UK Black History Month: Hair-story's (aka Hair-History)

Our history is too rich, too diverse and too powerful to be crammed into a month. And, as a black-owned brand, run by black women - we’re black all year! But that isn’t going to stop us from injecting a little bit of magical blackness into your daily lives this month, and beyond!  

For centuries, hair has been a way to express creativity, proudly embrace our culture and something that forms a huge part of our identity. As you know, we’re all about textured hair, from kinky fro’s and coils, to curls and kinks. 


So, what better way to celebrate Black History Month by paying homage to the methods of hairstyling that were essential to the survival of Black people.

Happy Black History Month BHabes 🖤


Braids have always been used to express identity from the tribe that you belong to, to the individuality of our own styles. Due to the Slave Trade, braids became a lifeline to provide sustenance if they were captured and forced to voyage across the Atlantic. Rice and other grains would be ingeniously hidden between sections of hair when braiding or cornrowing. This technique was also used if people were planning a brave escape – with the seeds and gold able to help them build a new life. 


Author Emma Dabiri also uncovers sophisticated indigenous mathematical systems in braided hairstyles in her book Don’t Touch My Hair, where she also talks about styles that served as secret intelligence networks leading enslaved Africans to freedom. Honestly, what can’t we do!?


In the 18th century women of African descent were required by law (known as the Tignon Law) to keep their hair wrapped or covered because their elaborate hairstyles were drawing attention and were considered a threat to the status quo. 


Resilience and resourcefulness prevailed and Black women continued to stay fly by using intricate fabrics and jewels to adorn their covered hair. In short, you couldn’t hold a black woman down even back then! 


Being the ever magical black women that we’ve always been, our creativity didn’t stop in how we wore our hair - it carried through to how we looked after our hair too. Women used various household items to condition, moisturise and detangle their kinks and coils. From wool carting tools, which were used as a substitute to combs to smooth out any tangles, and bacon grease and butter that were used in pomades and protective styling, to lard to scalp care. They had the whole wash day routine covered. 


If our hair could speak, it’d tell you a story of power, ingenuity and strength. Essentially, black hairstyling culture is an ode to black oppression but, ultimately, a display of black liberation. *Sings Destiny Child Survivor to the ancestors whilst fluffing our fro’s with an afro comb*

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