Wash Day: Passing on the Legacy, Rituals, and Love of Natural Hair

Wash Day: Passing on the Legacy, Rituals, and Love of Natural Hair cover

Wash Day: Passing on the Legacy, Rituals, and Love of Natural Hair

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A visual celebration of natural Black hair that highlights the powerful connection between mothers and their children during their wash day rituals.

“A beautiful love letter to natural hair and the rituals Black women have created.”—Roxane Gay

In this stunning book, documentary photographer Tomesha Faxio explores the power of “wash day,” a day that Black women dedicate to washing, detangling, conditioning, and styling their natural hair. The significance of wash day goes far beyond hair care—it’s an opportunity for Black women to pour love into their curly, coily locks and, when they have children, pass on this sacred ritual to the next generation.
Wash Day celebrates the unique bonds between Black mothers and their children through intimate photographs of their hair-care routines and insightful stories that detail their natural hair journeys. Faxio brings you into the homes of twenty-six different families, illustrating the many ways that these mothers have used wash day to instill love, acceptance, and confidence in their children about wearing their natural hair. Through hours spent with their children, typically at the kitchen sink, each of these mothers is resisting generations of hair discrimination by creating a space for empowerment, all while finding their own sense of self-acceptance along the way.
Capturing the inherent beauty and diversity of natural hair, Wash Day is a visual homage to Black culture, Black rituals, and the generational bonds that strengthen the Black community.

Tomesha Faxio (she/her) is a self-taught documentary photographer dedicated to portraying and centering the Black experience. She specializes in portraits of Black women and women of color, wielding photography to reject Eurocentric beauty standards and alterations of natural beauty. Her photography has been featured online by Parents, Jezebel, The Guardian, USA Today, and Forbes, as well as in the documentary films Refuge and Love Wins Over Hate.

ISBN: 9780593579718

ISBN-10: 9780593579718

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Publication Date: 04/02/2024 - 12:00am

On Sale: 04/02/2024 - 12:00am

Pages: 256

Language: English


Photography / Photoessays & Documentaries

Photography / Subjects & Themes / Children

Social Science / Ethnic Studies / American / African American & Black Studies