My First Afro Pick!

The other day I was at Sally’s Beauty Supply Store with my Mom and sister Margie picking up a few essentials.  I needed a new wide-tooth comb because mine broke (NO, not because my hair is thick as hell, it was just old).  As I looked around the aisle for a new comb, I ran across the most amazing Afro pick!  It was black with a fist on the handle and had a peace sign in the middle.  I had to have it!  The pick is made by Antonio’s Manufacturing and made in the U.S.A.  The label on the packaging calls this comb a “Styling Pik,” instead of an Afro pick.  Antonio’s Manufacturing website says they make products specially designed for natural hair styling.

This is my first Afro pick and I was actually pretty excited to use it, as lame as that sounds.  I really love the fist on the handle.  This is obviously a representation of the famous black power fist that was made popular by the Black Power Movement, political figures like Angela Davis, and Tommie Smith & John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics, as well as many other prominent African American leaders of the civil rights movement.

I also love the peace sign in the middle which to me shows the link between demanding political, social, and economic equality for African Americans and its connection to peace and justice.  On the products website it says, “This Pik features powerful symbols of the 1970’s era: a clenched black fist representing pride, strength, and self-determination and the anti-war peace symbol.”

The website also names Antonio’s Manufacturing founder Anthony R. Romani as the inventor of an Afro Rake Comb called the “Cake Cutter,” which he mass-produced during the 70’s.  The afro pick however, according to the book Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America, was invented and first mass-produced by Willie Lee Morrow who also created the Jheri Curl.

And just in case your reading this thinking, ‘it’s just an Afro pick!’  I actually agree with you and think that the makers of this pick most likely made it this way a long time ago when the Afro and it’s political connections were popular, and just kept the same design over the years even after the civil rights movement lost momentum.  It obviously appeals to a certain aesthetic and people who may have had some personal connections with the civil rights movement, Black Pride, natural hair, or whatever.  The goal here, just like any other product, is to sell it and make money off it.  I get it and I still bought it!

Anyways, the pick actually worked really well to lift my twist-out and give it some body.  I am not sure why I haven’t used an Afro pick before, but now it is my go-to tool for giving my hair some height!  Do you use an Afro pick?

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2 thoughts on “My First Afro Pick!

  1. Too funny! I also bought the Afro pick from Sally’s about two 3 years ago when I started wearing my hair in its natural state. I think my motive was not so much to use it (I still had a TWA) but rather as an appreciation for our culture and the fact that the pick (along with its signature fist an peace sign) has been around for over 40+ years. It was popular in the 70s and is now becoming a staple in the natural hair community.

    BTW, I couldn’t decided on the wide pick or the long skinny one. I finally landed on the long one and thanks to your post, I’ll pull it out tomorrow and use it to lift my roots! I’ll give the little plastic one a rest for now.

    Great post.


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