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Can CBD Help Hair Grow?

It’s certainly high times for the world of cannabis right now. As legalization continues across North America, it’s clear that the stigma around cannabis has been dramatically reduced with more people than ever buying and using cannabis products. CBD is a substance derived from the cannabis, or hemp, plant that has been proven to assist with an array of maladies; however, CBD is an all-natural gift that may also perform wonders for more than just your medicinal health. In this blog, we’ll explore CBD and its benefits for scalp health and hair growth.

A Brief Look At CBD

Cannabis sativa L. is a hearty, nutrient-rich plant containing about a thousand and one molecules, including about 113 cannabinoid compounds. CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of those compounds. Cannabinoids occur naturally in the body and, as studied, CBD has been shown to provide relief for several ailments and illnesses including depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and epilepsy. Additionally, CBD may provide significant benefits to the wellbeing of your skin and hair.

CBD should not be confused with THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis. The US government made a distinction to classify Cannabis sativa L. plants low in THC (less than 0.3% in dry weight) as hempThe 2018 Farm Bill legalized the regulated production and commercialization of industrial hemp on a federal level; however, each state has the final say in whether or not cannabis-derived products are legal within their territories.

CBD fact sheetSource: My Golf Spy

You can learn more about CBD here.

The Stages of Hair Growth

The growth and loss of hair may seem like a simple process, but the hair growth cycle is actually composed of three distinct phases. The three phases — anagen, catagen, and telogen — cover the growth and maturation of hair and the activity of the hair follicles that produce individual hairs. 

Here’s a brief look into the stages of hair growth:

Anagen: Growing Phase

The stages of hair growth begin with the anagen phase. It’s the longest phase, lasting about three to five years for the hairs on your head, though for some people, a single hair could continue growing for seven or more years.

During the anagen phase, your hair follicles are pushing out hairs that will grow until they’re cut or they reach the end of their lifespan and fall out. At any time, about 90% of the hairs on your head are in the anagen phase.

Catagen: Transition Phase

The catagen phase starts when the anagen phase ends and tends to last about 10 days. During this phase, hair follicles shrink and hair growth slows. The hair also separates from the bottom of the hair follicle, yet remains in place during its final days of growing. About 5% of the hairs on your head are in the catagen phase at any given time.

Telogen: Resting Phase

Telogen is the resting phase and usually accounts for 6% to 8% of all hairs. It lasts for about 100 days for hairs on the scalp and longer for hairs on the eyebrow, eyelash, arm, and leg. During the telogen phase, new hairs start to form in follicles that have just released hairs during the catagen phase.

Stages of hair growth

Pictured: Phases of hair growth    Source: Advanced Hair Studio

CBD May Balance Hormonal Activity and Stress

Hormonal fluctuations and stress are some of the most common reasons for hair loss. The common hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) interferes with the hair’s growth cycle by shrinking and shortening the hair, thus making it easier for it to fall out and more difficult for it to grow back. 

DHT is derived from testosterone, which is a hormone that’s present in both men and women. As you get older, testosterone and DHT have many benefits for your body, such as maintaining your overall muscle mass and promoting sexual health and fertility. 

About 10% of testosterone in all adults is converted to DHT with the help of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase (5-AR). Once DHT is freely flowing through your bloodstream, it can then link to receptors on hair follicles in your scalp, causing them to shrink and become less capable of supporting a healthy head of hair.

CBD interacts with several receptors; it works to achieve hormonal balance to aid in coping with hair fall and also stimulate hair growth.1 In addition, while testosterone comes from reproductive organs in response to the hormones LH and FSH from the hypothalamus, it’s been shown that CBD may affect LH and FSH levels, which can result in hormonal balance.2

Stress can also have an intense impact on your scalp health and overall nutrient availability for hair growth, which can influence hormone fluctuations that further the problem. CBD is known to possess anti-anxiety benefits that can aid in balancing stress levels in the body and in turn, keep hormones at the right levels to promote healthy hair.

Can CBD Support Healthy Hair Growth?

One of the primary benefits of CBD for hair is that it contains a wide range of different amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. As a result, CBD oil can potentially strengthen thinning hair and stimulate hair growth.

According to a study administered by Gregory L. Smith and John Satino, CBD oil may help with hair regrowth after hair loss. The study showed that people who topically applied CBD oil to their hair and scalp for six months saw successful regrowth.

In Smith and Santino’s study, the TRPV1 receptors, which are responsible for sending your hair into the catagen phase, were researched. CBD was found to communicate with the TRPV1 receptors by working to activate and soothe them excessively to the point that they become desensitized to other stimuli.

