Black Hair History- Part 1 by Ndidi Abili

Black History Month also known as African American History month is an observance not in just the U.S. but Canada and the U.K. even. If it wasn't for those that fought for our civil rights such as Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Angela Davis and of course Malcolm X, there is no telling where the Black community would be right now and we will forever honor them and those alike.

Our hair is so much of who we are and it is widely how we identify with one another over the course of history. We would like to zoom in on the history of Black hair and those that were among the trendsetters for styles for years to come. The ones we've come to love, the ones we know best and the ones some of us are still trying to master.

Annie Minerva Turnbo was an African American businesswoman and inventor who created her own hair care products in the eraly 1900’s. She developed and manufactured her own line of non-damaging hair straighteners, special oils, and hair-stimulant products for African-American women called “Wonderful Hair Grower”. She began to revolutionize hair care methods for all African Americans across the country. Among her sale reps was Sarah Breedlove aka Madame C.J. Walker who is popularly known and became the first self-made millionaire on recordthe first female American self-made millionaire. She created her own line of styling and hair care products for women of color that became popular very quickly.

After years of increased sales and production for products that resulted in straighter, silkier and more manageable hair, an inventor by the name of Garret Morgan created the first official chemical relaxer. He was also known for his versions of the gas mask and the traffic light. During  that time period the whole idea of the relaxer was actually to make coarse African hair become more straight and like Caucasian hair, which was the social standard at the time. these years later the relaxer is still used as a permanent solution to straighten hair.

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