Black Women Going Natural…Liberation or Just Another Trend?

lupus

When I think of the times my mother would have me sit on the floor to do my hair, which was very long and coarse, parting it, greasing it (Royal Crown), then putting in the ponytails with the colored twist bands or barrettes.

313e062ba3a542f25e4976b479451f5b

Memories of those times are synonymous with the culture of Black women.  Our mothers always made sure to keep our hair neatly combed or press, thus, we learned at a young age, that hair, was a very important beauty feature of a woman. However, it was also infused in us very early on that there was something wrong with our natural hair.  Mothers like mine, who got tired or just too busy to do our hair, often started putting kiddy perms in.  That resulted in many of us suffering hair loss and damage to our natural hair that would last a lifetime.

I was blessed to have long hair.  Everywhere I went, people asked me if my hair was real.  They wanted to touch it–run their hands through it.  I never understood the fuss, as not having any vanity whatsoever of the length of my hair.  It just was peculiar how Black folks, particularly Black men acted whenever seeing a young Black woman–any Black woman, no matter what age, with natural long hair.  There was a value added to it; people were always awed by the sight of long hair. This would become a long-standing experience that has lasted to this day.

In its natural state, my hair is curly and wavy.  After years of doing my hair, my mother simply got tired and decided to have a perm put in my hair by a friend of the family who was also a beautician.  When I think of the time it would take this woman to do my hair; I cringe.  I swear, I’d leave the house at 8:30 a.m. for my 9:00 a.m. appointment, only to get there, and have to wait for her to get in the mood to do my hair.  Honest to God, she’d have me sitting in the kitchen, while she cooked breakfast sometimes, then start doing her laundry; then, tell me to go downstairs in the basement, where her salon was, and she’d be down shortly.  Ok, hours would pass–literally, I’ve been waiting on this woman for several hours. When she finally touched my head, it would be damn near noon.  This would be repeated over and over and over.  I was 12 when I got my first perm.  By the time I entered high school, I went back to natural.  My high school years were a time of fashion and beauty exploration. Freshman year, I decided to trim my hair–I wanted a flared look.  Then, people started calling me Farrah.  I experimented some more, cutting it into what would eventually become the geometric look (ahead of my time).  I would wear my hair up (like women did back in the forties) then create other styles.  There was no telling what I’d do to my hair.

However, I am here to tell you…right  here and right now.  I NEVER, EVER, EVER, HAD A JHERI CURL!  Couldn’t stand the drip.  And those damn plastic hair bags people used to wear. This, was not cool to me.  And don’t even get me started on that flaky mess that you’d see in people’s hair if they didn’t wash that head.  Yuck.  Terrible.  The extremes Black people went to just to have a curl.  This period truly exposed just how much value Black people put in their hair.

452bf28f9df22166e8647cb01110b796

And Black women…we are some of the largest consumers of hair care products in the world.  From braids, locks perms and relaxers, and now hair weaves; adding on: hair care products, beauty salon visits, etc., this adds up to a 9 billion dollar industry.  Companies fiercely compete for the attention and dollars of Black women by infusing insecurity with desirability of having European hair; it fuels a sickness that is helping many Asians send their children to college.

Today however, there is a movement in Black Women.  Many are going natural.  Love some of the looks.  As always, Black women are the most creative when it comes to hair:

2015-Spring-Summer-Natural-Hairstyles-for-Black-Women-14

f80fcc4881ce7937127c67e4c138da43

French-Braid-Hairstyles-for-Black-Women-idea

I’ve been natural for over 30 years, but I stopped pressing my hair within the last 8 years.  And my hair is the healthiest it’s ever been.

I’m glad and very supportive of the new attitude and movement among my sisters, but I wonder, is it really a liberation for many or just another trend.

Only time will tell…

Advertisements

20 comments on “Black Women Going Natural…Liberation or Just Another Trend?

