Growing up with afro textured hair (kinky curly) in the midlands kids at school were fascinated by my hair, although there were occasional compliments it often made me feel alienated and different. When I turned around 10 I decided I wanted to have straight hair (after longing for it from a young age) and my mum bought me my first relaxer, a chemical hair straightener, somethings she and most of her siblings had been using for years. Commence years of hair damage, even less self-confidence and years of wearing hair extensions whilst trying to conform to what was ‘body beautiful’ at that age and time.

BLACK HAIR CULTURE

In Yoruba culture in West Africa, people braided their hair to send messages to the gods. The hair is the most elevated part of the body and was therefore considered a portal for spirits to pass through to the soul. Because of the cultural and spiritual importance of hair for Africans, the practice of having their heads involuntarily shaved before being sold as slaves was in itself a dehumanizing act. “The shaved head was the first step the Europeans took to erase the slaves’ culture and alter the relationship between the African and his or her hair.” [2]

I bought some hair glue
which is used for glueing in
hair extensions and experimented
with creating
drawings with the glue. The
glue is very thick and tacky
and was quite difficult to
control. But when you scan
the images you get specks of
blue on the glue which instantly
makes the drawings
more appealing.

Natural 

Photos taken on 35mm film. The model, Nona, often wears wigs but over the last few years she has decided to stop wearing wigs and started growing her natural hair out and starting using the wigs as a protective style instead of just for its aesthetic appeal.