With the TRPV1 receptors being desensitized to outside factors, the study found that they are less likely to initiate the catagen phase of hair growth, thus prolonging the anagen phase and allowing hair to grow for a longer period of time.3

Before and after photos of participants in Gregory L. Smith and John Satino’s study of CBD’s effects on hair growth

Before and after photos of participants in Gregory L. Smith and John Satino’s study of CBD’s effects on hair growth

Pictured: Before and after photos of participants in Gregory L. Smith and John Satino’s study of CBD’s effects on hair growth     Source: Hair Loss Cure

Subject change in hair count over six months in Gregory L. Smith and John Satino’s study of CBD’s effects on hair

Pictured: Subject change in hair count over six months in Gregory L. Smith and John Satino’s study of CBD’s effects on hair    Source: Research MJ

CBD also demonstrated promising results in a recent case study on 35 people at the Hair and Scalp Center in Clearwater, Florida. After six months, the hair in the temporal area increased by 74.1% in men and 55.2% in women. For the vertex, the findings showed an increase in hair growth of 120.1% for men and 64.9% for women.4

Additionally, after extensively studying hair follicles from patients with alopecia, a 2021 study found that CBD might also have a modulating effect caused by hormones or an excess of the signaling pathways. The study concluded that CBD may be a promising application for alopecia treatment.5

There are an array of compelling studies that suggest CBD is good for the scalp by reducing inflammation, therefore supporting hair growth. With that being said, CBD could be a game-changer when it comes to hair rejuvenation.

CBD and Scalp Health

CBD works by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is composed of a network of endogenous and exogenous cannabinoids and their receptors. The ECS plays a crucial role in maintaining a state of balance throughout the body and mind.

In addition to interacting with endogenous ECS receptors, CBD can also influence cell receptors outside of the ECS. This includes binding to TRPV1 receptors, which are receptors that play a role in the perception of heat and pain.

All of these different receptor types exist on the scalp. Endocannabinoids have even been found in certain cell populations of hair follicles; therefore, it stands to reason that CBD could hold the potential to influence scalp health.

Many different issues can affect the scalp, and some are extremely common. Here are just a few of the most widespread scalp conditions, and how CBD might be able to help:

Itchy Scalp

As many as 25% of adults may suffer from an itchy scalp, which can be associated with other ailments or nerve damage. However, in some cases, there is no apparent physical cause.

The scalp produces large amounts of an oil called sebum, which helps protect the skin and hair. It also controls the microbiota of the scalp, which is the population of microorganisms, including bacteria and yeast that naturally live on the skin.

One particular genus of yeast, known as Malassezia, has an intimate relationship with sebum; it converts the sebum into free fatty acids that leave a residue on the scalp. If this residue becomes excessive, it can cause scalp itching, irritation, and dandruff.

It’s possible that, by interacting with endocannabinoids, CBD could help to relieve an itchy scalp. In fact, a 2006 study for the journal Der Hautarzt found that 14 out of 22 patients who applied a cannabinoid cream topically experienced a reduction in itchy skin. 6

CBD is known to reduce sebum production; therefore, it could potentially relieve scalp itching that stems from overly productive sebaceous glands.7 However, more research is necessary to confirm how effective it is.

Dandruff

Dandruff

Pictured: Dandruff    Source: First Derm 

Dandruff is another common scalp problem that affects up to 50% of adults. As well as causing itching and irritation, dandruff can be a cosmetic concern due to the flakes that it produces. Like an itchy scalp, dandruff is often related to sebum production and yeast overgrowth.

CBD may help reduce the effects of dandruff in many of the same ways it could relieve itching. In fact, reducing itching could also limit scratching, which often leads to a flaky scalp.

There is currently no research specifically on CBD oil for dandruff; however, there is some evidence that it helps with the maintenance of healthy skin, so anyone – with a doctors approval – could give CBD-infused products a try.8

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Seborrheic Dermatitis

Pictured: Seborrheic Dermatitis     Source: Midlands Dermatology

Yet another condition associated with sebum, yeast, itching, and dandruff is seborrheic dermatitis. In addition to the above symptoms, this skin condition can also cause redness and lesions on the scalp. It’s a common problem in babies and is known as “cradle cap.” Seborrheic dermatitis can also affect the face and chest.

The primary cause of seborrheic dermatitis is the overproduction of sebum. A 2014 study for The Journal of Clinical Investigations found that CBD has sebostatic effects, meaning it inhibits the release of sebum.9

Most of the research to date has focused on how CBD could help acne.10 However, in combination with its anti-inflammatory effects, CBD could potentially provide an effective treatment for seborrheic dermatitis as well.

Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp Psoriasis

Pictured: Scalp Psoriasis  Source: Health Central

Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin condition in which skin cells grow too rapidly, forming thick patches known as plaques. Plaques are often itchy, red, and covered in scales. One of the most common areas affected by psoriasis is the scalp. In fact, as many as 80% of patients with psoriasis have it on their head.11

One primary concern associated with scalp psoriasis is that it can also lead to hair loss. Therefore, in addition to suffering the various discomforts of the disease itself, people with psoriasis often feel self-conscious about their appearance.

