Created by artist Darkwah Kyei-Darkwah for Dazed, Hair Story: a love letter to Black hair sees nine guests share their experiences of learning to love and celebrate their afro hair
Hair Story: a love letter to Black hair, is a testament to the beauty and power of Black hair, premiering right here on Dazed. Created by multi-disciplinary artist Darkwah Kyei-Darkwah, director and producer Oz Thakkar, and music producer and artist Teddy Jackson – and made in possible by Pinterest – the film sees nine unique guests share their own stories and experiences with afro hair.
“I wanted to create this film to reclaim the conversation around black hair,” Kyei-Darkwah tells us. “For so long it has been spoken about as though it were a disruptive child in the classroom; as though it was something to be managed externally when, as something that occurs naturally, it is not a separate entity on an alien (black) body. It is a part of a living, breathing being that shows that being’s uniqueness even more.”
They continue: “Black hair is beautiful and wonderful. The ways we have managed to keep it healthy with protective styles and the inventiveness and creativity of those styles make it even more wonderful and magical.”
In the film, Kyei-Darkwah’s sister, Ohemaa shares her thoughts on the long-standing stigmatisation of Black hair. “I know that people say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I feel that beauty is in the eye of the coloniser,” she says. “If people still see people with particular Black hairstyles and say, ‘Oh that doesn’t look professional,’ or, ‘Oh that looks strange,’ or, ‘Why are you doing that to your hair?’ we’re not making any type of progress.”
Meanwhile, Felix E-A shares how he learned to love his hair. “Eventually I started to look within and started to dislike myself… for trying to imitate someone else’s hair texture, someone else’s hairstyle. I decided (that) I really do need to love myself and love my hair a lot more, because my hair is a part of me, my hair is unique.”
He continues: “It’s different to everyone else’s that I know. I decided (that) I’m going to work with what I have, and what I have is absolutely great.”
Kyei-Darkwah hopes the film will help spread joy for those with Black hair. “So others can witness (it) and so they can understand the harm they inflict upon us when they exercise ownership over our hair,” they say.
Watch Hair Story: a love letter to Black Hair below.