Sumaya Ali is pleased to present her new body of work titled ‘Your Hair is Good Hair’. Created and curated by Sumaya herself, this exhibition comprises of portraiture style photographs. Proudly sponsored by Denman, the exhibition is running from 6th October until 3rd November at the Birmingham Contemporary Art Gallery. To view the exhibition virtually, please click here: https://www.sumayaaliphotography.com/your-hair-is-good-hair
The idea was conceived from the artist’s journey towards accepting and celebrating the natural curl pattern and texture of her hair, while also challenging the media’s projection of a singular hair aesthetic.
Behind the visuality of the images being presented, is a wealth of history that connects hair to race. From the Tignon Laws in Louisiana, USA in the 1700s, to apartheid South Africa’s ‘pencil-test’, discriminatory constructs around afro textured hair, have for centuries, created a ripple effect that still exists today.
Ali thus integrates each portrait with a personal narrative from her subjects, a gesture of agency in order to counter hair conformity and celebrate the beauty of diversity.
Sumaya Ali is a lawyer and photographer based in the Midlands, UK. Her practice is rooted in exploring social issues, using them as vehicles to incite positive change. Her first exhibition On Their Shoulders (2020) showcased successful individuals of colour in a range of careers and was exhibited at her alma mater, the University of Leicester, School of Law. Your Hair is Good Hair (2021) is her second exhibition.
Here at Denman, we believe that hair is more than fashion and style…it is our identity! “Just about everything about a person’s identity could be learned by looking at the hair” - Lori Tharps (Hair Story).
Over the years people have been fighting for Equality. In 2014 the U.S. military revised their appearance and grooming policies to be more inclusive of natural hairstyles that were once banned. In 2019, the CROWN Act was created by Dove and the CROWN (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural hair) coalition to ensure protection against discrimination towards race-based hairstyles. This act served to extend statutory protection to those with hair texture and protective styles such as braids, locs, twists, and knots in the workplace and public schools.
California was the first state to sign the bill, New York was second and New Jersey followed. One year after New Jersey High School wrestler Andrew Johnson’s locs were forcibly cut off. But the liberation of Black hair is far from over.
Throughout history Black people have been discriminated against for how their hair grows out of their head but Los Angeles Senator Holly Mitchell says “To have black women in roles of power and influence empowers us to choose how we’d like to wear our hair. Whether that’s kinky, curly or straight - we should be able to make that decision freely and without judgment.”
So NOW is the time to stand up and stand out - 2021 is all about choice! The choice to express your true self. Straight, silk press, weave, wig, braids, locs, afro, bantu knots, finger waves, space buns, afro puff, buzz cut, the list goes on…
And you don’t have to do it alone because Denman has the tools to treat all hair with care. This range of brushes does not discriminate and helps you to be who you choose to be. The versatility of black hair is magnificent, and we want to celebrate that by encouraging people to explore their natural beauty.
Textured hair requires delicacy, and it is important to find the right tools but Denman has something for everyone, so check out our choices below!
The Iconic - D3, D31, D4 – Great for defining and transforming curls, detangling and blow drying. Ideal for brushing through conditioner on natural hair and weaves.
The Power Paddle - D38 - Great for detangling and with the extra movement in the pad, this will prevent snagging and give you the gentle touch. Always use plenty of conditioner and work your way up from the ends, as this will protect against breakage.
The Paddle - D83 – Perfect for blow-drying natural hair, coily hair and weaves. The paddle brush allows for a snag free blow-dry with its sturdy handle and cushioned pad which gives the bristles movement.
The Finisher - D82 – With natural bristles, these brushes are great for those sleek styles and ponytails.
The Edge Tamer – D92 - Great for Loc brushing. It is also best for edging the baby hairs at the front of the head. With its soft natural bristles, this is the closest brush to your own hair so it won’t cause any damage.
The Curl Volumiser – D17 - This pick is great for adding that extra lift and volume to keep you feeling fabulous before the next wash day. It even has a hole in the handle to loop it through your belt so you can keep it with you at all times.