A 2007 study published in The Journal of Dermatological Science found that cannabinoids could have beneficial effects on psoriasis. The researchers tested CBD, THC, CBG, and CBN on human keratinocytes (skin cells) and the results showed that all of the compounds inhibited cell proliferation in a “concentration-dependent” manner.12

The Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil

The Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial OilThere are simple ways of utilizing the power of CBD to promote healthy and beautiful hair. For example, you can explore CBD infused hair care on the market or use other high-quality CBD oil-based products, such as the Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil.

Not only can the Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil be used on your skin, but it can also be applied to your scalp and hair to provide deep moisture and reduce redness and irritation.

We are meticulous about the quality and purity of the cannabinoids contained in our products as well as the accuracy of our claims. That’s why we triple-test every batch as follows to ensure you receive products with cannabinoid quality, potency, purity, accuracy, and consistency

It’s important to know that Humanist Beauty products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases or medical conditions, so if you’re suffering from hair loss or a scalp condition, visit your practitioner to see if CBD infused products are right for you.

You can shop the Humanist Beauty Herban Wisdom® Facial Oil here.

 

Resources: 

https://cfah.org/cbd-oil-and-testosterone/ [1]

https://juna-world.com/blogs/news/cbd-hormones [2]

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17157480/ [3]

https://ilesol.com/3-4-mg-of-cbd-once-a-day-leads-to-93-5-increase-in-hair-growth/ [4]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8220510/  [5]

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16874533/ [6]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4151231/ [7]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7736837/ [8]

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25061872/ [9]

https://wayofleaf.com/cbd/ailments/cbd-for-acne [10]

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5683126/#:~:text=Of%20those%20affected%20by%20psoriasis,have%20involvement%20of%20the%20scalp.&text=Scalp%20psoriasis%20may%20occur%20in,with%20other%20forms%20of%20psoriasis. [11]

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17157480/ [12]

A Look at Native American Beauty and Style

Native American culture has long been rooted in respect for the land and living in harmony with nature, so it’s natural for Indigeous fashion and beauty traditions to be a strong reflection of these values. As November is National Native American Heritage Month, pausing to learn about the history and evolution of Native American traditions is one small way we can broaden our awareness and support the integrity of precious Native American culture.

Native American Traditional Clothing and Style

The clothing of Native Americans was closely tied to the environment and spiritual beliefs. Ranging from tropical and woodland regions to deserts and mountains, Native Americans developed diverse styles of clothing. In the warmest regions, little clothing was worn. In California, for example, Indigenous men were normally naked, but women wore simple knee-length skirts. In the coldest areas of the Subarctic and Arctic, warm trousers, hooded anoraks, and mittens protected Indigenous people from freezing temperatures. Despite the vast differences in climate and clothing styles, Native Americans had in common the basic notion of living in harmony with nature.

Clothing Materials Used by Native Americans

Native Americans made use of the natural materials available to them from their environment. Here are some notable materials commonly used for clothing:

Animal Skins

Native Americans were, and continue to be, survivors. Generations ago, they fished, hunted, and gathered edible plants. Some tribes, such as the Navajo in the southwestern United States and the Oneida of northern New York, tended flocks of sheep or grew crops to add to what they found in nature. Native Americans developed methods of tanning animal skins to make soft leather, and from this leather, they made clothing and shoes. Leather clothing was soft and strong, and if the animal’s fur was left on the skin, it was also warm, which was ideal for tribes in cooler regions.1

To Native Americans, all of nature, including animals and plants, have spiritual power. Wearing parts of an animal blesses the person with some of the animal’s power and strength. The wearing of animal skins became more than just putting on a form of comfortable and durable clothing for Indigenous people.

Animal Hide Dress

Pictured: Animal hide dress     Source: Bear Lake Rendezvous

Plant Fibers

One of the most plentiful natural resources was the bark of trees. It was stripped, dried, and shredded to make fibers. These fibers were used to weave soft, comfortable clothing. Typical shredded bark clothing included skirts, aprons, shirts, belts, hats, capes, and even raincoats. In the southeastern United States, the Cherokee used mulberry bark to make soft shirts, while the Pomo living along the West Coast used shredded redwood bark to make wraparound skirts. Tribes of the rainy Northwest coast of North America, such as the Tlingit and the Suquamish, wove rain-hats and raincoats from the bark of cedar trees.2

Plant Fiber Skirt

Pictured: Two-piece plant fiber skirt     Source: Natural History Museum

Woven Cloth

Although many tribes used handmade methods of weaving, natives of the American Southwest were the first to develop a loom, or weaving device, for weaving cloth. In 1200 A.D., long before the arrival of the first Europeans, Native Americans in the Southwest grew cotton and wove it into cloth. They also wove yucca, wool, feathers, and even human hair into fabrics.

