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Guide To Black Mens Hair

In LEVEL. More on Medium.

The Ultimate Guide to Black Men’s Hair

When a haircut feels like the opposite of self-care, follow these steps

Illustration: Kingsley Nebechi

The second season of , subtitled “Robbin’ Season,” captured a distinct type of psychological horror: the larceny of life itself. Throughout the season, the main characters of the Donald Glover-created FX comedy were relieved of their time, their dignity, and their sense of physical safety. But the most distressing episode wasn’t the Teddy Perkins experience, Earn’s managerial shortcomings, or Alfred’s traumatic venture into the woods — it was a routine trip to the barbershop.

In “Barbershop,” the season’s fifth episode, Alfred spends a day being dragged through hell by a barber who constantly puts his safety and freedom in jeopardy…

Just Rankin’ Sh!t

Don’t call it a comeback. They been hair for years.

Photo illustration. Source: Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

6. LeBron James

Granted, his hairline has a tendency to ebb and flow like a California shoreline. But Bron has come a long way since the gigantic headbands — even if he required more help than those early Cavs rosters.

5. Jamie Foxx

Even Ray Charles — and your average doctor — could see how this legendary actor got his hairline back to full strength.

3. Tory Lanez and Tyga (Tie)

Shoutout to Craig L. Ziering, MD, for helping quell two ever-growing foreheads.

2. Jay-Z

When God was pouring gifts into humans, he gave Jay-Z too much sauce. Arguably the GOAT of rap, he also found himself with a beautiful superstar wife and hair…

The Ultimate Guide to Black Men’s Hair

After a life of stressing my hairline and waves, I found liberation and power in its unapologetic Blackness

Photos courtesy of the author

You never forget that first pang of rejection. It’s a feeling akin to taking a medicine ball to the chest, a slap of rubbing alcohol on a freshly cut neckline. You know the vibes. And if you’d regularly rode the yellow bus to my elementary school back in ’92, you would’ve had a front-row seat for my earliest humbling.

Her name was Cassie. Like me, she made a daily commute from a not-so-great school district in Queens, New York, to one with enough textbooks for every student. Our ride was 45 minutes each way — just enough time for some…

Illustration: Kingsley Nebechi


Brazil’s Black hair revolution continues — despite increased danger of police violence

Diego loved his strawberry-blond tapered Afro. In the 16-year-old boy’s hometown in Brazil, the hairstyle is referred to as a “Black power” (pronounced “Blackee power”), named for the political movement that made it popular. For Diego, it was a badge of Blackness that he wore with pride. The attention it attracted from the opposite sex didn’t hurt either.

But Diego’s feelings toward his hairstyle changed on a Sunday in early February. As he was walking a friend home in his neighborhood in Salvador, an impoverished, predominantly Black city in Northeast Brazil, a policeman approached Diego. This was an —…


Bevel’s founder is one step closer to building a grooming empire of his own

Virtual photo: Peyton Fulford

Beyond the day-to-day goals that go into building a business, every entrepreneur shares a singular aspiration: freedom. But that word doesn’t have a singular definition. For some, it represents earning potential; for others, unrestricted creativity; still others, the power to validate one’s own imagination.

For Tristan Walker, the freedom of entrepreneurship embodies not only material benefits but pioneering new spaces and platforms that help millions of people with similar stories experience freedom for themselves. That’s what prompted him to become an entrepreneur-in-residence at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz; it’s what drove him to co-found Code2040, a nonprofit pursuing…


Pull it together in eight simple steps

Photo Illustration. Source: Will Humphrey

Black hair’s prosperity relies on threat avoidance. The climate, your pillowcase, and even one’s own fingers can betray the goal of optimal hair health. Our best shield against damage is a protective style — typically cornrows, two-strand twists, or braids — changed every couple of weeks. We call it “protective,” but these twists also stimulate hair growth, strengthen your ends, and even manage to look good. For ’s Black Hair Guide, YouTube’s Black hair savant, William Humphrey (WillOnAWhim) breaks down how to install braids, while retaining all the moisture your hair needs. …

Just Rankin’ Sh!t

Stop! You’re spinnin’ outta control

Jar of Sportin’ Waves from Sally Beauty.

4. Stocking cap

The sheer audacity to leave home with some scissored-up pantyhose on your dome. Unless you wanna look like someone’s resourceful uncle — or Day-Day in — upgrade to the wide world of durags.

3. Pomade

You just might get some ripples, but this thick goop will make you feel like you’re rocking a helmet made of hair. Unless Fisher-Price figurines are your style icon, leave this one on the shelf.

2. Texturizer

No need to fry your scalp so your strands swim good. Instead, just trust the (chemical-free) process: embrace the wolf, moisturize, brush like hell, tie it down, repeat over the…


William Humphrey isn’t just entertaining his hundreds of thousands of subscribers — he’s showing that hair care can be self-care

Photo Illustration. Source: @willnotwilly

Less than two minutes into the video, William Humphrey is doing his best Whitney Houston impression. Well, his tub of Wet Line Xtreme hair gel is doing its best Whitney Houston impression, it just happens to be in Humphrey’s voice. Humphrey himself is doing his best Brandy impression — the Cinderella to the gel’s Fairy Godmother, as per the 1997 TV-movie version of . And it goes a little something like this:

Wet Line Xtreme Gel: I’m yo’ fairy godmother, whatchu want? And hurry up, ’cause I clock out at 12.

Will: I’d like a wash ’n’ go.

Wet Line…


From inventors to innovators, we celebrate the cutting-edge men who pushed the tonsorial game forward

Illustrations: Ryan Melgar

Once upon a time, there was the straight razor, and lo it was… fine. Sure, it was better than the sharpened flints and shells that kicked off the barbering game around 5000 B.C.E., but you couldn’t do all that much with it. When it came to your hair, your only real options were Lots or None. But something special happened about 150 years ago: We started to level up in a big way. Since then, Black hair has become not just an extension of our style, but of our very selves.

Given the fact that is celebrating Black men’s…

Just Rankin’ Sh!t

We’re all longing for a fresh cut — but we don’t miss these characters

Cedric The Entertainer In ‘Barbershop’
Cedric The Entertainer In ‘Barbershop’
Photo source: MGM Studios/Getty Images

6. The Old Head

“Y’all know about Frankie Beverly — but what you know about his cousin, Beverly?!” All respect to the OGs, but we’ll take our taper without the gems and history lesson.

5. The New Barber

Unwritten rule: The rookie gets the chair closest to the door. And while we feel your hustle — you gotta get your clientele up — we’re all good waiting for our regular guy. You can stop asking to cut us, fam.

4. The Jokester

There’s always that one dude constantly playing the dozens or testing his standup material for a captive audience. Give it a rest.

3. The Scammer

In generations past, this was your…


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