African American Hairstyles Reflect Ancient Black History

Via <a href=>Wikimedia Commons</a>
Shonda Buchanan
March 28, 2021

The heritage of our hairstyles clearly shows our connections to Africa, helping maintain our culture and history in simple but profound ways. It’s not just a crown, it’s a form of cultural expression and resistance! What’s the history of your favorite style?

#1– Zulu knots. Also called Bantu knots, this is a popular cultural hairstyle that originated among the Zulu in South Africa. No assimilation needed.

#2: Locs. Europeans supposedly called this style “dreadlocks” because British soldiers were filled with “dread” when they saw the powerful locs of the African warriors they were fighting against. 

Many Black people purposely call them “locs” to challenge white people’s  “dreadful” connotation. Black people have loc’d up their hair for thousands of years.

#3 – Curls. We wake up like this! Countless sisters and brothers have naturally curly hair that harkens to Madagascar and East Africa. Our hair tells the story of this heritage.

#4 – Structural styles. Patti Labelle and Nina Simone might have gotten inspiration from ancient – and modern – Fuluni or Burkina Faso tribes. Often, traditional structural hairstyles showed one's wealth or status in society.

Never let white society – or our people – tell you your hair is “bad,” too thick, too nappy, scratchy, or unprofessional. Remember, your hair is your crown, your power AND your connection to a powerful heritage and culture – no matter the style! 

How does your hair celebrate Black culture?

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