The continued contact with Europeans and white settlers halted Native Americans’ ability to continue making clothing traditionally due to being pushed off their homelands and onto reservations during the 1800s. This caused them to lose the ability to hunt for or gather the necessary materials for their clothes. Their new circumstances forced them to buy clothing from Europeans, which drastically changed the Native American clothing style.3

Woven Cloth Shirt

Pictured: Woven Cloth Shirt With Intricate Details   Source: Silver Stage

Traditional Garments Worn by Native Americans

Today, traditional clothing is still worn by Native Americans to express their culture and heritage. While there are several prominent garments often worn by Indigenous people throughout history, here are a few of the most influential:

Headdresses

A Native American headdress, or sometimes known as a war bonnet, is a headpiece with feathers that are attached to the entire top edge of a leather headband. Commonly, they’re embellished with intricate beadwork or natural leather. The feathers decorating headdresses are typically from birds that are indigenous to the local area of the tribe. The feathers are held together with leather thread or sinew and can be designed in many different and unique ways. The Native American headdress is a well-known symbol of strength and bravery to the indigenous people of North America, and they’re typically worn by the most powerful and influential members of the tribe.4

War Bonnet Dance

Pictured: Native American girls taking part in a War Bonnet Dance   Source: Sings in the Timber

Breechcloths and Leggings

A breechcloth, also known as a loincloth, is a long rectangular piece of tanned deerskin, cloth, or animal fur that is worn between the legs and tucked over a belt. Breechcloths leave the legs bare, so Native American men often wore leggings for warmth. Native American leggings are tube-like footless pant legs, usually made from buckskin or other soft leather. Leggings varied from tribe to tribe with some being fringed and others painted with different colors.5

Breechcloth and Leggings

Pictured: Native American man in a breechcloth and leggings    Source: Traditional Clothing

Breast Plates

Breastplates are made from a variety of materials including bone hair-pipe, deer hide, and glass beads. Breastplates provided spiritual protection to the men who wore them, giving a sense of strength and security to them as they fought for their tribes. The decorations on each particular breastplate are deeply meaningful to its owner and often include feathers, quills, handmade beads, and mirrors. Oftentimes, the wealth and strength of a warrior could be determined by the number of hair-pipe bones that made up his breastplate, as well as the particular items it was adorned with.6

Breast Plates

Pictured: Native American Children in Breast Plates     Source: Sings in the Timber

Native American Beauty Traditions

For many cultures, makeup was used to define social and military status or to assert ferocity. This is mirrored in nature with animals displaying markings to their advantage, whether it be for hunting purposes or to defend themselves against predators. For Native Americans, though, face painting was a way to show tribal identity.

Native American Face Painting

Face painting has been used in Native American culture since antiquity with each tribe having its own unique patterns and designs. Face painting is an important tradition that allows Native American people to connect with their heritage, tell stories, and assert their social standing and power. The uses, colors, and symbolism of face paintings, though, have varied throughout time and tribe.

The Significance of Colors

Colors in Native American culture have special significance:

  • Red is a violent color and signifies war.
  • Black is usually considered to be an inauspicious color in most cultures, but for Native Americans, it’s the color of living and is worn during war preparations.
  • White is the color of peace.
  • Green is worn under the eyes to empower the wearer with night vision and indicates endurance and harmony.
  • Yellow is the color of death, as it is the color of “old bones,” and is commonly worn during mourning.
  • Blue symbolizes confidence, wisdom, and authority.7

Face Painting

Pictured: Face Painting     Source: White Wolf Pack

Native American Face Painting Symbols and Their Meanings

Certain symbols were used by tribes to communicate with other members. Each symbol had its own significance and was usually painted on an individual’s clothes, tepees, and other belongings to mark their heroic achievements.

A few common symbols and their meanings include:

The Eye of a Medicine Man Symbol

Medicine Man Symbol

The Eye of a Medicine Man was a very powerful symbol that represents the Medicine Man or Shaman who was believed to have magical powers of spiritual healing and also see the future. The outer lines of the symbol signified the four directions: North, South, East, and West. The inner line signified the Spirit world, which the Medicine Man was knowledgeable of, and the circle in the center signified the eye of the Medicine Man and his spiritual vision.8

Lightning Symbol

Lightning Symbol

The Lightning symbol was commonly seen painted on the face or across the forehead of warriors. It was believed that the symbol brought power and speed to the wearer. A Lightning and Zig-Zag symbol, if painted in red, also symbolized the Thunderbird, which was considered to be a powerful spirit that flashed lightning from its beak and eyes.9

The Morning Star Symbol

Morning Star Symbol

The Morning Star mainly symbolized a warrior’s gallant acts and other major events of his life. It represented hope and guidance and was used by many Native American tribes concerning past spirits and ancestors.10

Hand Symbol

Hand Symbol

The Hand symbol meant that the warrior was successful in a hand-to-hand battle. It symbolized life and was perceived to impart energy to the warrior. The Hand symbol was also commonly used due to being fast and easy to apply, requiring no artistic skill.11

To learn more about Native American symbols used for face painting, click here.

