For the Black community, this is our month to honor all of who we were, are, and hope to become. Honoring Black women, and telling the different stories of our journey is so incredibly bold and uplifting. So let’s talk about all things hair! Every Black woman has grown to have a journey behind her hair. The significance of our hair lies deep within our beautiful history and has stuck with us, as we use it in ways to express who we are. Black history should truly be told within every aspect of our everyday lives, but in honor of Black History month, here’s the history of Black hair, and why our stories mean so much to who we are.
Many of the hairstyles that we so often see worn today such as box braids and cornrows date back to slavery. Black women would use these braided hair patterns in order to communicate. These hairstyles were a way to navigate and map out routes toward freedom. To further this intelligence and creativity, these women also would hide seeds, and grains of rice in their hair to have nourishment once they’ve achieved freedom. Hair has been a sacral symbol of freedom, strength, and expression for Black women. There is endless knowledge and brilliance woven into every braid that Black women wear, and that is so incredibly beautiful.
History of Black Hairstyles
Black culture has a variety of hairstyles unique to the Black community such as locs, twists, straight backs, and cornrows. These hairstyles are also a part of our rich history and beautiful culture. Styles like locs, for example, have symbolized many things among the Black community, such as devotion to purity, and the belief in keeping things natural. Locs emphasize the love for the natural formation of Black hair, and our hair’s versatility and beauty.
Road to loving my hair
Growing up, I would say the journey to loving my hair was not always easy. However, as I grew and evolved, I began to find that learning about and doing my natural hair served as a form of self-care for me. Learning about my natural hair in more depth and my hair type has inspired me to want to explore many different styles such as box braids, slick-back ponytails, and twist-outs. Finding comfort in my hair, regardless of the style, was a struggle, but one of the greatest things I can say I have accomplished. I love the complexity of Black hair, and the ability of the Black community to represent each style so effortlessly.