Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Maggie. Maggie Wonders, “Who invented hair waves?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Maggie!

Before we start today’s Wonder of the Day, we want you to take a look in the mirror. Do you see that? You have to see it. It’s beautiful! What are we talking about? Your hair, of course!

Is your hair shaved close to your head? Is it down to your waist? Maybe you wear your hair in braids or knots. Perhaps it’s naturally curly or pin straight. You might choose to cover your hair with a ball cap or a hijab. However you style your hair, we know all our Wonder Friends look great.

If you’re familiar with modern hairstyles, you might already know all about hair waves. Maybe you’ve even tried to pull off the look yourself! Also called 360 waves, this short hairstyle is especially popular in Black culture. Well-shaped waves look a bit like a ripple in a pond, moving outward from the crown of the head.

Who invented waves? No one is quite sure. Some think the style may stretch all the way back to ancient Egypt. However, waves started to become popular in modern style during the early 1900s. Today, people of all ages put a lot of effort into shaping the perfect waves.

How do people achieve this hairstyle? Well, you can’t make waves without water! The process starts with washing or dampening your hair. Then apply pomade and brush. When brushing, it’s important to start at the crown of your head and brush outward. The final important step is covering your hair with a do-rag or other type of wrap. Often, people will leave the do-rag on at least overnight. This helps protect the hair while it dries.

Of course, 360 waves aren’t the only wavy hairstyle out there. Finger waves, made famous by Josephine Baker and other stars in the 1920s, are popular again today. This is largely credited to hip-hop artists like Missy Elliott, who brought the hairstyle back in the 1990s.

Hair and the way it’s styled is a major part of Black culture. Many see it as a tool for self-expression that’s intertwined with Black history. Whether you choose to wear your hair in dreadlocks, cornrows, an afro, or any other style, your hair should make you proud of your culture and heritage.

Unfortunately, the impact of these hairstyles on popular culture is often understated or ignored. It’s great to appreciate other cultures and ways of life. But always give credit where it’s due, and value the people as well as the culture itself. It’s important to learn about and respect the history behind cultural elements such as hairstyles.

How do you style your hair? Have you ever tried a different method? It can be fun to try out a new hairdo. Spend some time learning about the latest styles today. You never know when you might find new inspiration!

Standards: CCRA.R.4, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.SL.1, NCAS.A.1, NCAS.A.2, NCAS.A.3, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.SL.2

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