Native American Beauty Secrets

Many modern beauty products contain ingredients that have been used by Native Americans throughout history. Hundreds of years ago, ancient elders discovered the skincare and beauty benefits of a wide range of plants, such as yucca and juniper.

Here are a few cosmetic ingredients with amazing benefits that Native Americans discovered:

Blue Corn

Corn was very important in ancient Native American life and still is today. Blue corn was a food staple of many Native American tribes, including the Hopi, Pueblo, Navajo, and Zuni for hundreds of years. In addition to being used as food, it was also used for religious ceremonies. Corn was actually considered a deity in some cultures and a clan symbol for certain tribes. For the Hopi, it represented the Eastern rising sun and the beginning of life and wisdom.12

Many Native Americans used ground corn to cleanse and purify the skin. It was rubbed onto the skin before ceremonies to rid the body of impurities. Ground corn also acts as an exfoliator, ridding the skin of dead cells, thus encouraging cell renewal.

Blue Corn

Pictured: Blue Corn    Source: Specialty Produce

Sweetgrass

This flat-leafed bladed grass was considered sacred and was commonly smoked to purify individuals and their surroundings, while also being used in ceremonies. 13 Additionally, some Native American women decorated their hair with sweetgrass. As a wash, sweetgrass was used to treat windburn and chapped skin. Sweetgrass tea was also used as a hair tonic to make the hair shiny and fragrant.

Sweetgrass

Pictured: Sweetgrass    Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia 

Juniper Root

The berries from Juniper, an evergreen shrub (also called creeping cedar), were made into a tea that was used as a wash for the skin. Juniper root was also soaked in water to wash the horses, making their coats shiny.14 It’s now used in hair care products meant for shiny and healthy hair.

Juniper Root

Pictured: Juniper Root    Source: Gardenia

Yucca

The yucca plant was used by several Native American tribes to encourage hair growth and to prevent baldness. The crushed roots were soaked in water to make a hair wash. Other methods involved peeling the bark of the root, which was rubbed in a pan of shallow water to make suds to rub into the hair and scalp. Yucca was also used as a hair wash for newborns by the Zuni Indians to try to help their hair grow healthy and strong.15

Yucca

Pictured:  Yucca    Source: El Sol Brands

Native American Hair Traditions

Hair has special spiritual and cultural significance for Native Americans, though traditions and styles vary from tribe to tribe. Whether worn long, braided, or bound in a knot, most Native Americans see hair as a source of strength and a physical extension of hopes, dreams, thoughts, prayers, aspirations, history, and experiences. It’s sacred.

Long Hair in Native American Culture

Native Americans’ beliefs around long hair, as with many of their beliefs, are tied to the earth and nature. Long hair has symbolic significance tying them to mother earth whose hair is long grasses. It’s believed that long hair in Native American culture is a physical manifestation of the growth of the spirit, and some say it allows for extrasensory perception and connection to all things. Some Native American tribes believe that the hair is connected to the nervous system, and it reaches out like tentacles to pull energy and information from the world around us.16

Throughout time, Native Americans held the belief that when one’s hair is cut, they lose a small aspect of their relationship with themselves. The Navajo, for example, traditionally and ceremonially cut their children’s hair on their first birthday, and thereafter let it grow unimpeded.17 However, many tribes cut their hair while grieving the death of an immediate family member, or to signify a traumatic event or major life change. Cutting the hair at these times represents the time spent with the deceased loved one and its ending; it can also represent a new beginning. Additionally, cut hair is never thrown away by Native Americans. It’s usually ceremonially burnt with sage or sweetgrass in smudging rituals to release the hope, prayers, and dreams of the owner to the Creator.18

Native American Long Hair

Pictured: Native Americans with Long Traditional Hair    Source: White Wolf Pack

Common Native American Hairstyles

The archetypal Native American hairstyle is long and flowing or with long plaits or braids and a center part. Hair and its styling were traditionally of enormous importance and held great symbolism for Native Americans.

Native American men in varying tribes wore the following hairstyles:

  • Men of the Blackfoot and Sioux tribes cut their hair to denote shame or when in mourning. They frequently wore a forelock between the eyes or a pompadour.
  • Pueblo men often wore a chongo (low bun at the nape of the neck) or shoulder-length hair, but by the 1800s, this style was worn with a bandana. Some men of the southwest wore dreadlocks or topknots.
  • Seminole Indians believe that hair is sacred and must be protected from others seeking to do them harm, so Seminole men traditionally wore a large fan shape over the front of the head to keep it safe.
  • Men who had long braids or shaved heads often wore artificial roaches. These were commonly made of brightly dyed deer or porcupine hair.
  • Iroquois and Lenape warriors of the northeast shaved their heads, leaving only a single lock of hair at the crown (scalplock), a roach (the stereotypical “mohawk” style), or a tonsure (a fringe running around the head).
  • The Apache cut their hair each spring in a ceremony to bring success and good health.

