The natural hair care movement is an amazing phenomenon that has swept across the United States. Over the past several years, thousands of African-American women are making the choice to stop processing their hair and to embrace their natural locks. This movement stemmed from the realization that, for generations, Black women felt the need to apply White standards of beauty to themselves. And, to be honest, the chemicals, expense, and time it took to get this look was not worth it. So, Black women have decided to flout their gorgeous curls and coils, embracing their true ethnic beauty.
The concept behind going natural is quite simple: Women have stopped putting harmful chemicals in their hair. This means that instead of using relaxers, women embrace their natural hair patterns. While some still continue to blow dry and flat iron their hair, they tend to do this less and still keep their natural texture. Some start their natural journey by cutting off all their processed hair, while others let it grow out and cut it away as it lengthens. Either way, in the end, Black women are left with their beautiful, natural hair.
At the center of the natural hair care movement is a strong focus on self-love and respect. While all women, no matter what their race, have been victim to the beauty expectations placed on them by society, Black women have faced harsher judgement. This led them to adopt hairstyles that weren’t natural to their hair type, with each new fad taking it to more drastic lengths. The natural hair movement shifted focus from what is ‘acceptable’ in general, to what makes each woman feel beautiful and proud.
One of the best things about this movement is how it applies to a wide range of Black women. Everyone has dealt with trying to love their hair, but for Black women this movement was so close to the heart that discussing it created a community. Through Instagram, YouTube, and other social media outlets, women have come together to share the struggles and triumphs that comes with transitioning to and caring for natural hair. The common theme in all these outlets is that women are beautiful just the way they are and that they don’t have to conform to be gorgeous.
The natural hair care movement is completely doing away with the long held idea that hair can only be beautiful if it’s long and straight. Now, women are rocking their afros, curls, and ringlets with a pride that resonates with all of society. In fact, while the natural hair care movement is considered a Black movement, it has inspired women of all races to stop conforming to society’s concept of beauty. By inspiring and learning about themselves, and their hair, Black women across the country have ignited a feminist movement that is changing the face of the country.