The Evolution of Black Hair

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The Evolution of Black Hair Ms. Miller Social Studies 8 March 2012 Table of Contents Abstract page 3 Evolution of Black Hair page 4-7 Slavery page 4-5 Relaxers page 5-6 Civil Rights Era and Black Power Movements page 6 Transitioning and Natural Hair page 6-7 Weaves and Hair Extension Stigma page 7 Modern Times page…show more content…
The end of slavery bought new challenges for everyone, and the same feelings and views associated with African or African-American people before, were still there (A Look Back at the Black Hair Story). Hiding out of embarrassment did not last too long. Garrett Augustus Morgan, the child of two former slaves, noticed that certain chemicals he used at the clothing factory he worked at could not only straighten fabric, but also hair (Taylor). After his first successful live experiments, first on the naturally curly fur of an Airedale dog and later on himself, he opened the G. A. Morgan Hair Refining Company in 1913 and began to straighten hair in his home workshop. The chemicals he used were very strong could never touch human skin. The alkaline and lye chemical mixture strips the hair of proteins and removes the curl permanently. In order to maintain the chemically straightened hair, the relaxer would have to be reapplied every six weeks, or every time the curly hair began to grow back. Stemming from the time of slavery, many African-Americans found it hard to manage their hair. Relaxers supposedly made their hair more “manageable” and caused them to be widely accepted. Years later, African-Americans who used relaxers saw the harmful effects that lye had on their hair. It could cause burns, hair thinning, and hair and skin loss. No-lye relaxers were made to reduce those results. In relaxers today, chemicals a lot less
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