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The Africans Challenging Colonial Notions about How to Wear and Care for Hair

Khadidiatou Ba’s Afro Feewi store, a “safe space” hosting community groups and free hair consultations, is the culmination of a journey that began during her childhood. Painful struggles with her hair texture and self-image as a dark-skinned black woman in Senegal led Ba, popularly called Jatouna, to start a blog on black haircare and begin experimenting with products that catered for her needs. In recent years, there has been a surge of women-led organic hair and skincare businesses in black majority countries and diasporas, built on their experiences navigating ideas of their own beauty. Many, like Jatouna, have grown their following via social media, where they promote a sense of self-worth for women. In Senegal, it is younger women who have led a wave of successful small to medium beauty businesses, which includes Boudoir Ophelia, Mossane Beauty Concept and Nubian Cosmetics.