As you know, Black hair is beautiful, unique, and versatile. From curly coils to twist-outs and more, textured strands are a way for Black people to reconnect with their heritage. Thankfully, the modern natural hair movement placed textured tresses at the forefront, honoring the legacy of Black hair within the beauty industry and beyond.
Hair has always been the cornerstone of tradition in Black communities dating back to ancient Africa. Hair played a significant role in past societies, with certain styles as distinguishing markers identifying marital and social status, fertility, and more. Many modern styles are vestiges of ancient techniques, including the beloved Bantu Knots, which are said to have originated from the ancient Zulu tribes in western and southern Africa.
Ancient hair care regimes
As part of such an illustrious history, maintaining superior hair care is a phenomenon that has been around for a while. One of the earliest pieces of evidence of hair care can be seen in Egypt. Both men and women held cleansed hair in high regard. Regarding hair manageability, Egyptian women often used natural remedies such as Castor oil and creams.
Black hair as an art form
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then early images of Black hair in art depict a reference for elaborate style, societal nobility, and spirituality. In the traveling exhibition, "Hair in African Art and Culture," organized by the Museum for African Art, New York, hundreds of images shed light on the windows of the past with every unique sculpture and articulate design. From carefully crafted masks with pronounced heads indicating a spiritual reference to warriors with long hair covered in amulets, many figures demonstrate how Black hair was revered and celebrated in ancient cultures.
Modern tributes to Black hair
The natural hair movement continues to transform the beauty industry and reinvigorate much-needed conversations regarding inclusiveness in beauty. In 2019, The CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural hair) Act was spearheaded by the CROWN Coalition to end hair discrimination. It has now been adopted by 20 states and continues to grow support internationally.
As the world continues to learn and acknowledge the history of Black hair, it lays the groundwork for a greater understanding of Black communities. Recently, Hair Tales on Hulu with executive producers Oprah Winfrey, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Michaela Angela Davis highlighted this further as they open up space for dialog, capturing Black women's experience through the lens of hair.
Our founder Janell Stephens has expressed her appreciation for natural hair in all its glory from the beginning. And as a Black-owned beauty business, Camille Rose aims to continue to serve as an inspiration for the Black community and the beauty industry.