Your Hair is Your Hair-itage

From the kinkiest of the kinky to the waviest of the wavy, the story starts in Africa, like a natural insulator your textured hair protects your head from the brutal intensity of the sun’s rays and the cold pinch of the winter wind. Your textured hair effortlessly defies gravity in order to convey a message of character and strength.

However, it doesn’t always feel like it though as some of us struggle with our self image in order to conform to European standards of beauty. I am writing this blog today to remind you that there is pride and history within every strand on your head. Be proud of who you are because your hair is your hair-itage.

I remember as a child coming home from Catholic School, I would often ask my mother why my hair looked different from my white classmates. My confusion led to self-hate simply because I wanted to look like a group of people that I was not. I mean how could you blame me? All of my favorite superheroes and TV characters were white. My mother would often respond, “Your hair is beautiful son, be proud of who you are because your hair is your hair-itage.” 

Once I got into middle school I started to discover the versatility my hair possessed and began to gain a sense of appreciation for my “roots.” My adolescence is full of memories of my father teaching me how to brush my hair and tie my Du-rag, or me sneaking into my mother’s bathroom to use her conditioner to help my hair grow. 

I remember going to school where my friends and I would compare hairstyles, talk about each other’s hairlines, and give tips on how to achieve whatever look we were trying to pull off. 

This is a common experience that I am sure many other black men can relate to. This is our hair-itage.

Regardless of what your hair story may be it is important to understand that there is history behind your textured hair.

The variety of hair textures in western Africa alone ranges from the deep Ebony kinky curls of the Mandingos to the loosely curled flowing locks of the Ashanti.

The one commonality that all Africans across the Diaspora can relate to is that when it comes to hair there is a social and cultural significance that every hairstyle possess.

Back in the fifteenth century African hair functioned as a carrier of messages in many West African societies. In fact, ever since the uprising of African civilizations hairstyles have been used to indicate a person’s martial status, age, religion, ethnic identity, wealth, and rank within the community. In some African cultures even, an individual’s name could be discovered simply by observing their hair because each tribe had its own unique hairstyle. In addition, in most West African societies your hairstyle could also be served as a signal of a person’s geographic origin.


Not much has changed since then. Today all across the country African subgroups wear hair styles that are influenced by the culture they represent. From growing out “conscious” locks to getting a “corporate” perm, we can all tell who represents what just by observing how one wears his or her hair.

It is important to remember not to allow someone else’s distorted opinion of your hair change the way you see yourself. Your hair is the same hair that your ancestors possessed. Wear it proudly and shape it in any style that you want because at the end of the day it is your hair-itage.


Calvin Pierre, CEO, Caribbean Secrets Cosmetics, Co.


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