A Love of Hair
A History of Black Women's Hairstyles

Welcome to a celebration of elegance, creativity, and diversity!

This space is dedicated to the artistry and beauty found in the myriad ways black women express themselves through their hair. From intricate braids to stunning natural curls, each style tells a unique story and carries a legacy of culture, history, and personal identity. Join us on a journey through the rich tapestry of black hairstyles, where individuality is celebrated and beauty knows no bounds.

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Explore an AI-powered gallery celebrating the diversity and beauty of black women’s hairstyles. Witness stunning images crafted by technology, showcasing the richness and creativity of these intricate styles. AI, while incredibly powerful, does have its limitations. It heavily relies on quality, diverse, and extensive datasets. Lack of representative or biased data can significantly impact its performance. Understanding these limitations is crucial in responsibly deploying and utilizing AI technologies while working on ways to address and mitigate these challenges.

Find out more about black women's hairstyles

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The Afro

The Afro can be defined as a halo of hair left in its natural shape. The style can be traced back to tribal Africa where hair was used to define roles, hierarchy and status.

In the 1960s, with the Civil Rights Movement and Natural Hair Movement there was an eradication of the negative perception of being black; and women were encouraged to show off the beauty of their natural and untreated hair.

Dreadlocks

Locked hair has been worn by people in the Sahara desert since 3,000 BC. Dreadlocks are made up locking hair strands together by twisting them or leaving strands to matte until individual ropes are formed.

In the 1970’s, The Rastafari Movement brought an increase in popularity of dreadlocks, with the rise in popularity of reggae music.

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Sisterlocs

Certified natural hair care expert, Dr. JoAnne Cornwell, created the Sisterlocs hairstyle in 1993, as a means for black women to appreciate and express themselves in their culture. The locs are created using an interlocking technique, that builds the locks from the ends of the hair to the root.

This style is very versatile, as the slenderness of the locs allows you to still achieve most hairstyles without needing to use damaging heat styling tools.

Shape ups and fades

The Shape up was developed in the 1980s, with the birth of Hip Hop black barber shops around the U.S. Also called a line-up or an edge-up, is a hairstyle that involved cutting along the natural hairline to straighten it.

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Relaxed Hair

Relaxed hair is chemically straightened hair to relax the natural curl pattern. Unlike natural hair, that has the ability to revert to its curly state after a silk press, relaxed hair is always straight and typically still blown out and straightened for smooth, straight finish.

The first hair relaxer was invented by Garrat Augustus Morgan in 1909, before this women would use butter knives, hot combs and flat irons to achieve straight hair. In the 1950s beauty expectations led more black women to straighten their hair.

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