7 Black Pioneers Who Revolutionized Beauty Culture

Next time you book an appointment to get a weave or wig installed, you can thank Christina Jenkins. Now known as a “sew-in,” the style was called a “hairweev” when Jenkins created it in the 1950s. This wildly loved hair technique was born from Jenkins’ experience as a factory worker making wigs.

After hearing several clients complain about their wigs falling off and being too bulky, Jenkins began to experiment with different ways to solve this problem. Thus, the hair weave “sew-in” was born. Prior to Jenkins’ invention, hair weaves were not a long-lasting hairstyle and were bulky because they required hairpins to adhere the extensions to the scalp.

In Jenkins’ method, she attached the weave hair to a weft and sewed the weft to her client’s cornrowed hair using a needle and thread.  This allowed women to wear their weaves, wigs, and extensions for longer periods of time. It also made the weaves more secure and allowed them to look flatter and neater.

Jenkins’ method was so revolutionary that she was asked to fly to several different countries to teach cosmetologists how to sew in a hair weave using her method. She eventually opened her own salon (Christina’s Hairweeve Penthouse Salon), which she operated until 1993.

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