When did the natural hair movement become so complicated? There are so many hair rules of do’s and don’t to prevent hair breakage or hair loss. Heat styling, traction alopecia, the proper hair products to use and even t-shirts and hair rulers to measure hair growth. It’s all real issues naturals deal with but has it been taken to all-time levels of extremes?
I remember when my mother used to press my hair with afro sheen, use one shampoo and no conditioning treatments. I use to sit in torture listening to the sizzle of the hot comb frying my thick, plump coils into thin, straight tresses while I crunched over watching a chimney of smoke fill the room with a smell of burnt, scorched hair.
I never experienced extreme hair breakage, split ends, fairy knots, hair loss or any other devastating hair issues. In fact, it was the complete opposite. My hair grew like a sunflower and blossomed with a head full of wooly goodness.
The attention that the natural hair community has created has allowed the mainstream hair and beauty industry to capitalize on some many levels. Basic ingredients such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, castor oil, glycerin and other natural ingredients, has been emphasized and brought to the forefront. The majority of the population was not fully aware of the benefits of using such ingredients until it was brought to the attention of the hair and beauty industry.
For example, they didn’t know anything about African Shea butter until it was recognized for moisturizing skin. Now, brands claim Shea butter is listed within their products even if it just contains less than 1% drop of the ingredient in their products. Then, they slap a natural or organic label on the bottle and raise the price. Every mainstream commercial is broadcasting argan oil, coconut oil, and olive oil to achieve healthy, shiny hair.
My argument is not the fact that these natural ingredients have become popular in the market, but more so that they are overcharging and taking advantage of the natural hair movement. African-Americans pay so much more for their basic hair products. The prices continue to rise because the industry understands that black women will pay for it regardless of how ridiculous the price because they value their hair and appearance and will go through every measure to get their hair “did.”
It has become a commodity by taking advantage of the specific needs and care that African textures require for manageability and health of their locks.
What I don’t understand is that with all the options available on the shelf, why is there so many complaints of hair loss and damage? Have you wondered what ingredients they use or don’t use that is transitioning or weakening the strength resulting in excessive breakage or hair loss? What additional ingredients are these brands using that we are not aware of?
As a child I remember, I didn’t have to use a million products to achieve healthy hair. I didn’t have to even sleep with a silk or satin hair bonnet or pillowcase. I didn’t have to follow a million and one hair rules on how to care for my coils.
It’s fun to experiment with new products and learn what works best in your hair. I challenge you to step back and review your own hair journey experiences on your quest for achieving your ultimate hair-worthy goals.
Let me know your thoughts. Feel free to share your comments below.