Pin It
CURL CODES EXHIBITION
Courtesy of Elizabeth Joseph

This art exhibition is raising awareness about traction alopecia


TextDazed Beauty

Curl Codes is an ongoing project in London that warns about the damage that wigs and weaves can cause to afro hair

Elizabeth Joseph is a young Bajan web designer living in London, who also runs creative workshops. Her latest project is Curl Codes, an exhibition held out of her studio in East London as of today, where she’ll be showing decorative afro hair, handmade wigs, accessories and information about the many different types of afro hair and how it should be treated.

Her goal? To help educate around and thus prevent the traction alopecia she sees on black women and particularly fashion models.

Traction Alopecia is a form of hair loss, usually around the front or back hairline. It is caused by extensive pulling of the hair, which can be due to tight plaiting, braiding, or ponytails. The repeated pulling on the scalp causes damage to the follicles and can lead to hair loss that can be temporary or permanent. It's particularly common among women of colour as popular styling techniques put more pressure on the hair, from weaves to chemical relaxants. In America, one-third of African American women say they have experienced it. 

“I have suffered from traction alopecia in the past,” says Elizabeth, “in my teens I had tight braids put in which were very long and therefore quite heavy. However, my hair did grow back along the scalp.”

Over the past couple of years Elizabeth has noticed traction alopecia appearing on fashion models' afro hair: “As a woman of colour, I know that our hair needs to be treated differently from European hair, and this may be a factor in the damage of afro hair. I've also noticed that the hair accessories we see in fashion magazines usually focus on non-afro hair.”

In the new solo show, she does not advocate that women give up weaves or braids, she just wants to stimulate a conversation about the topic. “I would like stylists and the fashion industry in general to have more knowledge about afro hair, its different types, and how to be creative with it without damaging it. I've noticed less creativity with afro haired models on the catwalk and also in magazines. I'd like to work with stylists on fashion shoots and catwalk shows, creating bespoke accessories and creative looks while keeping the hair healthy.”

Curl Codes is on at Chisenhale Studios from the 18th of March

Read Next
adidas grimes stella mccartney collaboration campaign aw19
Grimes shares her workout routine, includes sword-fighting and screaming Beauty news
Fenty Rihanna
Fenty Beauty is being sued for ‘intentional discrimination’ Beauty news
Anthon Raimund: 100 years of beauty
100 years of beauty: a guide by Anthon Raimund Beauty School
Emilia Ortiz
Emilia Ortiz’s guide to finding your spiritual mentor Beauty Feature
Period plastic
Campaigners demand government provide students plastic-free period products Beauty news
Kai-Isaiah Jamal
Kai-Isaiah Jamal: What the gym means to me as a trans man Think piece
Zoë Ligon
Dildo Duchess Zoë Ligon on sexual wellness, skid marks and clit smegma Beauty Feature
Dazed Beauty Telfar AW19
MUA Susie Sobol talks Diane Kendal, Met Gala and the dangers of Instagram Spotlight
Nail Files
@krocaine selects the best satisfyingly smooth ombre nails The Nail Files
Shalva Nikvashvili
Instagram artist Shalva Nikvashvili creates masks out of bread and meat Beauty Feature
Juggalos
Guess what: Juggalo make-up blocks facial recognition technology Beauty news
Eugene Souleiman x Marcus Schäfer 11
Eugene Souleiman’s eerie portraits offer an alternative vision of beauty Photo story
Rihanna
Rihanna’s Harper’s Bazaar China cover is accused of cultural appropriation Beauty news
Beyonce Lion King
Beyoncé wears pin curl braids at Lion King premiere and we’re here for it Beauty news
Miley Cyrus Angelina Duplisea
Miley Cyrus’s ‘Mother’s Daughter’ video is under fire for promoting obesity Beauty news
Lady Gaga Hause Laboratorie
Lady Gaga’s beauty brand Haus Laboratories is coming Beauty news