Native American Men's Hairstyles

Pictured: (Left to Right) Salish man with flowing hair, 
Crow chief with braids and pompadour, 
Caddo man with roached hair, 
Native American actor wearing a scalplock, Pueblo man with short hair, 
Mojave man with painted hair rolls.    Source: White Wolf Pack

Native American women in varying tribes wore the following hairstyles:

  • Some women painted their hair with horizontal stripes or dyed their center part with a bright color.
  • Navajo and Pueblo women typically wore their hair in a chongo style. Others cut their hair to the shoulders in a blunt cut with bangs.
  • Seminole women from the Lower Creeks of Georgia and Florida wore a complex hairstyle, with their hair fanned into a disk over a tilted frame that remained in place under the hair.
  • Unmarried Hopi women were renowned for their unique hairstyle of elaborate squashblossom or butterfly whorls worn at their ears. This style was achieved by the girl’s mother winding her hair around a curved wood frame and then removing the frame after securing the hair in place. Once a woman married, this style was no longer worn.
  • Women from the Creek and Chickasaw tribes wore their hair in topknots.

Native American Women's Hairstyles

Pictured: (Left to Right) Klamath woman with flowing hair, 
Cayuse woman with long braids, Seminole woman with a topknot, 
sketch of a woman wearing a top knot, Hopi maiden with squashblossom whorls. 
Source: White Wolf Pack

How You Can Honor and Celebrate National Native American Heritage Month

National Native American Heritage Month is a time to acknowledge our country’s past and its impact on tribal citizens, educate oneself and others on particular challenges Native American communities face, and recognize how Indigenous people are combating those issues today. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November as “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Although the name eventually changed, it started an annual tradition upheld in communities across the United States.

For those wanting to celebrate National Native American Heritage Month, here are three ways to honor Native Americans this month, and every month:

Visit a Reservation or Museum

The US holds in trust 56.2 million acres of land for various Native American tribes and individuals, according to the US Bureau of Indian Affairs. There are approximately 326 reservations.

These reservations are not tourist attractions; many are the remnants of native tribes’ lands, while others were created by the federal government for Native Americans who were forcibly removed from their lands. They are homes for tribes and communities; it’s where many live, work and raise their families.

However, some reservations welcome visitors and have even erected museums to educate the wider public about their history and culture. For example, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, North Carolina, features an engaging exhibit fit for all ages. The Cherokee community also hosts cultural events and sells items nearby.

Support Native-Owned Businesses

Black Friday is just one day after Thanksgiving, so instead of spending all your money on Amazon, consider buying from Native American owned businesses. It’s a great way to support native communities’ economic well-being as well as contribute to worthwhile social causes.

A few Indigenous-owned beauty brands you can support are:

  • Cheekbone Beauty: Cruelty-free, high-quality beauty products that are sustainably packaged and inspired by the 7000 Indigenous languages.
  • Sḵwálwen Botanicals: Honoring traditional Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) teachings, the products incorporate wild-harvested plants that are acquired sustainably and respectfully, which means they’re free of harsh chemicals, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic colors, and parabens.
  • Blended Girl Cosmetics: The brand focuses on vibrant palettes that connect to Indigenous culture and has donated to Black Lives Matter, Page Outreach, and Navajo/Hopi COVID-19 Relief.

“Decolonize” Your Thanksgiving Dinner

The Thanksgiving story of pilgrims and Native Americans sharing a friendly meal will be reenacted and celebrated across the country, but many Native Americans actually consider it a “Day of Mourning.” To Native Americans, the story overlooks how the introduction of European settlers spelled tragedy for indigenous communities.

For this reason, some Native American groups and their allies are calling on Americans to “decolonize” their Thanksgiving celebrations. Some ways of doing this include putting away Native American decorations and tropes, introducing native dishes to the dinner table, and conversing about Native American history with guests.

Check out these Indigenous recipes to add to your Thanksgiving dinner.

How will you be celebrating and honoring National Native American Heritage Month? Let us know in the comments.

