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The Student Voice

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It’s not Ghetto it’s Culture


 In the midst of overheating hot combs, the burning chemical aroma of relaxers and shea butter are the roots of black excellence.

 From braids to dreadlocks to waves and beyond; without a question hair has been a way to make a statement in black culture. With the various ways to style hair in order to show our beauty there are two pieces of headwear that have helped pave the way,  the iconic classic yet controversial bonnet and durag.

Throughout history people have faced a backlash from society when wearing a bonnet or durag. People are called ghetto, uncivilized, or are seen as hoodrats. However, that is far from the truth. Bonnets and Durags are not just great for protecting our crowns whilst sleeping, they are also good for laying down waves to stay silky smooth, or maintaining moisture. 

The history of these headpieces are more powerful than they look. Bonnets and durags are a symbol of resistance.  

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The Tignon Law from the 1700s made it illegal for women of color to wear their natural hair texture in public. This law prevented women of color who dressed elegantly from competing with white women. Using bonnets as a way to shame women of color eventually turned into colorful and creative ways for women to show off their forced head wear.  

The durag dates back to the 1970s. It helps men compress their hair. It prevents Black men from sweating out their waves, causing their hair to revert back to its natural texture. Creating the durag helped prevent this problem from happening, giving men some protection for their hair and a new piece of fashion.

 Decades later Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Alicia Keys are just a few of the artists that have helped further the cultural impact of headwear using their craft to showcase its excellence. 

Bonnets and durags are a fashion phenomenon that have made their way into fashion brands such as: Deluxe Du-rag, RED by Kiss Power Wave, Ulta beauty, and Shein. 

When wearing this headwear you are carrying its legacy and keeping its purpose alive. It is a crown that can not be taken away. Black is beautiful and so is protecting your hair so, do not be afraid to wear it proudly.

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