Who Invented The Weave

Pictured Above: (Left) 1950s Ballad Singer Bette Mclaurin (Right) Unknown

Who invented the weave for hair and in what year? That is a question that has been burning in a lot of peoples heads. We love the ability to change our look at the drop of a dime if we wish. It was a great invention and we are thankful for it. Going from a short curly do to a long wavy sexy do all in one day is every woman’s dream.

Well an African American lady by the name of Christina Jenkins invented the hair weaving process in the nineteen fifties. She received a patent in 1951 for this process of hair weaving. Although people were wearing wigs and hair pieces for thousands of years, Christina came up with the weaving idea. She was married to a jazz musician named Duke at the time and lived in Cleveland Ohio.

Christina and Duke Jenkins formed their company Christina’s Hair Weaves in the early nineteen fifties. People were so in love with her weaves and method of applying them that they would pay her to come to their countries and teach them how to sew in hair weave. Before she invented the idea to sew the weave onto the hair, people were putting the weave on with pins placed on the scalp.

New York branch of Lelia College (Madame C.J. Walker founded the college in Pittsburgh in 1908 to train African American as "hair culturist", expanding to branches nationwide) - Museum of the City of New York, The Byron Collection.

Hair weaves back in those days were stiff and pretty bulky. Mrs. Jenkins technique at first looked the same once done. What she did for the hair extension world was created a way for it to be applied and  stay for a while. Her technique at that time was very time consuming. In the nineteen fifties the way she would do a weave sew in is you would first sew the hair on a netting, then of course you would have to braid your hair into cornrows, and then from there you would sew the netting to the hair.

Christina Jenkins maiden name is Thomas and she was born in Louisiana. She graduated from Leland College in nineteen forty three. That same year is when she married well known Jazz Pianist Herman Duke Jenkins. Sadly she passed away in December of 2003.

Now you know who invented the weave for hair and in what year. In December think of her as well and give thanks as you wear that cute weave you have on your head. Mrs. Christina Jenkins has done a great service to us all by inventing a way for us to turn our short locks into long ones without damaging our natural hair.

About The Author

My goal is to teach myself and others about our beautiful black hair and to have a place where we can come together to get examples, advice, and information of black hair growth and hairstyles. Whether you have permed, pressed, or natural hair its still black hair and it's beautiful.

3 Responses

  1. Nkem

    “people were putting the weave on with pins placed on the scalp” pins on the scalp? what? that would have been horribly painful. Cant bare to think of it, must have been like a torture ceremony to have that on.


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