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1970s Black hair care

September 11th 2012 13:45
I wanted to find out what type of hair care products Black people used back in the 1970s,

It came about from admiring Young Michael’s afro, as well as his brothers’ hair. I just wanted to know what kinds of products they used on their hair when maintaining and grooming it.

But when I looked around on the internet I couldn’t find much of anything that I didn’t already know about.

Here’s a list of some 1970s hair care products and accessories.

Sta Sof Fro - a leave in conditioner that has a sweet smell, probably because it contains glycerin. It softens and moisturizes afro-textured hair and keeps it from drying out.

Royal Crown - not to be confused with the alcoholic beverage “Crown Royal” which has basically the same name. It came in a jar with a tin top and was around longer than Blue Magic, Haven’t spotted it in a few years.

Blue Magic Bergamot hair pomade - another thick grease, made with Bergamot essential oil, which is supposed to be really good for scalp dryness and dandruff. My mother said this was really good for her hair back in the day and that it was used to press hair. It’s another hair pomade that seems to be really hard to find nowadays.

Dax Wave pomade - this is a very thick pomade that comes in a tin jar. It’s made with good oils and has an attractive scent. Dax has been around for a very long time, even longer than the 1970s.

The blowout comb/Afro pick - designed for picking out an afro to get rid of any flatness and for creating and maintaining volume.

The afro comb with the fist on it - there’s a store where I live that used to sell these (I don’t know if they still do). Looks just like a regular Afro pick, only there’s a fist at the top of it.

Pomades seemed to be the norm back in the 1970s, as far as Black folks hair care was concerned. The thought of Michael Boy Heartthrob putting a heavy or thick grease in his feather-light afro bothers me. I like to imagine that he used a light pomade, like Pro-line hair food, as a daily conditioner, and Sta Sof Fro for softening and detangling.

Seriously though. It would be nice to know what kind of products Young Michael and his brothers used on their hair.

And I honestly don’t know what kind of hair Michael had. I do know that it was naturally afro textured, but I don’t know exactly what “grade” it was. When he was in his tweens and early teens, it just looked so fluffy and feather-light. But as he progressed into his late teens, it became denser, more compact (just judging from the pictures I’ve seen). I saw a picture of him where it looked like it would hurt if he even thought about combing his hair.

The thing about Afros is that even though it can be a lot of hair to maintain as the hair grows out, the style itself doesn’t require a lot of product (at least not in my case, when I had one). So if Black folks had good shampoo that didn’t dry the hair out and a daily leave-in of some kind, then that was all they really needed.

The medium-sized afro - like the one Michael had when he was about 11 to 15 years old - this is the one that’s easiest to maintain. Short afros are too close to the scalp (not good if you’re tender-headed!) and the huge afros are just a lot of hair to keep up and take care of.

I saw this 1970s pic of a Black woman with a HUGE afro and it was gorgeous. But I know she had to work to take care of it.


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