Despite its coarse and tough appearance, African-American hair is one of the most fragile hair textures. Because it can dry out easily, it is extremely prone to breakage and knotting. Also, some black women have a tendency towards chemical straightening treatments and using harsh treatments and styling it too much can also weaken the hair and cause further breakage. Weekly conditioning treatments and using products that are specially designed for African-American hair will protect from as much damage as possible. Avoiding the excessive use of picks or brushes on the coarse curls will help protect from breakage.
There are many styles that look exceptionally beautiful on black women, and some hairstyles that only their coarsely textured hair can pull off (afro, for one). Even the afro has evolved from the perfect circle of the seventies into a modern, textured, asymmetrical style.
With other hairstyles that are commonly worn straight, the more modern twist has made them adaptable enough for all types of hair.
The classic bob haircut, a cut that was usually styled with one uniform length and worn very straight, is now multi-layered and looks equally great either straight or curly. When dealing with coarse, curly hair, it’s recommended to keep hair a bit longer when choosing a style like the bob haircut. In this case, you may want to ask your stylist for a longer type of bob haircut, also known as the pageboy. The cuts are similar, with the pageboy bob closer to chin or shoulder length instead of the cheekbone grazing traditional bob. Adding length will give a softer and more feminine look than a very cropped bob, as well as keep it more manageable. To keep the hair smooth and frizz-free, be sure to use smoothing crèmes or serums and avoid brushing it too much.
Needless to say, black women of all ages have been wearing the bobbed look for years. Famous black supermodel Naomi Campbell effortlessly and gracefully sported a short and sleek bob haircut for most of the year. And of course, the most famous bob haircut of all: Oprah Winfrey’s sleek, flipped out pageboy, always the picture of elegance and grace.
Hairstyles of The Roaring Twenties
Long-legged ladies in short flapper dresses. Coy, graceful pageboys, slightly turned in at the ends to accentuate the face. Daring bobs, cut close to the cheekbones. The twenties brought about a revolution for women’s styles – from hair to clothes to makeup, women dared to chop off their virgin locks and paint their lips red.
The women of the twenties can be credited with the bob haircut, a cut that is a favorite for many women still today. Back then, a woman chopping off her long hair was a sign of rebellion and many picked the bob haircut as their weapon of choice against the old-fashioned rules. In fact, some angry fathers and husbands would tell their women to go to their room “until it grows out”. A blunt haircut that could have ranged in length from as high as the cheekbones to as low as the chin, women wore their bobs straight and slicked down with product for maximum shine. Some more adventurous girls added bangs, either straight across the forehead or swept to one side, which helped to accentuate the dark makeup worn around the eyes that was popular in that time.
The pageboy haircut, one of the variations of the bob haircut, was cut in a similar way, blunt and straight, but worn with its ends curled inwards toward the face. The look was more feminine and demure than the classic bob. It too could be as short as the cheekbones or more chin-length and worn either with or without bangs. The lovely Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue magazine, and epitome of classy fashion has been sporting the pageboy bob for decades, amidst the changing styles of clothes and makeup.
The bob haircut was a hit in the twenties and there’s enough reason to say that it’s still a hit today. It’s no surprise as the bob haircut is easy to maintain, easy to style, and universally flatters pretty much every hair texture and face shape. With slight modifications, you can take the style from work to play and the talented stylists today can help take your bob haircut from the classic shape to a more modern “you” version.