Wednesday, 2 July 2008
Photo Essay 2. Human Hair in Brixton
The presence of Caribbeans in London started with the arrival of Jamaicans on the Empire Windrush in1948. Dispersing to many parts of the city, mainly Clapham and Brixton, they came either alone or with new wives and families from all over the islands, setting up home and working mainly for London transport or for the National Health
Service. Jamaicans tended to settle in the south of the city, whereas Trinidadians and Barbadians tended to gravitate to the areas around Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove.
The black community of Caribbean and African residents in London today is fairly spread across town. Although there are hubs of residential areas like Peckham, New Cross, Dalston and Lewisham, one main area do stand out, however: Brixton.
In the middle of the neighbourhood is Brixton Market, a local landmark built between Electric Avenue, Pope’s Road, Brixton Station Road and Atlantic Road.
It’s open six days a week and you’ll find everything from tropical fruit, vegetables, spices, specialist meats and fish as well as Caribbean literature, cards and gifts.
It is also home to Europe’s largest amount of Afro-Caribbean foodstuffs, which obviously appeals to a large contingent of black consumers who can also find specialist hairdressers, barbershops and hair products in the surrounding streets.
One of the most trusted places to cut and blow dry your hair is Eseosa Salon, founded and managed by Sandra, a former model from Nigeria. However most clients come here for human hair extensions. They are incredibly popular and are extremely versatile. Most people choose to use them to lengthen or thicken their existing hair. They are added to their own hair by several means: braiding, bonding, weaving, or strand-by-stand, and typically the process is performed by a skilled hairdresser in a salon. If properly applied, all human hair extensions can be washed, brushed, straightened, and curled and can be worn for up to four months. Extensions come in such a wide range of colours and textures that there are no limitations, providing the real hair is suitable and healthy.
Costumers can get the benefits of having long hair without having to grow out their own for years, but hair extensions can also do considerable damage and cause thinning to their real hair. Long heavy extensions apply pressure to the scalp and some people may experience headaches from the strain of the hair or even react to the bonding glue that is used to apply the extensions.