An enormous amount of money is spent on haircare products and the African diaspora certainly is among the biggest spenders. This awakes curiosity as to how the resulting hair quality and manageability as well as hair style flexibility and beauty compares with the expense. And as most of these products turn manageability into denatured hair, a question arises: Is African Hair Care – a lost heritage?
As far as the hair styles are concerned, people of African descent have among the most various hair styles in the world. But what is surprising is that this high variety, beauty and originality in hair style is often at the expense of keeping and enhancing the inner high quality of their hair. It seems that the products bought are used to destroy or cover up the very nature of the African crown.
Two things can explain this behaviour: 1. the secrets of keeping, enhancing and handling quality beautiful African hair has been lost in the tumultuous and nomadic history of the children of Africa. As a consequence of this loss of knowledge about their identity and the dignity and pride that comes with it, they have, consciously or not, resorted to borrowing methods that are ill-fitted to their needs to achieve quick and clearly still unsatisfying results, that for lack of making us belong to a grounded and solid place from the past that we no longer know, makes us at least temporarily belong to a fashion of the present that does not last long enough for us to realise that it distracts us from the knowledge, the solid foundation we need to acquire.
Fashion gives us something to fall back to when our imagination has one of its lazy moments and our knowledge is on vacation. So let us not blame her. And it is not the fault of the unsuitable products for they only give us what they advertise, sometimes a utopia fed our own illusions. It is not the fault of time, so often elusive, or money sometimes so spare, for relaxers and 100% human hair wigs have taken so much of them already, beyond what our consciences will let us remember.
So as it seems that the secrets of African hair natural beauty are hidden deeper than the lost kingdoms of the continent, leaving people of African descent with a brittle, dry inheritance for a crown, somewhat of an additional emotional excuse to mistreat it further . And while surrendering to so-called fate consists in passing to the next generation the idea that our hair is just no worth it, understanding the treasure of what we have and the tools we have to nurture it is the beginning of restoring the full splendour of the African crown.