June 27, 2024

Wash Day

By Tomesha Faxio
With its exquisite photography and heartfelt profiles, Wash Day celebrates Black women’s natural hair.
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Hair can instill empowerment and confidence. It can also cause stress and anxiety, especially when it doesn’t fit Eurocentric perceptions of beauty. Tomesha Faxio, a self-taught documentary photographer, sets out to debunk myths about Black women’s natural hair and celebrate the rituals surrounding its care in her loving photo-essay book Wash Day: Passing on the Legacy, Rituals, and Love of Natural Hair.

Combining touching photography of mothers and daughters with a descriptive history of natural hair, Faxio explains how Black women and their hair have been misunderstood and misrepresented for centuries, and how the pressure to straighten and relax naturally curly, textured hair is a symptom of racism. By also focusing on the bonding that occurs on wash day between mothers and daughters, Faxio demonstrates that Black hair and beauty rituals can and should be honored. With its exquisite photography and heartfelt personal messages, the visually stunning Wash Day fills a gap regarding what it means for Black women not just to embrace their natural hair, but their whole selves.

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Wash Day

Wash Day

By Tomesha Faxio
Clarkson Potter
ISBN 9780593579718

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