Over 100 years ago in 1877, the first hair relaxer was born. But it wasn’t until the 1970s that this idea became commercial and the product was mass produced, marketed solely to black women. In more recent years, however, the natural hair movement has taken shape. The natural hair movement is women reclaiming ownership of their hair, embracing the hair that they were born with, their God-given strands.
Black women and our hair have been a hot topic for a long time. Our hair has been making people rich with all the products marketed to us (the first self-made female millionaire in America was Sarah Breedlove, who created hair products geared to black women), it has been seen as political, and it is used to make a statement. It has been thought of as “dirty,” “difficult,” “bad” and “unmanageable” – adjectives that any black women with natural hair knows are untrue, to say the least.
More salons that work with natural hair are popping up, too. Beauticians are promoting the fact that women don’t need weaves, extensions or wigs to be gorgeous.
With Youtube, Fotki, Instagram, Facebook, blogs and all of the other social networks, the natural hair community is growing by strides. Women have instant access to tutorials for amazing hairstyles and routines that they can adapt. Any woman who is new to the natural hair journey need not feel alone because she isn’t: there are thousands of resources available to her online and many in her neighborhood, if she lives in a metropolis.
The natural hair movement has nowhere to go but up. There are still young girls getting suspended from school and women being held back in their careers because their hair. But this trend is unsustainable. Too many women are tired of being slaves to chemicals and enduring at times irreversible damage to the hair and scalp. Natural is the way of the future.