Unfortunately, not much is known about the photographer Diby Yao Christophe, but his photo book Du twist à cocody, ou l’art de la natte, is an amazing document of hairstyles, from the Ivory Coast of the 1970s.
Christophe ends his book with this very powerful statement:
“Why do some of our stylish women
prefere [sic] bleached hair or wigs to genuine African creations? One’s
real hair, in my opinion, is worth more than faked hair, and an art
evolved over time is always better than imported styles of others. I
meet many of you who pretend to be European, trying to dress and act
like white women.
Oh, my Black Sisters, why are you
trying to forget that you are African? Great poets have sung the glory
of your bodies and I, a humble photographer, have caught a few of your
marvelous braids and tresses.
The times change, but your natural beauty endures.”