 

 

 

References:

http://www.woodlandindianedu.com/morethananimalhides.html [1]

https://quatr.us/nativeamerican/native-american-clothing-history.htm#:~:text=Most%20people%20in%20North%20America,Aztec%20people%20south%20of%20them. [2]

http://www.native-languages.org/clothing.htm [3]

https://us.tribaltradeco.com/blogs/teachings/the-significance-of-the-native-american-headdress [4]

http://www.native-languages.org/breechcloth.htm [5]

https://wanderingbull.com/breastplate-plains-style/#:~:text=The%20Hairpipe%20Breastplate%20has%20historically,are%20used%20to%20make%20Breastplates. [6]

https://www.bergerpaints.com/imaginecolours/colour-culture/colours-and-native-american-culture [7]

https://www.warpaths2peacepipes.com/native-american-symbols/eye-medicine-man-symbol.htm [8]

https://www.warpaths2peacepipes.com/native-american-symbols/lightning-symbol.htm [9]

https://www.warpaths2peacepipes.com/native-american-symbols/morning-star-symbol.htm [10]

https://www.warpaths2peacepipes.com/native-american-symbols/hand-symbol.htm [11]

https://mobilestyles.com/blog/posts/show/923-traditional-native-american-beauty-secrets-you-need-to-know#:~:text=Some%20native%20cultures%20or%20tribes,blue%20corn%20as%20an%20exfoliator. [12]

https://tzikal.com/blogs/blog/give-thanks-five-herbs-used-by-native-americans-for-beautiful-hair-all-natural-haircare-with-ojon-oil#:~:text=Sweet%20Grass%20%F0%9F%8C%BE%3A,it%20as%20natural%20hair%20freshener. [13]

https://mobilestyles.com/blog/posts/show/923-traditional-native-american-beauty-secrets-you-need-to-know#:~:text=Some%20native%20cultures%20or%20tribes,blue%20corn%20as%20an%20exfoliator. [14]

https://mobilestyles.com/blog/posts/show/923-traditional-native-american-beauty-secrets-you-need-to-know#:~:text=Some%20native%20cultures%20or%20tribes,blue%20corn%20as%20an%20exfoliator. [15]

https://www.notesfromthefrontier.com/post/native-hair-traditions [16]

https://indiancountrytoday.com/archive/why-navajo-hair-matters-its-our-culture-our-memory-and-our-choice [17]

http://keepersoftheword.org/traditions/native-americans-long-hair/ [18]

 

Let’s Get Familiar With The CROWN Act

Black hairstyles have always been highly policed in America, whether it’s in classrooms or the workplace. For black people, though, hair isn’t “just hair;” it’s a piece of their ancestral history, and the unfortunate truth is that the locs, braids, and coils they proudly wear are usually deemed “unprofessional” or “unkempt.” To eliminate hair discrimination, many cities and states have begun passing The CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) to address and bring awareness to the issue.

What is The CROWN Act?

In June 2019, California made headlines for becoming the first state to outlaw the discrimination of individuals based on their hair by unanimously passing the SB 188 bill. The law, also known as the CROWN Act, “prohibits race-based hair discrimination, which is the denial of employment and educational opportunities because of hair texture or protective hairstyles including braids, locs, twists, or Bantu knots.”1 It was signed into law in California on July 3rd, 2019, and expanded the definition of race in the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and state Education Code.

The CROWN Act was created in 2019 by Dove and the CROWN Coalition, in partnership with then State Senator Holly J. Mitchell of California, to ensure protection against discrimination based on race-based hairstyles by extending statutory protection to hair texture and protective styles in the workplace and public schools.2 Since its introduction, the CROWN Act has galvanized support from federal and state legislatures in the movement to end hair discrimination worldwide.

The CROWN Coalition

The CROWN Coalition is an alliance of organizations that are dedicated to the advancement of anti-discrimination legislation across the United States.3 The diverse array of organizations that make up the CROWN Coalition has aided in the monumental success of elevating the public narrative around this issue while inspiring a movement to bring awareness to end hair bias and discrimination.

According to its website, the CROWN Coalition’s purpose is to “create a world where Black lives are valued, respected, and free of oppressive systems.”4The CROWN Coalition is on a mission to dismantle structures of systematic racism that perpetuates social and economic disparities for Black people.5

The CROWN Coalition has over 60 members and supporters. While the list is continuously growing, here are a few organizations that make up the CROWN Coalition:

  • Dove
  • National Urban League
  • Color of Change
  • Curly Girl
  • The Women’s Foundation of California
  • Professional Beauty Association (PBA)
  • The National Hair Industry Convention
  • Berkeley City Council
  • And more.

