“The sale of relaxers has plunged 17 percent during the past year. The drop is directly related to the natural hair movement, reflected in an 11 percent increase in the number of black women who wear their hair natural.” Mintel Oxygen, market research company based in Britain.
You have probably also noticed the comeback of the afro hair trend. Black women from around the globe are embracing their natural hair.
It is nothing new to see black women keeping their hair natural. Back in the days, black women used to wear their hair in its natural state. We all remember the black power and pride movement of the 1970’s during which lots of African-Americans wore their hair natural to express their self-love.
However, with the expansion of relaxers in the late 1900s, the straight-hair-is-ideal propaganda and the lack of resources to educate people on how to care and style their curls, very few women managed to love and show off their natural tresses. Relaxers worked magic. It was so much easier to adopt the straight hair look. The majority of black women could then rock “fine” hair. Plus, nobody wanted to be scrutinized or teased by others about their “untamed nap”. Natural hair was at that time seen as a proscription.
A few years ago, more and more black women have been going back to natural. The hair industry has also been picking up on the trend. There are countless tools and products for afro hair care and styling on the market and the educational resources on the subject are numerous. Consequently, black women are learning to love and take care of their God-given hair.
Within our community, an increasing number of women have been embarking in their natural hair journey but only time will tell if the trend away from relaxers will subsist. In the meantime, let afro hair be!