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Paying Homage to Our Rituals

Posted by Ellana Stinson on

Down memory lane of black hair care rituals of the past:

In leu of black history month, we at Safo Hair must pay homage to hot combs and hair grease. Why you ask? Because it was tradition for every black girl (some guys back in the day) to experience the hot comb and grease to get that straight silky look often deemed acceptable by society. This look was held in high regard in the Black community. After having your hair straightened with a hot comb and hair grease, walking into church on a Sunday morning was like coming into new money or hitting the lottery. Usually the build up to that look was not always the most enjoyable process.

As a child growing up in the south, I remember days seated between my grandmother legs or on the stool next to the stove waiting for the comb to heat up. By this point my hair was dry, combed to a loose form and resembled a big ball of fluff. But what came next was the lathering of the grease, and good gosh the smell was never pleasant, and the sizzling of the comb down a loc of hair. Usually pulled to create some tension so they could reach the roots just right. This was significant, because if they didn’t, your hair would never lay flat. Trust me, you wanted your hair to lay flat.

Every now and then, the comb would come too close to the scalp or the ear and you would jump. But not too much to avoid jumping into the comb or getting the slap on the hand. The final results always made you feel like a princess. This hair care rituals along with others are unforgettable and are embedded in the tradition of Black culture.

As we hold these hair rituals and memories close to our heart we now forge ahead with new knowledge and techniques to maintain our hair and scalp in a healthier state. With more focus on rocking our natural hair we are drawing our attention to clean and non-toxic products that are not only good for our hair, but safe to use for our overall physical health. So as we think of how far we have come with our product choices and styling techniques, lets continue creating new rituals in a much healthier way to ensure our wellness journey includes a well rounded hair care journey...

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