|Photo Credit: natiq.deviantart.com
Over ten years ago, the natural hair community was non-existent. Even though the interest for an organic diet and lifestyle was on the rise, there was very few talk about natural hair products in the market because no one was wearing their hair natural. The majority of people would stare you down and could not even understand why you chose to wear natural hair.
Women was isolated at times because they choose to be different and not follow the norm. Personally, I remember the negative stares I would get or how people would not even speak to me on the job because of my hairstyle and after I conformed to the norm, the same people would approach me with conversation and flood me with compliments on my hair.
After Chris Rock’s documentary, “Good hair” it brought much attention to the hair care and beauty industry. It opened the eyes of African-American women.
The harsh chemicals used to perm hair and the expense of purchasing weaves and hair extensions influenced African American women to go natural. It has been beautiful to see women of color embrace their natural beauty after generations of discrimination, judgment and criticism.
The natural hair community has grown into an extended family where they can share beauty tips, natural hair styles, product reviews and even their frustrations and disappointments on growing their hair as well as overall health.
However, during the natural hair movement, the products on the market has become extremely expensive. It has become a money-making scheme for the manufacturer of these products. Products are slowly transitioning natural hair textures. The key term for hair used is “too become more manageable.”
The kinky texture is adapting softening up the hair to become a softer, looser curl. With extended use of a lot these products, the hair pattern is slowly changing without notice. It’s a subtle and not as extreme as a perm or chemical process but in fact a lot of these products contain vegetable or soy oil which does naturally loosen the curl pattern and over time it becomes straighter.
Along with a changing hair texture, breakage may develop. As I remember, my hair never use to suffer breakage with natural hair at all until the past year. With all the emphasis on all these “To do’s” along with the mix of constant changing and mixing products can cause more damage more than it’s worth.
Another noticeable change is the fact that everybody wants to jump on board with the natural hair movement. It has become a phenomenon! Everyone is embracing their hair even those who are accepted into society!
There are endless commercials with products claiming to use shea butter, argan oil and coconut oil. The commercials feature soft, bouncy ringlets of curls. Do they not realize that the whole purpose for going natural was too accept kinky, coiled, coarse “Can’t get the comb through it” hair strands?
I feel the natural hair community is becoming lost in the trends of what is truly defined as beauty. We have come 360 degrees (full circle). It’s absolutely great that everyone wants to jump on board. That is not my argument. It’s the fact that the true, authentic message is becoming lost with all the hype on natural hair.
Deciding to go natural is not a trend. It’s a choice to accept your hair texture regardless of what the social standard of beauty may be which has always been straight, European hair texture. Silkier, curlier textures has also been accepted. However, coarser textures has been frowned upon for centuries.
The breakdown of defining hair textures shows the extreme measures of this discrimination.
Let us remember why the journey began in the first place. Coarser textures did not have the proper hair products on the market, they did not have the proper techniques to care or style their hair and most of all was to embrace their true identity, raise their self-esteem and accept their own beauty when society rejected and discriminated against them.
Now as far as the natural hair products transitioning natural hair, you can always choose to “Do it yourself.” DIY is the only way to really know what you are putting on your hair.
Remember, natural hair products are not truly pure natural ingredients if they are sitting on a shelf. They do include some type of chemicals to preserve them. If there is one drop of natural oil included the manufacturer is quick to slap on a label calling it “Natural” or “Organic” that will soften those kinks to the point of no return!