I know many are tired of this Natural vs. Relaxed debate and I’m not here to discuss another post about it. I’m here to discuss a post from Cassandra Jackson from the Huffington Post on whether this Natural hair movement is the end of Black beauty culture? Is she for real? I, like a few others in the comment thread felt like Natural hair WAS the Black beauty culture movement!
Now, don’t get me wrong I do understand where she’s coming from. She’s discussing the rite of passage that many Black women have embarked on going from Natural hair as a child to getting their hair pressed or going to a salon and getting their first perm. I get it…I just don’t agree with it.
“For all the horrible things about hair straightening, the experiences associated with it have created a powerful thread that connects the vast majority of black women. Even if you have kinky hair now, you probably have memories of time spent with family and friends in kitchens getting your hair done by someone who loved you and who you trusted enough to wield a sizzling hot straightening comb next to your ear. You probably remember that first trip to the beauty shop where black women talked about grown folks’ business, and nearly every sentence began with the endearment, “girl.” It does not matter if your mother was a teacher or housekeeper, or if you were in New York or Alabama because these experiences crossed class and region. Hair straightening was a rite of passage, an entry into the world of black women.
But the natural journey is not salon focused. In fact, natural hair allows for a certain amount of freedom from salons, which is good because many natural salons cost significantly more than traditional ones. For some who are natural the cost of certain curly salons is prohibitive. In addition, there are regions where natural hair salons are few and far between. The focal point of the natural hair community seems to be online message boards and YouTube, rather than beauty shops.” Huffington Post
I do feel more of a connection with what she discusses in the second paragraph since I haven’t stepped into a salon in a minute, and so have many others going down this Natural hair journey. That connection that many Black women shared with our hair salon is evaporating for some and that may be a little sad but I say it’s a freedom for us since this means we are no longer chained to that industry. We also are not running away from water! This seems more like an evolution or even a revolution for most so I say embrace it and not see it as a negative thing
I will be stepping into a Natural hair salon soon to get a style and cut but it won’t be a weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly trip. More like a once or twice a year event that many more Naturals are finding themselves doing. Is that so wrong to change up our patterns because we found something better? I don’t think so. It’s just a change and we all know that life is ever changing.
So, I’m seeing going Natural as a positive change in Black beauty culture. Yes I know that many are still relaxed or wearing weaves but this is by far more than just a fad as some would like to see it. It’s a movement that has become a self-awareness for me as well as others. It might be just hair to some but it’s a life change for me and I’m OK with that.
Moving with the times Naturals,