The natural hair movement is about more than just hair. It is a movement of both men and woman embracing their naturally kinky, coily, and curly hair. Rocking natural hair historically has been looked down upon in places that hold a white standard of beauty. The natural hair movement helps promote loving the skin you are in and uplifts the idea that everyone is beautiful. Here are a few ways in which the natural hair movement is changing the world.
Black hair is an extension of protest
2015 isn’t the first time we have seen a huge wave of Black people embracing their natural beauty. In the 1960s the Black Power Movement promoted the idea that Black people should part with western standards of beauty, throw away their flat irons and stop poisoning themselves by wearing relaxers, and ultimately reject the idea that one had to assimilate to be successful. Changing your hair meant you supported the political and social movements of the Black Power Movement. We have seen examples of protest like this today when a news reporter choose to be fired rather than to tame her natural hair.
The Black Hair Movement would not be possible without social media platforms like Youtube, and Twitter. My friends and I talk frequently about how even five years ago, when we started college, we didn’t know anything about how to take care of our natural hair. Now that we see ourselves represented on these social media platforms we have the tools to start our own natural hair journeys.
The support of the virtual community may even be more important than our physical ones because a lot of black people are surrounded by prominently white people. Lots of people on the natural hair journey are the first ones in their social groups to do so. It is critical to feel supported when fighting social norms and social media helps us do that.
Money, Money, Money
CNN even went as far as to make a video about natural hair, exclaiming that black hair is a multi billion dollar industry.
“Black hair is big business – an estimated $2.7 billion industry in hair care alone. A shift away from chemical relaxers in favor of natural hair has sparked a wave of innovation in the industry and created renewed opportunity for black entrepreneurs”- CNN Money
The natural hair movement has turned that industry up-side down, demanding more natural hair care products, and promoting the decrease in relaxer sales.
The Natural hair movement has stepped outside of just the African American community and made it’s way to other countries with large Afro populations. We are being seen on T.V. shows, commercials , and magazines. Children with natural hair are connecting and seeing themselves in their favorite TV shows and movies.
The Wiz live showcased all manners of black hair on the NBC musical debut. This type of representation is important to show African American people are not a monolith and very diverse individuals. For years natural hair was used in Television to showcase the dirty, nasty, thug types, unintelligent and disobedient. But now natural is making a comeback, beautiful,multi-talented, and proud.