Essence Beauty joined the beauty talk with panelists Gladney, Terrence Baker and Averis Anderson, moderated by Aevin Dugas, to share their texture, style, and hair trauma on the Essence BeautyCon™ panel. Men’s hair styling videos on TikTok have over 5 million views. Whether men have locks, buzzed, curly or lined cuts, dyed hair or wavy perms — Men’s signature hair styles are an extension of their DNA, their identity, their branding and a form of self-expression.
In the “All the Buzz: The Revolutionary Power of Men’s Hair” panel discussion, Dugas, the three-time Guinness World Record holder for Best Female Afro, discussed with industry-leading men what their signature hairstyle says about them, where their hair care started, and the process to maintain it all. From barbershops to hair growth, read on for a look into all the buzz around men’s hair grooming at BeautyCon™.
The barbershop is how Black men are initiated into hair care from their youth, through beauty regimens like line-ups, hair cuts, and fades. “The barbershop is a sacred ritual space where I learned about my hair identity,” Anderson said. “I learned how to beautify myself as a man.”
Beauty for Black men is more than just shaving cream and a razor. From a young age, some as young as two years old, sit at the barbershop for their first haircut. Learning about your hair as the barber or hairstylist identifies your curl pattern, hairline, and texture, it is easy to pick up on keywords about how you should feel about your crown. Through early conversations around hair, however, Anderson says how young men can be susceptible to trauma at barbershops if their hair texture or length is stigmatized or considered effeminate or non-manly.
From loose curls to locks, tight coils to afros, the Black hair community is the most diverse — your identity is just for you. “I can not do anything for you to feel better about my texture,” Dugas said. Texturism, the discrimination of your natural hair texture, encourages hair damage and self-hate in the Black community, including the use of excess heat and perming. “When I went natural I questioned why my hair was permanently straightened. There’s a reason I do this, so little girls don’t have to go through what we do, we went through a lot to be natural.”
For New Orleans’ Gladney, his hair has always been a representation of his Black identity. “My hair is one of the biggest commitments I’ve ever made and never broken,” he said. “Through all of these growing phases, my hair signifies I am still here, I’m still growing and the changes I’ve made through my life are shown through my hair. The process of trial and error to confirm his signature “bow” hairstyle took about 4 to 5 attempted techniques before he locked in on a repeatable method.
The panelists all have longer hair to commit to different styles. You can use Mielle’s Rosemary Mint Oil or take biotin for hair growth, but you have other complimentary hairstyles to expedite the process if you prefer. Gladney locked his hair for hair growth, but as for Baker, he’s just letting his hair grow untreated. With hair care products like Mielle®, SheaMoisture and As I Am, prioritize your hair health and remember — you are Black, as is your hair.
“Your hair, just as it is, just as it grows from your scalp, is wonderful and beautiful and whatever space you walk into your hair holds power,” Averis said.
Visit BeautyCon™ the Essence Fest edition at essence.com for more on the latest Black beauty panel.