Politics of Black Hair.... The Kink Rules Supreme
Karen's Blog
Politics of Black Hair...The Kink Rules!


Afromatic Blowout Comb

Here's a vintage Blowout Comb styler from the 70's.
It was used to get that extra stretch to make your Afro expand.

From GhettoRedHot.com

Photos from GhettoRedHot.com

Some of us just aren't ready!!!

One Word: Pathetic!

Mayor of New Orleans Has Experience With Hair.

Photo credit:  John McCusker

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu looks like he is familiar with black hair.

Permanent Wave Machine invented by Black Woman

This Permanent Wave Machine was invented by Majorie Stewart Joyner in 1928.  Mrs. Joyner was then National Supervisor for the Madame C.J. Walker Beauty Colleges.
The device was a standard hood dryer that connected 16 rods to an electric cord.  Women wore the hood for a certain amount of time and the hair would be straightened or curled.  Mrs. Joyner
said she got the idea one day, while cooking pot roast in which long rods held the pot roast together while heating the meat from the inside.

This Permanent Wave Machine was used in both Black and white

Joyner, was the of the first Black women to receive a patent.  However, she did not receive any royalties because she invented while employed at the Madame Walker company and all the proceeds went to the organization.

Marjorie Stewart Joyner

Joyner was born October 24, 1896, in Monterey, VA.

In 1945, Joyner co-founded the United Beauty School Owners and Teachers Association along with Mary Bethune McCleod.  And she
relentlessly raised money for Black colleges and founded Alpha Chi Pi Omega Sorority and Fraternity, in an effort to raise the professional standards for beauticians.

She died on December 7, 1994, at the age of 98.


Egyptian Queen's Hair Being Glammed Up

Kemsit, Nubian Queen of Kemet Pharaoh Mentuhotep II
(2061-2010 B.C.)

Here you see Queen Kemsit having her hair beautified by her
servants.  The painting is from her tomb chamber wall -
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.

Queen Kemsit is probably wearing a wig which was popular
during that era. 

Viola Davis comes into her Authentic Self

TV Host Anderson Cooper questions actress Viola Davis about changing her look.

She is now leaving her wigs at home and wearing her natural hair.
She says she no longer is apologizing for who she is by covering her real self under a wig.

A great lesson for our wig/weave Sisters.

More Fake Hair Nonsense

Now, we have something called a Lace Weave Closure.  See the left photo, it's an oblong lace that you attach to your real cornrowed hair.

And as you can see from the right photo, you have a fake scalp.

(Shaking my head sideways) This weave fervor it getting more & more ridiculous.

Going Bald? Get Hair Tattoo

This woman lost her hair in the front from constant wearing of hair weaves....She got her scalp tattooed to look like hair.
She calls it hair art.

And she suggests that Naomi Campbell who is losing her hair should do the same.

The real solution:  Stop wearing Weaves!!!

Weaves are Wack!

Just 1 Question:  Is trying to look white by wearing weaves really worth it?

Embrace the Kink!

Class of 1934

Here is a photo the Madam C.J. Walker College of Beauty Culture Graduating Class of 1934 - Chicago, IL.

Madam Walker revolutionized the temporary release of the Kink by bringing the press & curl technique using the hot comb
to African-American women.

Perspective White Guy on Black Hair

Check these video comments by TJ Walker (TJWalker.com).
He is a news commentator & best-selling author.  And he is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most talk show appearances in a 24-hour period.

He is quite perceptive for a white guy on our hair...he talks about getting a peek into Black women's hair issue after watching Chris Rock's Good Hair movie...watching women putting acid in their hair!

Bottom line, he mentions AUTHENTICITY.  That's a term black women have to come to terms with & embrace & celebrate what grows out of our own heads!

Do Guys Prefer Sisters Weaved, Relaxed, or Natural?

Check out this video.  The brothers' responses may surprise you.

