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Conk Hairdo

TopConk Hairdo


The Conk originated in the 1920s and was stylized by entertainer Cab Calloway.

The style was an attempt by Black males to straighten their hair to make it look like that of White men, and was accomplished by enduring a truly painstaking process of “relaxing” the hair with a solution dominated by lye (this process was portrayed in the movie Malcolm X.) In order to keep the humidity from causing the hair to return to its natural curly state, men would wear fabric on their heads called do-rags.

By the mid-1960s, the conk died out, as most entertainers (and therefore the general public in kind) began to move towards a more “natural” look which emphasized pride in Black heritage, a look that would eventually evolve into the Afro.