What is conk?

  • (noun): Informal term for the nose.
    See also — Additional definitions below

Conk

The conk (derived from congolene, a hair straightener gel made from lye) was a hairstyle popular among African-American men from the 1920s to the 1960s. This hairstyle called for a man with naturally "kinky" hair to have it chemically straightened using a relaxer (sometimes the pure corrosive chemical lye), so that the newly straightened hair could be styled in specific ways. Often, the relaxer was made at home, by mixing lye, eggs, and potatoes, the applier having to wear gloves and the receiver's head having to be rinsed thoroughly after application to avoid chemical burns. Conks were often styled as large pompadours although other men chose to simply slick their straightened hair back, allowing it to lie flat on their heads. Regardless of the styling, conks required a considerable amount of effort to maintain: a man often had to wear a do-rag of some sort at home, to prevent sweat or other agents from causing his hair to revert to its natural state prematurely. Also, the style required repeated application of relaxers; as new hair grew in, it too had to be chemically straightened.

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Some articles on conk:

Conk
... The conk (derived from congolene, a hair straightener gel made from lye) was a hairstyle popular among African-American men from the 1920s to the 1960s ... Conks were often styled as large pompadours although other men chose to simply slick their straightened hair back, allowing it to lie flat on their heads ... Regardless of the styling, conks required a considerable amount of effort to maintain a man often had to wear a do-rag of some sort at home, to prevent sweat or other ...
Inonotus Obliquus - Name
... It is also known as the clinker polypore, cinder conk, black mass and birch canker polypore ... In England and Canada, it is known as the sterile conk trunk rot of birch, which refers to the fruiting bodies growing under the outer layers of wood surrounding the sterile conk ...
Spidey Super Stories - Episodes - 1975–1976
... he had a webbed head, he'd be Spider-Man! "Spidey Gets the Old One-Two" June Angela Conk (Jim Boyd) and Bonk (Luis Avalos) were ordinary third graders until a ... The duo dress in black suits and derbies and assault their victims Conk with a large mallet to the head, Bonk with a boxing glove to the stomach ... Note Conk and Bonk were a parody of the Alka-Seltzer commercial running at the time the personifications of headache (Conk) and upset stomach (Bonk) would assault people who hadn't been ...
Spidey Super Stories - Episodes - 1975–1976
... if he had a webbed head, he'd be Spider-Man! "Spidey Gets the Old One-Two" June Angela Conk (Jim Boyd) and Bonk (Luis Avalos) were ordinary third graders ... black suits and derbies and assault their victims Conk with a large mallet to the head, Bonk with a boxing glove to the stomach, grabbing their victims' lunches before they can recuperate ... Note Conk and Bonk were a parody of the Alka-Seltzer commercial running at the time the personifications of headache (Conk) and upset stomach (Bonk) would assault people who hadn't been eating right, only to be ...
Afro-textured Hair - History - The United States - Abolition of The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
... Women at that time tended to either wear wigs, or to hot-comb their hair (rather than conk it) in order to temporarily mimic the same straight style without permanently altering the ... Popular until the 1960s, the conk hair style was achieved through the application of a painful lye, egg and potato mixture that was toxic and immediately burned the scalp ... children in Natchitoches, Louisiana,1940 Jazz musician Eddie South sporting a conk, or congolene, hairstyle, 1946 African-American abolitionist Harriet Tubman with styled afro-textured hair ...

More definitions of "conk":

  • (verb): Pass out from weakness, physical or emotional distress due to a loss of blood supply to the brain.
    Synonyms: faint, swoon, pass out
  • (verb): Come to a stop.
    Synonyms: stall
  • (verb): Hit, especially on the head.
    Example: "The stranger conked him and he fainted"