Here's Hair from Turn of the Century

 Raleigh, NC - 1880s

Englewood, NJ - 1890s       

 Newark, NJ - 1890s    Rev. Mrs. J.H. Vigal - Buffalo, NY (no date)

  New York, NY (no date)

 Mug Shot of Bertha Farnsworth by New Orleans Police Dept. - December 31, 1908...Occupation:  Wash Woman; Criminal Occupation:  Suspicious Person

These photos are from the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs & Prints Division - New York, NY.
Schomberg Digital Download 

Ms. Raleigh
appears to be wearing her natural hair, parted, & brushed down with little or very little grease.

Ms. Englewood has some sort of upward twists.  It appears she used some sort of pomade to keep it pressed together.

Ms. Newark looks like she is sporting an afro or is the hair plaited in some sort of way?

The Rev. Mrs. Vigal has parted hair with some sort of upsweep on the sides that are pinned up.

Ms. New York has some puff going in in the front & the rest is brushed back.

& finally Ms. Farnworth has straightened hair.  I wonder if she went to Madame CJ Walker's peeps or is that a wig (probably not, I don't think to many sisters wore wigs back in the early 1900s.

Hating on Gabby's Hair

Many are commenting, tweeting & talking about
Olympic Gymnast & Gold Medal Winner Gabby
Douglas' hair.  Folks are finding it unacceptable &
others are saying shut up! -- 'cause critics don't
have the iconic skills of Gabby & are losing focus
about her wins.

Check out this article from Ruth Manuel-Logan
at Newsone.

Oprah, Lying???

MediaTakeOut.com is calling out Oprah.  They say she is lying about her natural hair.  They claim she is using some sort of texturizer...I'm going to agree with Team MediaTakeOut -- the
hair appears to have an unnatural looseness...I guess Ms. Billionaire can believe what she wants...What are your thoughts?

Rapper Accused of Looking Like "Shocked Slave"

Rapper Lil Mama tweeted a picture of herself with her natural hair (left).

And many folks tweeted back insults.  One said she looked like a shocked slave!

Her response:  'OMG you look like a shocked slave!’ I didn’t get one comment from a white person about my hair. All of them came from the sisters that had these bullsh** helmet weaves looking like a fake a** Nicki Minaj. They don’t know who they are. And the people they’re looking to for guidance don’t know who they are either, which sucks.

Lil Mama is right.  Those Sisters who are haters of her natural hair are looking to another people to dictate what is acceptable and beautiful.

Who invented the Hair Weave?

(Photo: 50s Jazz Singer Bette McLaurin)

Who invented the hair weave?  Christina Jenkins who patented her hair weave process in 1951.  Back then, as today, Sister gotta
have that long hair.

Above is another photo of Ms. Bette.  You can see the weave started 2 finger-lengths behind her forehead.

After her patent, She & her jazz musician husband Herman "Duke" Jenkins formed their company:  Christina's Hair Weaves.

Her process consisted of sewing fake hair to a net; cornrowing
the the hair and sewing the netting to the cornrows.

And here's her hubby Duke: 
It looks like she used her hair weaving process on him...

Ms. Jenkins passed away December 2003....

& there you have it...Christina Jenkins -- Pioneer of the Hair Weave.
I bet she never imagined Sisters would be so out-of-control with the
weave today.

Free Your Edges...

At least with natural hair, you don't have to worry about
your edges.  This Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Edge
Control Hair Gel is suppose to tame your edges. 

This way of thinking goes all the way back to our childhood.
We expect our edges to lie down smoothly.  Guess what?
Our kinky hair edges are not meant to relax.  Instead, they
sprout & stand their ground.  Amen!

Loc are a NO at Six Flags

Here's a story I recently uncovered from 2010.
2 African-American women were denied employment
at Six Flags in Largo, MD for having locs.

Janet Bello, 23, on the right was told by Six Flags
that her locs were an extreme hairstyle and because
of this could not be hired at Six Flags.

ABC News uncovered a company policy that states the company
does not permit "any hairstyle that detracts or takes away from the
Six Flags' theme."  Now, what could they mean by theme?

And Six Flags issued a statement to ABC News:

"Six Flags enforces a conservative grooming policy across all parks. The policy does not permit certain hairstyles such as variations in hair colors, dreadlocks, partially shaved heads, tails, and hairstyles that impair vision. Braided hair is allowed but must be in neat, even rows and without beads or other ornaments."

A spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union said that locs are inherently unprofessional is racially insensitive, at best
& potentially discriminatory -- at worst.

Jackie Sherrill, 60 (left) worked the previous summer wearing locs at Six Flags.  She even got a letter to come back for employment.
A supervisor, however, saw her locs and told her she would not be
welcomed back unless she changed her hairstyle.

Sidebar:  2000 FedEx fired several of its New York employees who refused to cut their locs.  A settlement was reached in 2006,
that recognized locs for religious reasons.

Locs are a natural hairstyle.  Moreover, it's a lifestyle.
An employer discriminating against locs which is natural is racist. Perhaps locs make certain people uncomfortable.  I guess some employers prefer that sisters come to work sweating bullets under their scalp-suffocating weaves or wigs.

The Natural Hair Business on the Rise

Here's a link to Fox 26 in Houston's segment on the booming business in Natural Hair: 


Wilson Pickett & Jimi Hendrix in their Conked Days

Music legends Wilson Pickett (left) & Jimi Hendrix
wearing processed hair and later wearing their natural

Big Business = Black Hair Care Industry

According to the cover lines of this Jet magazine,
in 1952, the Black Hair Care Industry was a
million dollar business.  Today, it's $185 Billion!

Bold in the 1860s

Bold & Beautiful.  Poet Frances Harper wore cornrows
while on the lecture circuit with the American Anti-Slavery
Society in 1867.  She did not bow down to the white
standard of beauty trying to straighten her hair.

Malcolm X with his Conk

Here is Malcolm X with his slick-back conk in his pre-conscious & proud days.

Pure Ridiculous-ness

These zipper hair looks are creative, but crazy!

Teachable Moments - Melissa Harris-Perry

Melissa Harris-Perry's Teachable Moment on
her MSNBC News show will make you smile.
She is educating her white audience to our
black hair idiosyncracies.  From the hot comb;
the kitchen (& not the one you eat in); weaves -
synthetic or human hair; braid extensions; the
silk head wrap; nappy...the other "N" word; dreadlocks are not dreadful -- call them locs.

I do disagree with Melissa's last few words that
a Black woman with straightened hair is not trying to be white...Maybe not consciously -- but a sister with straightened hair -- subconsciously buys into the Eurocentric standard of beauty instead of being her naturally beautiful Afrocentric self.

The Spirituality of Our Hair

According to the blog Angola Rising, Angolans & other Africans believe there are spiritual qualities to the hair. Since it the closest part of the body to the heavens, it can reach out to gods & spirits. It is like an antennae that can transmit & receive communications to and from our soul.

Braiding from Antiquity to Today

Braiding ventures all the way back to antiquity from
Ancient Egypt to today...

Natural vs. UnNatural


UnNatural               vs.    Natural

Here is academy award-winning actress Viola Davis.

Wigging  and Natural.  Which way does she look

The Beauty of Natural Hair - by Naturalnana

Here's another video by Naturalnana displaying
our beauty with our Natural Hair.

I'm Black & Proud

I always loved this Ultra Sheen Hair Care ad
from the 1970s.  The model is so natural &

Black Hair Care = $185 million Business

According to the Washington Post, the Black
Hair Care Market brings in $185 million in Revenue.
Cosmetic manufacturers Loreal & Alberto Culver
are the 2 major players.

Black Hair TV Talk

MSNBC TV host Melissa Harris-Perry of her
show with the same name has slammed open
the doors on the subject:  The Politics of Black
Hair.  This past Sunday, June 10, she had a
panel discussion with actress Nicole Ari Parker,
University of Pennsylvania Professor Anthea Butler, Blogger Nikki Walton curlynikki.com,
and cultural critic Joan Morgan.

It was an intriguing discussion how sisters wear
their hair.  The talk touched on Hair & Self-Esteem;
Mother/Daughter Relationships & Hair; How Black
Men Feel About Our Hair; & the question:  Are
we chemically cheating our hair into submission?