The Dove Research Study for the CROWN Act

The CROWN research study was conducted in 2019 to identify the magnitude of racial discrimination that women experience within the workplace based on their natural hair. A survey of 1,017 Black women and 1,050 non-Black women with ages ranging from 25 to 64 was conducted, but to qualify for the study, the women must have been working full-time in an office or sales position in the past 6 months. According to Dove’s website, 92% of the non-Black sample of women were white.6

pie charts showing more black women work in a field setting than an office setting

Pictured: More Black women work in a field environment (sales) compared to non-Black women

Source: Dove

Throughout the study, Black women were made more aware of the corporate grooming policy than non-Black women. Hair/appearance policies were given to Black women at a significantly higher rate (22%) than non-Black women (17%). Researchers also found that 35% of Black women compared to 23% of non-Black women received company grooming standards. In addition, 32% of non-Black women mentioned they never actually received the corporate grooming policy compared to 18% of Black women.

bar chart showing when black women vs non-black women received policy on appropriate hairstyles

Source: Dove

Dove took the study a step further by testing out job readiness associated with Black women’s hairstyles. They were consistently ranked lower or “less ready” by those who took the survey.

a pictoral representation of blackk hairstyles and sentiments of professionalism

Source: Dove

Where Does Your State Stand With The CROWN Act?

The status of The CROWN Act is constantly changing throughout the 50 states. Since California’s 2019 ruling, though, many more states have followed suit and passed The CROWN Act. Keeping up with the progression of The CROWN Act in each state is a great way to stay up-to-date on this pressing issue and show your support.

The States Where The CROWN Act is Law

  • California (July 3, 2019)
  • New York (July 12, 2019)
  • New Jersey (December 19, 2019)
  • Virginia (March 3, 2020)
  • Colorado (March 6, 2020)
  • Washington (March 19, 2020)
  • Maryland (May 8, 2020)
  • Connecticut (March 4, 2021)
  • New Mexico (April 5, 2021)
  • Delaware (April 13, 2021)
  • Nebraska (May 5, 2021)

The States Where The CROWN Act Has Been Filed or Pre-Filed

  • Utah
  • Arizona (The CROWN Act is law in Tucson)
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Texas
  • Kansas
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Missouri (The CROWN Act is law in Kansas City and St. Louis)
  • Kentucky (The CROWN Act is law in Clayton County, Stockbridge, and East Point)
  • South Carolina
  • Florida (The CROWN Act is law in Broward County)
  • Vermont
  • New Hampshire
  • Massachusetts

States Where The CROWN Act Has Been Filed or Passed

  • Wisconsin (The CROWN Act is law in Dane County)
  • Michigan (The CROWN Act is law in Ann Arbor, Ingham County, and Genesee County)
  • Illinois
  • Pennsylvania (The CROWN Act is law in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh)
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina (The CROWN Act is law in Orange County, Durham, and Greensboro)
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • Hawaii
  • Alaska
  • Ohio (The CROWN Act is law in Akron, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Newburgh)

States Where The CROWN Act Has Been Filed But Did Not Pass

  • Minnesota
  • Iowa
  • Texas
  • South Dakota
  • Arizona
  • Utah
  • Kansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Missouri
  • Arkansas
  • Louisiana (The CROWN Act is law in New Orleans and Shreveport)
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Tennessee
  • Mississippi
  • Georgia
  • Florida
  • South Carolina
  • West Virginia (The Crown Act is law in Beckley, Charleston, Lewisburg, and Morgantown)
  • Vermont
  • Maine

How You Can Support The CROWN Act

It’s time to raise our voices and bring awareness to the unfair discrimination many women of different nationalities face due to their hairstyles. Here are a few ways you can show your support for The CROWN Act:

1.    Introduce The Crown Act to Your State

Did you know that you can introduce The CROWN Act to your state’s legislatures? By visiting The CROWN Act’s website, you can view sample bills, such as California’s, to help you get started on your legislative language. Plus, you can contact Adjoa B. Asamoah, a member of The CROWN Act, to learn more about how she can support your efforts to file The CROWN Act in your state. Good luck!

2.    Join The CROWN Coalition

The CROWN Coalition consists of advocacy and non-governmental organizations that seek to end hair discrimination. If your organization is interested in joining the CROWN Coalition, you can visit their website for more information.

3. Sign a Petition

The CROWN Coalition created a petition to end hair discrimination in the workplace, schools, and pools. By signing the petition, you’ll help urge legislatures to vote yes on The CROWN Act. The CROWN Coalition’s goal is to reach 500,000 signatures, and as of a month ago, it’s been signed 300,000 times. The goal has almost been met! Sign the petition here.

Humanist Beauty Supports The CROWN Act

Humanist Beauty strives to always foster inclusion among all humans regardless of color, gender, creed, age, status, ability, sexual preference, or hairstyle. Our goal is to encourage self-love, wellness, and radical inclusivity for all. The CROWN Act is crucial to changing the way natural hair is perceived and judged in the workplace and everyday life. We fully lend our support to The CROWN Act to diminish discrimination based on something as beautiful and unique as hair.

—-

 

References:

https://www.thecrownact.com/about [1][2][3]

https://www.crowncoalition.com/ [4][5]

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5edc69fd622c36173f56651f/t/5edeaa2fe5ddef345e087361/1591650865168/Dove_research_brochure2020_FINAL3.pdf [6]