How Did The Natural Hair Movement Start?

natural hair movement

Trust The Process

As an African American woman you probably go through all sorts of struggles trying to maintain a style that works. In fact; the amount of products and styling you need all contributes to a portion of the hefty estimated 774 million dollars that African American women spend yearly – just trying to keep their hair tame!

A black Woman’s hair is unique to any other type of hair in the world. It is coarse and thick with a tendency to curl – and curl it will, if not corrected! This means avoiding rain/the pool/garden sprinklers at all costs – and even cancelling plans when you need to! However, in the last few years something has changed in the aesthetics department, and suddenly natural hair is in!

Natural hair means hair that has not been treated or texturally modified by any chemicals whatsoever. The idea here? Your hair is a symbol of black excellence. You should not be ashamed to wear it no matter how zig-zagged, springy or curled! You should step up and own your hair… and, of course, just because it’s natural doesn’t mean you can’t put a few natural and unprocessed human hair extensions in there to give you that little added something-something.

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For centuries, black hair styling has been influenced by European culture. We have been told that we need to look a certain way, act a certain way and dress a certain way in order to achieve anything with our lives. The natural hair movement calls out this misconception for exactly what it is – BS. We are us, we exist… and by the way, our hair looks fantastic while we go about existing…

In the 80’s and 90’s hair straightening was the norm, and considered fashionable. Back in 2005 a documentary film “Good Hair” was released that bolstered confidence regarding natural hair, and had African American men and women everywhere throwing away the chemicals and jumping on the movement…if their style allowed it. Natural hair does not mean that participants must be politically motivated, nor that they are committed to any particular beauty regime – most of the time, it is worn by woman who are simply sick of all the preparation before they leave the house in the morning.

The Roots

Of course the roots (excuse the pun) of this movement can be traced back to the 60’s and 70’s, when segregation was still a huge problem in America. Full afro’s became popular then, and they were followed by Dreadlocks not so long after. For the African American woman – hair is a huge part of their culture… and if we want to wear it big and bushy then big and bushy it is! 

So although natural hair is a physical manifestation of your beliefs – not everyone loves it. There will always be those who primp and preen; and that’s OK too. If we have learned anything over the past few hundred years it better be to support one another… straight hair, curly hair, luminous pink hair – whatever we want. Your hair = you decision. So wear it with pride no matter what your natural hair style is.


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2 thoughts on “How Did The Natural Hair Movement Start?

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