  1. Sabrina says:

    I went natural in 11th grade from 17 to 18 years old which was two years and got it permed and curled for graduation. Class of 2014. I was naïve and anxious to try the natural look because I was seeing the versatility and creativity of it which drove my desire. Of course since I was new at it, It was crazy at times. I would try to do something with it like how the women demonstrated it in their videos and it failed every time for me. I just stuck to the fro’hawk. I tried the braid out and it failed. I was buying curly products and it didn’t work. I was trying products that didn’t relate to my porosity. I read as many natural hair posts and style icons every day. I subscribed to a natural hair site. I was trying to mimick what the ladies were doing and I had no idea what I was doing. My mom was doing my cornrows and French braids. When that perm touched my hair again, I became adjusted to it all over again. I loved the curls added to it. I was no longer interested in just straight hair. It was boring for me. in 2016 of October, I went natural again. I been 10 months strong. I’ve lost some hair of course because I was combing it out and taking dead ends out. Some hair grew back. I’ve been doing a good job learning how to be patient with my hair and try different styles. I’ve tried the afro, braid out, the cornrow, the 3 strand twists, and the two strands. It took practice but I got better with it. For me it is not a trend and I don’t over stand why everything we do has to be. Why can’t we just be loyal.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. TheOriginalBlackWoman13 says:

    I was bullied in school by other self-hating black children about my napps. The peer pressure got to me at 16 and I begged mom to let me get a perm. I had my perm for 16 years. Now I’m 2 years natural! Looking back, I NEVER thought I would see the day in my lifetime when Black Women would embrace out natural hair again. I was telling some of my friends, woman and girl relatives, and others that I hope that this is just not a trend and it will stay. One of my friends (who has been natural for 20 years) say she believe that it will. IDK….I really hope so!

    Like

  3. Tyrone says:

    What’s Good Sis? As per usual, we deal with hypocritical people and ideologies. For centuries into the present, our curly hair has been marginalized. Now, the same crew is breaking their necks to enrich themselves from “Black Hair” while simultaneously pushing Eurocentrism to us. The bs never stops, it just recycles itself in different faces. With respect to the billion dollar black hair industrial complex. Are blackwomen reaping any benefit from this? If the answer is no, that’s a problem…Big Problem! My Mom and Gramps got tired of doing my hair too. Loved my plaits and cornrows. Acted a fool when I went to the Barber Shop…I Feel You!!!

    Like

    • Truthangel07 says:

      No. From what I can see, Tyrone, Black women are not reaping the benefits, nor is the African American community.

      Every race on this earth knows they can make money off of us; they feel absolutely no accountability in even hiring us in those stores that sell products to our community.

      Now what does that sound like to you.

      We can’t exactly call them thieves if we’re the ones who keep allowing them to walk in our communities unchecked.

      Like

      • Tyrone says:

        Yeah Truth, it’s hella stank like spoiled collards. Now, stupid white chicks like Kylie Jenner can talk s@#t to a blackwoman via Twitter and have no fear of repercussions. How can we complain when we’re in bed with the problem? Always gotta be the Good Girl/Guy as it relates to others, and we end up.looking like damn fools in the process…That’s Us! Not just our hair, they’ve co-opted everything…Surreal!

        Like

      • Truthangel07 says:

        Tyrone, in my neighborhood in Chicago, we were some of the best looking, smartest, organized, progressive, and nationalist-minded people on the planet. We knew who were were. We understood the basic principles of God, family, and community. Yes, there were white people in the neighborhood, but they never could infiltrate us because of our unity and strength.

        WP are true pests; they only can flourish when their is a breach within a group.

        Like

  4. N.S. says:

    It is always nice to see black women with their natural hair. A a black man, I love it, especially some of the hair styles.

    Like

    • Truthangel07 says:

      Black women are some of the most creative women on earth when it comes to our hair.

      And I will tell the “girls” what you said. I’m sure they will all want to know who you are…

      🙂 *Smile*

      Like

  5. Very nice post thanks for sharing, I am feeling with this it.
    Black women are the creatures most loved,envied, admired and copied in the world. Our features and our hair makes us unique in the world! For this reason they hate us!
    I am so happy that most of our sisters are awakening and they are accepting the black beauty, I have never seen the Eurocentric beauty model better than ours!
    Look now a Vogue Magazine they had put a white woman with “Afro hair”, how they are teaching white women to get a Afro hair! The Caucasians want make their white women copy our figure and make them the best than us “The original woman”.
    “No matter how long a log stays in the river- it will never become a crocodile”. African Proverb

    Like

  6. I gotta be my pessimistic self and say it’s just a fad. I really hope that it’s not, but something tells me it’ll come and go just like it did before. I feel like the political climate for Black people is so that it’s widely excepted, but as soon as that climate changes the Koreans are gonna be back in business. I really hope not though.

    Like

  7. I believe it’s liberation, there is something going down I can feel it

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s