A Close Look At The Timeline of The Roots of Black Hair, Styles and Hair Products

2 Posted by - September 6, 2015 - BLACK INVENTIONS, BLACK MEN, LATEST POSTS, Looking Black On Today

Looking at African-American people today, you would never know the difficulties that some people and their ancestors went through with their hair. Even today, some people still know what it means to just have a really “bad hair day.” It is very easy for some African-Americans to look at the hair of others and wish for the same texture or grade of hair. However, believe it or not, there are some African-American who do not understand the big deal of issue with hair because they might fall into the category of having good hair. Hair issues have affected African-Americans for many years now. However, the should be embraced, there are so many different styles and looks that African-Americans can do and get with their hair. Here is a timeline of some of the looks of African-American hair dated many years ago, according to an article published on thirstyroots.com.












1400s: During the European Trade on the West Coast of Africa. African-Americans wore elaborate hairstyles, including locks, plaits and twists. We see many of these styles have made their way back into the styles that are seen today.














1600s: The first slaves arrived to Jamestown. At this point the African language and culture began to disappear. The grooming also began to disappear, most likely due to the poor treatment of slaves and lack of spirit among the Africans.


black hair wool











1700s: The Whites began to dehumanize slaves. The African-American hair was often referred to as wool. African-Americans were not able to retain elaborate hairstyles.


smith plantation











1880s: Black people are without the necessary resources to treat their black hair. Without the resources which were used in Africa. Slaves resort to using bacon grease, butter and kerosene as hair conditioners and cleaners. Light-skinned Blacks with straighter hair are purchased for more at the slave auction than darker-skinned slaves with kinky hair. Blacks soon internalize that blacks with dark skin and kinky hair are less attractive than those of with lighter complexions.











1865: The   era ends. However, white people looked upon black women who styled their like the White woman as well-adjusted. Soon people look at those to have “good” hair in order to be allowed in certain schools, social groups, churches and business networks.









1880: The hot comb was invented in 1845 by the French, these combs are available in the United States. The combs are used to press and straighten kinky hair.
























1900s: Madame C.J. Walker created her line of hair-care products for black hair. However, there were people who criticized Walker for encouraging Black women to look white. Walker made the press-n-curl style very popular among Blacks. Walker is featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the first American female self-made millionaire.












1920s: African-American people are encouraged to embrace their natural hair and reclaim their African appeal by Marcus Garvey.








1954: The Johnson Products Company came out with the Ultra Wave Hair Culture product line. It was a “permanent” hair straightener for men and it could be applied at home. Soon after the product launched a woman’s line followed.














1963: Actress Cicely Tyson wears cornrows on a television and makes a statement “East Side/West Side.”











1966: Model Pat Evans defies both black and white standards of beauty and shaves her head.













1968: Actress Diahann Carroll was first black woman to star in a television network series. She played in the show “Julia,” as a darker version of the all-American girl, with straight curled hair.










1970: Angela Davis a well-known icon of “Black Power” make a statement with her neatly large Afro.










1971: Melba Tolliver is fired from the ABC affiliate in New York for wearing an Afro while covering the wedding of Tricia Nixon.


super curl









1977: The Jheri curl exploded on the black hair scene. It was a curly perm for black people, the ultra-hairstyle lasted well through the 1980s.


bo derek









1979: Bo Derek makes a statement in the Movie “10” with beads and braids in her hair.










1980: Model-actress Grace Jones pops up on the scene with her trademark flattop fade hairstyle.











1988: Spike Lee movie “School Daze” touches the topic of good hair/bad hair light-skinned/dark-skinned schism in black America.











1990: Black women and weave becomes more prominent. “Sisters love the weave,” Essence magazine declares. A variety of natural styles and locks also become more accepted.










1997: Singer Erykah Badu makes her debut on her album “Baduizm” with her head wrapped, bringing in an eclectic brand of Afrocentrism.







1998: Carson Inc., creator of Dark & Lovely and Magic Shave for Black men purchased the Johnson Products of Chicago in 1998. L’Oreal purchase the Carson company later and merged with the Soft Sheen company.










1999: Lauryn Hill is named one of the 50 Most Beautiful people with her beautiful locks and all.











2001: Rapper Lil’ Kim makes a statement wearing platinum blonde weave, while singer Macy Gray sported a new-school Afro.










2006: Black hair becomes a billion-dollar industry which is still booming today.







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  • Millard Podsiad April 4, 2019 - 11:39 am Reply

    There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a moment?s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.

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