What is Afro hair?

Afro-textured hair is a term used to refer to the natural hair texture of certain populations of the African diaspora, where hair has not been altered by hot combs, flat irons, or chemicals (through perming, relaxer, or other straightening methods).

Each strand of this hair type grows in a tiny, spring-like coil shape. The overall effect is when compared to straight, wavy or curly hair, afro-textured hair appears thicker.

Afro-textured hair have been in the past described as “woolly”, “kinky”, “nappy”, or “spiralled”.

Afro-textured hair has been classifies as ‘type 4’. It has been describe as ‘type 4’ because of different hair types that exist by the shape of the coils.

These are the other hair types (straight hair is type 1, wavy type 2, and curly is type 3, with the letters A, B, and C used to indicate the degree of coil variation within each type), with the subcategory of type 4C being most exemplary of this hair type (Madam CJ Walker, 1997).

In the height of Afro

In the 1960s, natural afro-textured hair was transformed from a simple expression of style into a revolutionary political statement with the triumphs of the civil rights movement, and the Black power and Black pride movements of the 1960s and 1970s.

This encouraged and inspired African Americans to express their political commitments by adopting more traditionally African styles. The Afro hairstyle developed as an affirmation of Black African heritage, expressed by the phrase, “Black is beautiful.”

Miriam Makeba ”I see other black women imitate my style, which is no style at all, but just letting our hair be itself. They call it the Afro Look."
Miriam Makeba ”I see other black women imitate my style, which is no style at all, but just letting our hair be itself. They call it the Afro Look.”

“Afro hair came to symbolise either a continued move toward integration in the American political system or a growing cry for Black power and nationalism.” wearing an Afro was an easily distinguishable physical expression of Black pride and the rejection of societal norms.

However, during the movement, the Black community endeavoured to define their own ideals and beauty standards, and hair became a central icon, which was “promoted as a way of challenging mainstream standards regarding hair.”

Angela Davis wore her Afro as a political statement and started a movement toward natural hair. This movement influenced a generation, including many different actresses like Diana Ross.

Jesse Jackson, a political activist and well-known cultural icon, says that “the way he wore his hair was an expression of the rebellion of the time”.

Check out our inspired icons who were rocking their natural Afro hair out.

Certain Black people sought to embrace beauty and affirm and accept their natural physical traits. As a result, natural afro-textured hair has became a symbol of that pride.”

In 1971 Melba Tolliver, a WABC-TV correspondent, made national headlines when she wore an Afro while covering the wedding of Tricia Nixon Cox, daughter of President Richard Nixon. The station threatened to take Tolliver off the air until the story caught national attention.

Afro-textured hair came back later on with Erykah Badu’s movement in 2005 as well as Janelle Monáe and Solange Knowles who have also played a part with their own natural Afro hair looks.

In 2014, People Magazine named actress Lupita Nyong’o as their “Most Beautiful”. Her short, afro-textured natural hair is a signature trademark, and the wide recognition of her as a beauty and style icon.

 

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Source: Wikipedia.org  and Research

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