IMHO, Mr. Obama becoming the first Black president of the United States isn’t the most significant change for people of color in the past 10+ years. What is? The explosion of natural black hairstyles we’re seeing everywhere.
No shade on the president, who I voted for twice, but I think the natural trend is more significant because it feels like a permanent mindset shift is taking place. We black women are getting comfortable with our natural curls and kinks, and that’s a big big deal. These changes in attitudes are having a positive effect on our self-esteem, is changing how we love and care for our hair, where we spend our dollars, and how much time we spend on our tresses. And the shift isn’t happening just here in the U.S. It’s a global trend playing out on the streets of Berlin, Paris, London, in the Caribbean and other places.
Led by musicians such as Valerie June, natural styles aren’t just for the weekends anymore. They’re showing up on concert stages, runways, red carpet, and at work where we see long braids and locks being pulled back into ponytails to fit the office definition of “professional” hair. We’re seeing natural hair with a frequency and unapologetic swagger that lets you know, this trend is here to stay.
Another major shift is in the variety. There’s no longer just one type of locks, braids, twists, curly styles, and puffy dos to choose from…there’s a sea of them. Natural black hair untouched by heat and chemicals? Can’t you just feel the freedom?
Why natural hair is trending
For me and many others, it’s about the health of our bodies and by extension, the health of our hair. Others are doing it to embrace our Black and multi-ethnic heritage while a large number of women just want to move away from chemicals and give their hair a break. It can be more economical than the weekly salon upkeep of permed hair… and on some, look more creative and interesting than straight hair.
Whether the switch is permanent or just for a few days, natural hair can be liberating! And in that spirit, let’s bring out some of my favorite natural girls.
Now that natural hair has gone mainstream and looks so beautiful, will frizzy curls be the next Black feature our sisters of European descent will want to try out?
Christine is a lifestyle coach living in Los Angeles. Using systems, routines, and some psychological trickery, she can help almost anyone hack their mind and life for greater productivity. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if she's available for one-on-one work.