Julisa Anderson, left, a licensed cosmetologist, spins her natural crown. The happy customer, however, shows off his curls and color from Anderson.

Best of all said Salange Knowles – don’t touch my hair. In the African American community, hair is hailed as a sacred crown. Black hair is able to resist gravity – a way to express yourself, dating back to ancestral times. Constantly evolving, African Americans are constantly restoring and rethinking their hairstyles while preserving their heritage. Not only for women, but black men have also firmly used their hair as a means of growth, pride and history.

Braids, afro, puffs and twists are all iconic in black culture. Each of them shines in its era, black hair was a source of not only personal but also spiritual strength. In the early days of black ancestors hair was used to denote position, rank and wealth. Cornrow, bow knots and locks can be traced back to the early centuries when black kings and queens ruled. Used as a means of identification, certain hairstyles will denote different tribes across Africa. Now black communities continue the rich tradition of hair that is passed down from generation to generation.

“How I perceive black hair [is] it’s adorable! I have been doing hairstyles for almost 15 years, and just watching how hair has evolved in our culture over the years is always amazing. Over time, I’ve noticed that when it comes to expressing yourself through your hair, it’s becoming more of a push, ”said Julisa Anderson, a certified cosmetologist. “Hair has always been sacred to us, and I think more and more people are realizing that.”

Throughout slavery, black hair underwent several transitions when their culture and identity were deprived in America. Upon arrival, men and women, including children, shaved their heads, essentially erasing the divine attachment of Africans to their hair. As slavery progresses, texturism will emerge. This spawned one of the earliest forms of separatism among black people.

“Part of it tore them away from spirituality. Their hair was cut to break them. I know for sure that the Yoruba tribe, before the slaves were brought to America and other places, they cut their hair to pray to their gods. It was more than just a beautiful hairstyle; it was something spiritual that connected them to a higher power, ”Anderson said.

In the 1900s, Madame CJ Walker created an empire by producing hair products aimed at African Americans. Enrolled as the first black millionaire woman, Walker introduced the masses to topical columns. This led to a new era of hair care for African Americans. Combined with hair products and a comb to straighten black hair has acquired a new identity. Although African-Americans have adapted to European standards of beauty, Madame CJ Walker has paved the way for entrepreneurship in the black community.

“She [set] goals. If I could say one word, goals. She really created an avenue for black women. I guess you can say black entrepreneurs in general, just to find a way through their passion and really hone it, ”Anderson said.

In the 1960s and 1970s, hair that opposed gravity returned, with the introduction of Afros. Black hair, shown as a sign of activity, was seen as militant and proud. Now the movement of natural hair has been revived as more and more black men and women take on their natural curls, curls and curls.

“Once we achieved freedom and people started advocating more and more for equality, black people started wearing afras as a sign of resistance. It was the first time we could show our hair the way we wanted. Even in its natural state, ”Anderson said.

Imitated but never duplicated, black hair imitated many different races. As fashion lawyers, African Americans obeyed European standards of beauty. Now things have changed, as more and more blacks have begun to wear styles rooted in African traditions.

“Black hair is the most popular, and I think other cultures are trying to make black hair less popular, but all these other cultures are copying us because we are fashion lawmakers,” Anderson said. “Many times our things don’t go unnoticed until the white man puts them on.”

Despite growing recognition, black hair still faces discrimination. The Crown Act, which stands for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” introduced in 2019, was established to provide protection while combating discrimination against ethnic hair in corporate America. The emergence of similar shows Black Hair has a way in the fight for justice.

“I want people to love more on their crown. No wonder it is called the crown, so love it, take care of it. Hair is an investment, ”Anderson said.

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