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Will the Jheri Curl Come Back?

Friday, June 5, 2009

For those who remember the blemished pillow, the small can of clear activator that had to be constantly on standby and the plastic cap that was required at bedtime, the laborious maintenance could only mean one thing: Jheri curl. The Jheri curl was very common and popular in the black community in the late 1970s and throughout the 80s. Your aunt had one, you uncle on the other side of the family had one, YOU had one (yes you did, admit it, ya did.) And for those with short memories jheri was not the only curl that made your hair swirl: Luster S Curl touted the "no drip" activator and was big in the Memphis, Tennessee regions. Then there was the Carefree Curl, which pioneered a spray-bottle to keep the hair moist at all times. These three kinds of curls were the equivalent to the Big 3 American automakers - Ford, Chrysler and GM. Most black people in the United States with curls had Carefree Curls, which were variations of the Jheri and Luster. On the West Coast, Jheri reigned as the top curl-type, with hairstylists charging appropriately for just that type of curl along with its "Classy Curl" variation. The Luster S Curl was for shorter hair and featured a gel that made waves galore in a person's head. But now that we've got that bit of history out of the way, the question remains: Could the curl make a comeback for 2008? The short answer is yes, of course. Why? Because the trendsetters for the hip-hop set have but to put it in a video, or exploit it in song in some way and it will be popular again. A few years back there was even a set of prepackaged facts about

how to market trends to 15- to 29-year-olds. I mean, people drink

Codiene with Sprit nowadays because of hip-hop songs, yes, they can spray a little activator on their domes to be hot. And actually it would be an improvement since these days a neglect of personal hygiene is a growing trend (people look like crackheads now compared to in the 1990s when you had to dress up to go somewhere nice). Another reason? On the West Coast, a significant portion of the gangbangers and thugs STILL have curls. There are even some rappers that still rock the curl (DJ Quik,Snoop Dogg's Eastside Boys). Face it, if Jay-Z mentioned a clear ryhme "I'm rocking Louie, my girl Be rocking Dereon, she rocking a bob, I'm back getting my Jheri on ..." the hip-hop world would erupt in curl mass hysteria. Or even if Kanye West came out with a curl??? (Can you imagine a commercial about a "Kanye Kurl" and the background music would be saying "Stronger, Faster, Harder..." OOOOoooh, that would be hot. So hot. Instantly, you'd see Japanese kids (they are TOTALLY hip-hop in Japan.) rocking curls, Romanian hooligans with stained collars. Whaaat? If Beyonce emerged on stage with a curl? Panda. Monium. Okay? And John Legend ALREADY has a curl, people. Check the photos. Matter fact, ALOT of R&B artists (Carl Thomas, Bobby Valentino) have short curls so it's nothing to resurrect the style. But anyway, that's the power of the media imagery, and the hip-hop machine is the most popular media imagery going right now. So, if you're thinking about a hairstyle for 2008, don't sleep on the curl. Be an innovator. Be an activator. LOL.


Lil Honey B said...

WOW! I hope not cause I don't want my furniture all stained up! LOL.

June 8, 2009 at 8:34 PM
Anonymous said...

I have always been teased by people being called Rick James because I wear my hair natural, that is long and curly. It always made me laugh, I never took offense. When girls with their pressed hair would ask me why I don't do the same I would simply ask them why they don't wear their hair natural. I would usually get a blank stare and a dirty look. It's just a matter of preference I guess...but the curl has never left for me. I love to see black women sporting their natural wild curly hair.

June 9, 2009 at 7:12 PM

2009 ·Popwife Blog by TNB