Evolution of Hairstyles in the Black Community

  • 1500


    In the 1500's, in Columbia, South America they came up with the idea of women wearing cornrows as maps and delivered messages. The original name for them were canerows to represents the fields that the slaves worked in.
  • Period: 1500 to

    Evolution of Hairstyles in the Black Community

  • Hair relaxer

    Hair relaxer
    In 1909, Garrett Morgan invented the hair relaxer on accident. He was working in his shop and noticed that the needle too fast. He developed a liquid that polished the needle and reduced the friction. He wiped the liquid on the cloth and left it. When he came back to it the fibers on the cloth were straight. He later then tested it on his neighbor's dog, and it transitioned their curly hair to straight.
  • Finger Waves, Wavy Bobs, and Pin Curls

    Finger Waves, Wavy Bobs, and Pin Curls
    During the roaring twenties, women wore short hair to rebel against social norms.
  • HairWeeve (Sew-in)

    HairWeeve (Sew-in)
    In 1940's black women continued to wear the short hair but with added curls. In 1951 Christina Jenkins invented the very first HairWeeve, what we now call a sew in. A protective and secure way to attach hair extensions.
  • Civil Rights to Black Power Movement

    Civil Rights to Black Power Movement
    From 1964 and 1966 the Civil Rights Movement was morphing in the Black Power Movement. That meant accepting an alternative to straight hair an celebrating the natural hair. Wearing the natural hair was a way to connect to their ancestors. It also meant shedding the beauty standard and appearance of America and around the world.
  • The Black Panther Movement

    The Black Panther Movement
    The Black Panther party's was to patrol Black neighborhoods and the residents from police brutality. The uniform was an Afro and beret, sunglasses, black leather jacket, and a gun strapped across the body. The Afro symbolized pride, identity, and a confident statement of belief. It became a political statement. Both women and men in the party disrupted the idea of the beauty standard by embracing the Afro. Because of the Black Panther movement the phrase, "Black is Beautiful" was born.
  • The Afro Tease

    The Afro Tease
    In 1962, a friend of Willie Lee Morrow came to his shop and brought him a wooden comb with long tines as a gift. From there Morrow spent years on the design. Starting with wooden, then plastic. The hair pick is the tool that everybody used to maintain the Afro and its shape.
  • Jheri Curl

    Jheri Curl
    The Jheri Curl was a glossy and curly look that became very popular over time. It's a wash and wear style that made it easier to maintain than the other popular damaging treatment the hair relaxer. We saw a lot of famous people wear it such as, Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, and Ice Cube. Because of this hairstyle we now have the wash and go which is a less damaging hairstyle.
  • Hi-Top Fade

    Hi-Top Fade
    1986 was the start of the Hi-Top Fade which is a hairstyle that symbolizes the golden age of hip-hip and music during the time. Although, before Bobby Brown's music video, "Every Little Step", his barber accidentally cut off too much of his hi-top fade creating an asymmetrical haircut called the Gumby haircut.
  • Micro Braids

    Micro Braids
    In the 90 sitcom Moesha, Brandy wore micro braids which is very iconic then and now. Not only was she wearing braids in a popular tv show. She also wore them while she was cinderella. Little black girls and guys were able to a see a Disney princess that looked like them, letting them know that they are perfect the way they are and they do not need to change a thing about them to "fit" the "beauty standard". Even watching Janet Jackson in poetic justice she wore box braids.
  • The Natural Hair Movement

    The Natural Hair Movement
    From 2000 to 2010 men and women began to talk about their natural hair journey on TV, you tube, podcasts, and so many more social media. A lot of more people began their big chop cutting off their damaged relaxed hair to transition to natural hair. Natural hair also got a lot more representation on tv shows and movies. In 2019 California passed a law where you cannot discriminate based on the hair style and texture. This law has yet to be passed anywhere else in the United States.
  • Natural Hair Movement Now

    Natural Hair Movement Now
    In 2018, a 16 male wrestler was forced to cut off his locs before he continued his match or he would have to forfeit. In 2022, a high school female powerlifter was forced to take the beads out of her hair, or she would be disqualified. The natural hair movement has grown even more and is continuing to grow even more. Now we have a lot more people starting their loc journey and wearing protective styles. For braids, wigs, faux locs, crochet braids, sew ins, and so much more.