Natural Hair High
Do you like the recent trend of natural hair?
It seems that being natural is the thing these days particularly for women of color. The curly, coily, messy bird’s nest of hair-fros is definitely in style. Well, I suppose.
What exactly does it mean to be natural? Everyone has their own definitions and deviations to what it is to be natural. If you’re asking me then the answer is allowing your hair to grow in its natural texture without chemical straighteners. But if you ask someone else, that answer could vary to the extreme.
Some believe that if you straighten your hair with heat straighteners like flat irons YOU ARE NO LONGER NATURAL. If you color your hair YOU ARE NO LONGER NATURAL. If you apply texturizers or keratin treatments YOU ARE NO LONGER NATURAL. The reason for this, as it has been told to me by stylist Candra Ward of Miami Florida, is that each of these processes as well as other chemical processes “breaks down the peptide bond,” Which essentially means, the hair no longer holds its “natural” properties. But if that is the case, then no one could ever truly be natural simply because some shampoos and conditioners we use alter the chemical make-up of our hair. Heck, even the sun; however minor, it is still an alteration from the natural state.
I say let’s not argue over whose natural truly is and just let it be. Embrace the natural in us all. What I love most about natural hair is all of the character is possesses. It’s so interesting to watch. It’s a tribute, and a community and entertainment and now a multi-million dollar industry. Did you know that! I didn’t know that! But I’m not surprised. The main individuals responsible for this “Natural Movement” are black women and let’s face it; black women take such pride in their hair, sometimes to a fault. You didn’t happen to watch Chris Rock’s documentary “Good Hair” did you?
Basic natural styles
There are a million and one natural hair styles. Don’t believe me, just check YouTube. But, let’s just talk about the basic styles which are usually one of three: dread locs, sister locs, and ever infamous afro. An afro is pretty straight forward but what about locs and sister locs. And how are these achieved in individuals with naturally straight hair?
As a natural of more than seven years, being natural is no easy feat. We run into many roadblocks not faced by others due to the commonly accepted cosmetology practices mostly (ONLY) taught using naturally straight hair or teaches how to straighten naturally curled/coiled hair. There are few cosmetologists who have any expertise in caring for or styling natural hair and almost none who are actually trained. There are several landmark battles in the freedom fight to teach about and style natural hair including this very famous one Armstrong v Lunsford for African style hair braiding.
Straight hair types vary less like natural hair types. There are various densities, textures, lengths and other things to consider when dealing with natural hair. Chemist had to go back to the drawing board on this one. It’s a need that has to be accommodated and so was born the kitchen chemist at an entirely new level. A chart has even been developed to aid in the classification of these hair types.
Natural, naturals every where
All in all, natural is beautiful. Everywhere you turn there is a walking display of crowning art. I love how celebrities have embraced and endorsed the movement as well. There are natural hair conventions popping up all over the nation: Dallas, Atlanta, Orlando. I recently attended Spring 'Fro Fashion in Atlanta. I love these conventions because you get a ton of free product and if you know naturals, you know how we love to experiment with new product. FREE, even better. “Celebrity” bloggers are popping up all over the web. Here are a few of my favorite natural celebrities and “celebrity” bloggers.
- Curly Nicki
- Mae (Natural Chica)
- Jill Scott
- Loretta Devine
- Erica Badu
Can you tell I’m a little partial to neo-soul music? Guilty as charged. Hoped you enjoyed the post. Till next time. Stay beautifully natural.