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Ancient Rituals & Routines

Posted by Ellana Stinson on

Anyone who has watched the entire television miniseries “Roots” by Alex Haley would have gotten a glimpse into the history and evolution of African, African American and Black hair. In the first episode, viewers are introduced to Kunta Kinte and his family. His mother, played by actress Cicely Tyson, is wearing bantu knots and his grandmother, played by poet and actress Maya Angelou, wears a turban-style hair covering. 

Hair braiding is a rite of passage for Black women that has been practiced in homes and salons for years. Many Black women can recall wearing cornrows or braids during their childhood and teenage years. Men also wore cornrows because they were low-maintenance and the style lasted for weeks or even a month at a time with careful protection.                                                                     



In African villages, hair wrapping is a tradition practiced by Black women to symbolize their tribe and social status. African head wraps come in a variety of colors, shapes and styles that represent the richness in cultures across the continent. Hair wrapping is also a great way to avoid heat damage caused from blow-drying as it allows the hair to naturally air dry and set styles as desired. Wearing a satin scarf at night is a ritual that's championed by the natural community to maintain moisture and minimize breakage. You can also sleep on a satin pillow case if you cannot find a satin scarf or bonnet.

Protective styling is a ritual that's been practiced on all Black hair types throughout the ages. A protective style is any hairstyle that keeps your natural hair away from being exposed to damaging agents such as the sun, heat and over-styling. The purpose of protective styling is to keep your natural hair tucked away, while wearing one look consistently for several weeks at a time. African hair braiding is the original protective style, but Black women have more options to choose from now such as wigs, weaves and ponytails. 

Queens, also known as all Black women, of ancient civilization have always taken great pride in their appearance. They have particularly taken great care to style their hair or cover it in a beautiful way. That was the case until slavery ripped us from our history, heritage and way of life. During slavery, the focus was on survival and keeping up our hair care was understandably an afterthought. With the advent of Black affluence following Reconstruction, hair care was en vogue again and Black folks did what they could to loosen their curl patterns or straighten it to appear more white.


In modern times, more Black women are reclaiming our roots and embracing our natural hair. 


Ancient rituals and routines that inspired Safo Hair include protecting hair with braiding, hair wrapping - especially at night - and committing to a moisturizing routine. Using a separate conditioner is a must for keeping your tresses healthy and moisturized. Be sure to assess your hair type to identify whether your hair is oily, normal or dry and moisturize accordingly.

And remember, healthy hair starts from the root, which means that scalp health is the most important aspect of health care. A healthy scalp produces healthy hair. Scalp massages are also very good ways to open up those pores and hair follicles to ready it for a good wash. Our serum helps to moisturize the scalp sealing in necessary nutrients to aid in hair growth.

Culture Growth and Maintenance History and Culture Scalp Health

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