The natural hair movement has begun
It is common now to see more and more women rocking and sporting their natural hair in several eye-catching styles, hues and lengths with potential hairstyles range from the simple TWA to the sophisticated styles like Bantu knots, hair twists, dreadlocks, and braids. These women identify themselves proudly as “ Nappy Girls “ and have given up relaxed and other extreme treatments in favour of growing their hair out in its natural state. It is almost like “in” FEMALE MOVEMENT: save the world, say no to chemicals. The purpose of the movement is to allow black women accept their hair as unique and beautiful as it is.
In the last 4 – 6 years, there’s been an increase in the number of women who have decided to ditch relaxers and therefore now spot a natural look, also the sale of relaxer kits has rapidly declined by about 30-40 % and there has been a rise in the sale of natural hair products. The internet is filled with loads of information and YouTube is the best resource for growing and caring for natural hair, for aspiring natural hair divas.
On the other side, the birth of the “natural hair movement “ has given rise to arguments questioning the continued use of relaxers by some people and how being natural is being true to your roots and identity or for racial reasons; on another side some see it as a fad, the “IN” thing now, forgetting fads come and go.
For me, my going natural was not a case of identity, because being natural has nothing to do with feminism or racial factors. I have always been adventurous with my hair and after my last episode of permed hair gone bad, I just made the choice of joining the bandwagon since going natural is a big trend at the moment and I have consistently seen nice natural hairstyles on people. I later got to find out maintenance is not easy at first and the internet is awash with so many information that can sometimes be misleading. I was confused at a point concerning what works best for me, after some research, I found the perfect hair regime and products.
I have come to understand that it is not the easier or a cheaper alternative to permed hair because I still get to invest in good hair products. I have come to realise the value of keeping my hair in its natural state has enormous health benefits for my hair and It is nice seeing more women embrace their natural hair. But because there are many misconceptions that surround the movement, it is important to state certain things :
- Going natural should be a choice, it does not make you more African than the next person who has relaxed ( permed) hair.
- The Natural hair may seem like the “ in” thing , and just because you see someone rocking a head full of amazing thick bouncy curls or nice twist out does not necessarily mean that when you go natural your hair will look exactly the same because everyone has different hair textures, porosity level, growth rates to their personal hair regime.
- If you did not take care of your hair while it was relaxed, going natural won’t solve your hair problems. I learnt that early in my natural hair journey, thinking going natural would solve my hair breakage problems instantly; if you decide to go natural because of hair problems faced while on permed hair, then you have to decide to keep healthy natural hair so as not to repeat the cycle.
- Consistency is the key. Our hair grows 5 – 1 inch per month and being consistent with your hair regime gives you a better chance of retaining the length you have gained.
- Once in a while, you would get the creamy crack ( relaxer) cravings, especially in the ‘ in between phases – when your hair is in between short and long. Like everything else that desire patience; you must be patient with your hair.
The best tips for aspiring natural girls are faith, love, patience and know that the conditioner is your best friend and heat is your worst enemy. All in all, whatever you choose to do, do it for you and not because everybody else is doing it. If you choose to go on the natural hair journey, relax and enjoy this journey of discovery which you will grow to love like I did if you have faith and are patient enough!
About the Author
Busayo Makinde is the founder of a book and lifestyle blog. She is a bookaholic, fashion lover, art enthusiast, and an adventurer. She also engages in a 9-5 job alongside blogging on the side. You can connect with her on Instagram