Black Women Who Slayed History: Christina Jenkins

This Black History Month, we’re highlighting the black woman who helped make our world what it is today. Today, we honor Christina Jenkins.

In a world filled with hair extensions, wigs, and clip-ons, have you ever wondered who started the technique of weaving hair? We all know about Madam C.J. Walker, but have you ever heard of Christina Jenkins?

Christina is one of those hidden figures you’ve never really heard about but has done something that will be apart of the hair industry forever. She was born in Louisiana and later graduated college in 1943. As a hair dresser she understood the need for hair extensions in the black community so she decided to learn how she could attach extensions to her clients’ hair.

Through her job with a Chicago manufacturer, she was able to learn techniques to weave extensions to real hair. She learned how to secure wigs and various other techniques for about a year. After her time in Chicago, Christina moved to Ohio and began studying how sewing in hair extensions on natural hair.

In the early 1950’s, Jenkins filed a patent for her “HairWeev” technique and her technique quickly became the go to style in black owned hair salons. Christina owned her salon, “Christina’s HairWeev Penthouse Salon,” in Cleveland, Ohio, until 1993. She taught her techniques at hair shows throughout the UK for many years before retiring.

She married jazz pianist Herman “Duke” Jenkins, and they had a child: Sheila Jenkins-Cochran.

It’s pretty cool to know that a black women thought to slay hair by adding some volume to our do’s way back in the day.

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