8 Nov 2022


Black Hair Culture: From Afros to Braids and Beyond

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Academic level: College

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 841

Pages: 3

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Hair is one factor or element that many women are conscious about in their lives. Similarly, women of all races have different stories to tell about their hair. On the same note, many people enter the hair care professions for several reasons. The main topic of this assignment was the history of black hair. To take the study of black people and their culture to a different level, I decided to interview three barbers about the reason why they decided to pursue black hair care as their main professions. The interview unearthed several reasons as stated below. 

One barber explained that he decided to pursue the profession of taking care of black men’s hair because he felt that it was important for him to promote his culture in the environment in which people have never understand the cultural meaning of having black hair. According to the barber, black hair was not just hair as many people have thought or imagined. However, it was a representation of his and many people’s cultural background. He states that one factor that he has come to love is the way the black people’s hair tells various cultural background. 

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Unlike whites and Asians, the black people’s hair is curly, kinky, and requires attention while making. It is not just one type of hair that you can handle shabbily and expect to get the best result. However, the culture and background of the black hair is one that commands attention to detail and the ability to know every step to take while dealing with the black hair. Moreover, various black people also have different hair types. This further makes the need to manipulate each client’s hair paramount during the process of making hair. 

The barber states that identity is another reason why the second interviewed barber decided to pursue black hair styling as a profession. He states that every client who walks into his shop usually have a different hair style that they would like to wear. When he asks them why, some of them usually state that it makes them identify not only with their culture but also with their backgrounds. Some for them also sate that in the said hairstyle provide a communal identity to them on the same note, some people also tend to wear a given hair cut because it reminds them of their past and their ancestors and enables them to identify with such people even more. 

History is another reason that both the first and the third barber gave. They state that they have taken interest in studying the history of black people and their hair styles, color and texture just to make sure that they too understand where they came from. As such, black people wear different haircuts and styles that link them back to their histories. They also wear the styles to remind them of the historical origins of each hair cut and the reason why they still aim to keep that historical appeal in their modern lives. They just cannot agree to be separate with tier historical and cultural roots. 

Another facto r that was significant during the interview was the environment in which the three barbers worked. One aspect they had in common was the type of music they played in their barbershops. Most of them decide to play rap and other genres of music that mostly feature black musicians. They believed that having such form of entertainment added more value to their business. 

It is obvious that rap music was invented by the black and has remained dominated by the same group of people. Thus, the professionals believe that playing this kind of music provided a sense of unity, culture and appreciation of their talent. Thus it draws then to this place because they feel more at home in such barbershops. 

On the contrary, the way the barbershop was set up was a little bit of a mix of African and American culture. The barbers used modern seats like leather and swung chairs which are not if African origin. They stated that the environment in which they operate does not have anything of African origin. Moreover, apart from loving and aiming to keep their African culture and identity, they found it important to embrace the changes that have taken place in the modern era. They decided appreciate the sense of wealth that unique furniture brought into their barbershop. Unlike most of the barbers they decide to use such furniture to show the fact that the blacks are people are capable of moving with the times and embracing modernity and diversity without forgetting their cultural identity and background. 

The pick of the profession is being able to move with the changing trends. They get to learn new styles and methods of making people’s hair. Moreover, they also have the opportunity to explore various hair types and welcome people from different races in their shop. One drawback is that they do not get the type of information that they might want to further improve their professions. The arrangement of the environment in which they work as well as the equipment and tools used are a clear reflection of the community and cultural identity in the area in which they live. It also shows how some of them have decide to embrace their cultural background and their inherent ability to move with changing trends and embrace diversity in their neighbourhood. They prefer moving forward but still keeping their identity. 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). Black Hair Culture: From Afros to Braids and Beyond.


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