African style week, himba women red clay treatment

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i did a bit of web research, and found that himba women coat their hair with red clay as a protective treatment. i don’t know what the clay is, i don’t know how long they keep it in. if anyone can elaborate, feel free!

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Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founding editor of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008), social media and black beauty enthusiast. When I'm not here, I'm moderating a Facebook group for black mothers called Black Moms Connect.

 

6 thoughts on “African style week, himba women red clay treatment

  1. I went hound-doggin for ya:
    - cover their hair and bodies in a clay-like substance: otjize
    - otjize = ochre powder + butter fat + herbs
    - ochre powder can only be found in a sole mountain in Namibia where the women goe 1x per year to mine for their village
    -otjize protects skin from sun & bugs and is a sign of beauty

    Now the hair:
    - intricate hair styles covered in red clay
    - hair represents what stage in life a woman is (child, fertile, married, children,…)
    - hair may be integrate animal hair or hair from other family members

    Cool huh?

  2. @ deola… thanks girl! and it is cool. but what do you mean by integrate hair from animals or other family members? is it like, they make a weave from family members/animals’ hair?

  3. Yeah! Have you seen those yaks with really long hair? I think it’s something like that. Or you could go with “human hair” weaves.

    I guess their trip to the mountain is the ultimate search for perfect hair care product!

  4. I’m not sure what clay they use, But they put braid their hair with extentions first, and then put it on their hair. They use the same clay on their skin. They never wash it off

  5. Hey, I’m from Namibia and though I’m not a Himba, I can second what Deola said. A long time ago before western civilisation, Our cultures used (and some still use) hair, beads and the way we dress as a way to tell social status or age or marital status. The Ovahimba people are just one of the few that stuck with that part of their culture to this very day. I’m of the Wambo tribe and we basically don’t use our hair like that anymore, but we still wear beads around our waists. I am very pleased to see the interest that you have in our cultures, so if you would like to know more, I’d be glad to tell you all about how we view natural hair. Africa is a very big continent with a great number of tribes, we’re all different but we’re all the same.

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