Check it out...

Melissa Harris-Perry - Politics of Black Hair:  MSNBC - Melissa Harris-Perry

Filmmaker Transitions to Natural Hair

British-Nigerian Zina Saro-Wiwa created a mini-documentary on transitioning from braid extensions to shaving her head & wearing her her naturally.  She embraces her own texture which she hadn't done in years.  Check out
this poignant  film:  Black Women's Transition to Natural Hair

Naturally Flyy Detroit - Hair Meet Up

2 sisters from Detroit, Charise & Jennifer Thomas
have started Hair Meet-Up Gatherings in their parent's
bakery, Sweet Potato Sensations...The Natural Hair
Movement is on the rise!

Women Drops Dead Due To Hair Extension Glue

A woman died possibly from massive allergic
reaction from glue that is applied to her hair'
extensions.  She collasped after clubbing one
night.  The woman had worn hair extensions for
14 years.

The pathologist examining her body said the latex
glue could have seeped into her scalp while she
was sweating on the dance floor and she had
an allergic reaction.

Natural Hair Makes Us Look More Beautiful by Naturalnana

The Kink Rules Supreme!

Afro Barbie

Afro Barbie on the scene!  An African-American
natural hair group gave young girls at a Columbus,
Georgia apartments Barbie dolls with an Afro.
They didn't purchase the dolls this way -- first they
had to give the dolls a hair makeover using pipe cleaners,
end papers, and boiling water to kink-i-fy the
manufactured straight hair.  This was an affirmation
to love your God-given hair.

Black Barbie comes with hair weave accessory...Uhmmm!

This Black Barbie comes with a hair weave attachment...
What messages are we sending our little girls about their

Back in the 70's when Black Hair was Beautiful

....and Black hair care products were owned by Black businesses,
like Afro Sheen by Johnson Products before being swallowed up by mainstreams mega corporations.

How to Get High Self-Esteem? Go Natural.

Black women all over the planet are ashamed of their hair.  From Los Angeles to London to Lagos -- this human, synthetic, fake hair charade is out-of-control. 

Sisters have no idea about their real, reach-to-the-sky, sun-seeking hair.  They keep their hair on the DL -- hidden under scarves, relaxers, weaves, and wigs. 

Bottom line, Black women have low self-esteem, buying into the con game that straight hair is better.  Why have we become the followers of what is beautiful hair instead of taking the lead of our ancient ancestors? 

No other race has kinky hair like we do.  It's a gift! 

Our hair is to be treasured.  

We need to embrace our coiled wonder.  It's a wonder because nobody else has our texture. Love our coil hair like a newborn baby.  Let's get back to nature-ness.

Natural Hair Beauties by Naturalnana

Black, Beautiful, & Bushy

Although this video has some
fake hair, wigs, weaves, & extensions thrown
in; for the most part it is a celebration of
natural hair.

Hair Foolery

Black Women Hate Their Hair!

When are sisters going to start loving their
natural hair? 

We do everything to our hair except wear
our hair with pride.  How can you love yourself
and hate your hair?  It's not possible. 

Many Black women have not worn their
natural kinky hair for any reasonable
period of time to form a relationship
with their hair.

I know one sister with semi-permed hair
(code for the kinks were taking over)
that slicked her hair back as best as she
could and slapped a shiny, straight-textured,
no-match ponytail on the back of her head.
Talk about ridiculous.  But it gets worse.
Girlfriend sleeps with ponytail attached tied
down with a night scarf. 

Clearly, sister-friend has serious issues about
her hair and her identity...and the sad thing
about it; she's not alone in her confusion.

Keep the Kink

Some brothers are still running away from the Kink;
using texturizers.  Males who erase the Kink are
erasing a part of their masculinity:

Rev. Al Sharpton


This soap sold in the United States
between 1910 and
1940.   And sadly
some self-hating Blacks still refer to
their natural hair as pickaninny. Once
again, accepting someone else's negative
idea of our authentic selves. 

Misdirected Creativity

The Jolly Ranchers in the hair has to go.  Move this
to the insanity pile.

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