Natural Hair: Fad or Fixture?
TV personalities such as Debra Duncan (host of Great Day Houston, a local television broadcast) have went natural, actress Lisa Arrindell Anderson is natural, and recently, we have all come to learn that Raven Symone has went natural and is sporting her naturally curly locks. Of course there are others, such a Kim Coles from “Living Single” fame. So what is all of this talk and hype about natural hair these days? Most black women can agree that hair, their hair in particular, has always been an important part of their life and the subject of many conversations. How can I get my natural hair to grow? What can I do to stop the breakage? How often should I trim my ends? Sound familiar?
Even though topics surrounding our hair have always been important, it seems that every since Chris Rock’s Good Hair documentary, the topic of black hair has been gaining momentum. The documentary gave us a sneak peek into the world of hair, perspectives on black hair, and the events that are a part of the very popular Bronner Bros. Hair Show. The tone of the documentary was very light and even comedic; however, it was serious at the same time. It really made a lot of women think about what they may be doing to their hair when they choose different styling methods.
Nevertheless, more and more women are choosing to go natural. They are choosing not to chemically alter their hair and instead, wear it in its natural state. Is this because of the documentary? Probably not, since more women had begun to do this before its release. So, is it a fad or is it simply fashion?
Black women are educating themselves about what they use on their hair and as a result, may choose to switch styling methods they may have used for years, such as relaxing. Many are tired of feeling like they have to wear their hair relaxed or weaved to be taken seriously, to be considered “professional,” and to be considered attractive.
A fad is something that everyone thinks is “hot” for a short period of time and then it gets really old, real quick, and its wow factor simply vanishes. This is not the case with women going natural. The number of ads with models wearing natural hairstyles has consistently increased over the last couple of years. Progress is slow, but there has been some strides made. It all comes down to choosing “hair” over a hairstyle or hairstyling process. If you know a hairstyling method is causing you to lose your beloved tresses, change the way you style or process your hair. It took me a long time to see that the preferred method for styling my hair was not allowing it to grow to its maximum potential; it was causing unnecessary breakage, and was not allowing me to retain length or thickness. It can be hard for us to let go of a routine, especially when we are unsure of what the outcome will be for doing so. Nevertheless, whatever your routine or hairstyling preference is, natural hair is here to stay. The liberation that women are feeling by freeing their natural hair is not something that will go away any time soon.