British woman, Danielle Obe invented waterproof scarves to encourage swimming culture amongst black people.
Most black people dread swimming because their natural hair gets ruined in the process, but the mother of three decided to change the narrative.
According to research about ninety percent of black adults and eighty-five percent of black children avoid exploring the swimming pool in England. Danielle Obe noticed her 6-year-old daughter, Kayla is about to be added to this index.
The 38-year-old mother also quitted swimming about twenty years ago just because she wants to avoid ruining her hair. This inspired her to come up with this invention.
Danielle on quitting swimming,
“Getting into any type of aquatic activity then was a huge no-no. I couldn’t go swimming in the evening after work.
“If I did, how would I turn up for client meetings the next morning? Kayla hates getting soap in and around her face, so when it came time to wash her hair after swimming, she would scream and scream.
“We have also found many people use them in the shower, or to rehydrate their hair”
Why would black people avoid letting their afro hair out in the swimming pool? This is because the chemicals in the swimming pool can damage an afro hair by making it dry and brittle.
Danielle on the effect of chemicals in the pool,
“The chlorine dries out the hair, causing it to be frizzy, brittle and “thirsty”, which is what causes breakage, hair thinning.
“In some cases for women with processed, delicate hair, it falls off if the hair is not thoroughly washed out, conditioned and rehydrated.”
She had to promise her daughter a solution by creating something to protect the hair while swimming.
Before manufacturing, Danielle and Kayla tried different caps and different brands in water to see which one works best for hair protection.
She concluded that,
“I discovered that swimming caps were originally designed not to protect hair, or keep it from getting wet, but instead to streamline.
“So I couldn’t find something to keep Kayla’s hair dry because the product was flawed, to begin with.”
This research led her to launch the Black Swimming Association and the production of waterproof headscarves.
The brand, Nemes was chosen for the brand because the invention was based on ancient Egyptian designs. The name of the brand was gotten from the pieces of striped headcloth worn by pharaohs in ancient Egypt.
Danielle launched the association alongside Team GB swimmer, Alice Dearing, journalist, Seren Jones, and musician and filmmaker, Ed Accura, to run in partnership with Swim England.
This charity was the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. It aims to encourage more black people to swim with an assurance that their natural hair is protected.
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