NO, AFRICAN HAIRSTYLES AND THEIR HISTORY AREN'T THERE TO BE USED AS A ' CORONAVIRUS TREND' OR YOUR 'MOOD'
Text by Kae Sinclair
MAY 13th 2020

This African hairstyle is infact called ‘Isi Owu’ and has been used for years to help children grow their hair, NOT to ‘mimic the Coronavirus under a microscope’ or to ‘raise awareness for Covid-19’ as many famous news outlets are broadcasting. 

 

During the pandemic, hair has been a popular discussion, many people are utilizing this time to experiment – dyeing their hair bold colors, shaving it entirely or being brave enough to try and replicate what they get done by professionals. However, in East Africa, a ‘new look’ is being coined the ‘coronavirus hairstyle’ – with many popular news outlets trying to claim it as ‘a new hairstyle that has been styled to replicate the appearance of COVID-19 under a microscope’ – y’all for real? Someone say syke...please...

“The style's revival is partly related to the financial struggles linked to the coronavirus restrictions, with it being so cheap, along with raising awareness that COVID-19 is real” – baby, no. This hairstyle, known as ‘Isi Owu’, is in fact hundreds of years old and primarily used to help childrens hair grow. It is done by wrapping the hair in black thread and is absolutely in no way a ‘new style’ related to COVID-19.

 

‘Stop trying to incite the ridicule of African people’s thought process and culture by misrepresenting a piece of their history’ said @rufaroshuva on Twitter in response to Sky News report along with many others. 

This hairstyle is not new, it is not your mood and African culture is to be respected not ridiculed by western ideologies or for clout chasing headlines. Having African culture put on display under misleading and false headlines, opens us up to demonization. To anyone who wishes to report on culture in the future, do your research and don’t use history for headlines.