It’s a fact that the amount of black women turning towards a more natural look for their hair is on the rise. More and more black women are saying “no” to chemical straighteners, weaves, wigs and heat and are instead switching back to wearing their natural hair.
In general, afros, twists, dreadlocks and natural hair are nothing new. However, it wasn’t too long ago that these things weren’t as widely accepted as they are today. Sure, in the 70s and 80s, afros and twists were pretty popular, but for about 20 years following, natural hairstyles were often seen as taboo. Beginning a few years ago, though, natural styles have started making a real comeback. It is no longer unusual to see many ladies sporting these hairstyles. So we have to ask: is this a generational thing, a trend, a texture revolution in action or a reality?
Being natural is not necessarily always a natural movement thing. Back in the late 60s and into the 70s natural hair was part of the black power movement. We had media images of black people with natural hair. We had songs talking about being proud of being black and embracing our natural selves. Having natural hair back then was a STATEMENT – A political statement that slapped white supremacy in its face. While, there may be elements of black power movement amongst naturals today, it is not the main reason for going natural yet it can become necessary to respond as a black power movement when the choice to be natural is not embraced by society because of the skewed perceptions beauty that still exist.
Black womens choice/s to go natural is not about keeping up with some natural hair trend. It is more about choosing to make informed and healthy hair choices. Black women are no longer just blindly following trends. They are no longer basing their hair decisions on a couple of magazines seen to be geared towards African hair care but not catering for natural hair needs. Thanks to access to natural hair care information via the internet (blogs, websites, facebook, twitter) and availability of natural hair support groups, they are now empowered to make informed hair choices. Today we have products specifically formulated for natural hair and more product lines coming out on a regular basis, which did not exist in the past.
The 60’s and 70’s may have been mainly a black power movement. Chemical straighteners, weaves, wigs may be a trend but when it comes to natural hair – it’s the real thing. Black women are going natural for all the right reasons.