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Natural Hair Becoming More Popular for African American Women

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Recent survey data is showing that the number of black women sporting natural hair has increased substantially in recent years.

“Natural hair has been a movement for several years. What we’re seeing now is a confirmation that this is a lifestyle that is very important to a lot of women,” says Cyntelia Abrams, marketing coordinator for Design Essentials, a company that commissioned a study on the topic.

The number of black women who claim that they don’t use chemical relaxers or straighteners has risen to 36% in 2011, which is a significant increase from 26% in 2010.   At the same time, sales of relaxers have dropped by 17% over the last five years.

Last year, 29-year old Rochelle Ritchie, a reporter in West Palm Beach, Florida, went natural on the air.  She said that she “grew tired of “the financial burden” and “feeling like I was covering up.”

James

103 Comment

  1. Oh, cute!!! At twenty-nine years of age, a girl can feel all girly and NATURAL. But just wait, honey. Time takes a toll–on ALL your body parts. As for this sexy senior, I’ll go natural when people stop wearing clothing as a covering for a multitude of physical ‘sins.’

    • I am 48 and natural, and brought my mother into the natural world before she died. I see now really good reason to continue to use chemicals on my hair that have not been well tested and did nothing to raise my self esteem. I’m comfortable with myself and my hair and if some man isn’t happy with it, he’s free to move on to the next woman.

  2. I’m 47-year-old natural girl, who love the diversity between natural and flat ironing. I truly believe that women who chemically relax their mane have identity issues that they must consider. Chemically relaxing your hair is no different from bleaching of ones skin. My opinion, of course.

    • You are absolutely correct.

    • agreed!

  3. I am a 56 year old natural female. My hair has been locked since 2004. When I decided to look at a healthier life style, I stopped putting chemicals in my hair and putting on false nails. I looked in the mirror and saw me. It works for me. Have A Very Musical Day

  4. Women who chemically relax there hair has identity issues? You have to be freaking kidding me. Maybe we just like our hair to be straight and look nice and have no desire to go natural. Naural women as soon as the humidity hits your hair it is going to revert back to a natural mess.

    • lovelyspoiled, whos’s kidding freakin whom? “…….straight and look nice?” “…revert back to a natural mess?”

      According to whose standards of NICE and MESS?

      The insane White American doctrine of White supremacy has done a mad number on you Sister.

      Black Is Beautiful.
      Say It Loud.
      I’m Black and I’m Proud.
      American by Birth.
      Black African by The Grace of God.
      Black Power!
      If not here, where?
      If not now, when?
      If not us, who?
      Each One – Teach One.

      Please.

      • thank you, bob.

      • “The insane White American doctrine of White supremacy has done a mad number on you Sister.”
        Why would you bring “White Supremacy” into a discussion about hair? Maybe lovelyspoiled likes the way it looks on her it is her choice we do live in America where you have the choice to look and say however or whatever you like. It is idiots like you that keep throwing gasoline on a racist fire that is dying out. It’s almost 2012. I am a white Male with Finnish decent and my family lived in Michigan all their lives and pretty sure we didn’t have a plantation nor any slaves, As long as idiots like yourself keep bringing “White Supremacy” into every discussion, racism will always be around. Get a clue. Reverse Racism is a problem.

        • Black folk are ‘free’ to talk about whatever topics they so choose. If you don’t like it hit the track running.

          The gasoline, my brother, was thrown on the fire long before anyone on this thread brought up the topic of white supremacy. Why should anyone care to cater to your emotional connection to certain words or phrases? Why should we care what you think considering you are quick to respond rudely toward someone for expressing a valid (culturally) opinion?

          Perhaps if you pulled your head out of your own (can’t see anything but your own guts) butt, asked smart questions as opposed to making accusations, and actually listened to folk you would gain some respect.

          White supremacy will be a topic of discussion so as long as there exits white supremacists.

          In closing…you obviously consider yourself enlightened. Great! Become an advocate and protester of white supremacists and racism. Go out and recruit fellow so-called white folk whom share your beliefs. Start a national movement of white folk, for the betterment of white folk. Once you have succeeded I am sure black folk will be willing and ready to hear how much of and idiot we are for constantly harping about white supremacy.

          Good luck to you

          • asé!

      • Bob what the hell are you talking about and why would you put some White Supremacy into this. This has nothing to do with white american doctrine and white america hasn’t did anything to me. Just because i choose to relax my hair you want to bring some white supremacy shit into this. Please . I am black and proud and will continue to relax my hair.

        • With all due respect. Clearly you are free to wear your hair as you like. No one has the right to tell you otherwise. The problem this person, and possibly other have is with your choice of words;

          quote:
          Maybe we just like our hair to be straight and look nice and have no desire to go natural. Naural women as soon as the humidity hits your hair it is going to revert back to a natural mess.

          In order for you to look nice=presentable you believe it is necessary to alter the natural state of your hair using chemicals. Why? Because you have no desire for your hair to revert back to its natural mess. In essence, what you are saying (regardless of what you think) is that your natural hair texture is FLAWED and needs to be FIXED.

          You are not alone…the majority of women of African ancestry, and some who claim to be bi-racial (whatever the correct term) feel the same way. And most chemically alter their hair and style their hair in a fashion which resembles a female with straight (like so-called white females) hair.

          Beauty is in the eye of the beholder — All women, regardless of race/ethnicity are beautiful (it takes a lot of work for a woman to make herself truly ugly). However, in my view, women of African descent are the most beautiful women on the planet. To this day the most beautiful woman I have ever laid eyes on was walking down Covent Gardens (London, UK) wearing her hair in an Afro style, sporting a business suit. This woman stopped traffic…and every man and many women around me stopped what they were doing in order to gaze upon her beauty. It was amazing.

          That doesn’t happen that often…and I guarantee if she wan’t wearing an her hair in Afro hardly anyone would have noticed her… Her hair was her crown and glory.

          Peace

      • Bob, truly it is not that deep, but perhaps it is for you. Have you considered therapy?

    • I hear you Lovely. If I was bi-racial had natural hair like the chick in the pic I would wear my hair too. Kinky hair is a lot of work .. dont care how you try to work with. I lead a fast paced life and dont have time for it. Its a lot easier to slap on a wig or .. better still wear attachments.

      • Chime Edwards, the woman is the picture has said she’s not bi-racial. She is a natural hair vlogger and I subscribe to her youtube channel. She does twistouts to make her hair look extra wavy but it is a beautiful afro texture.

    • Lovely, it doesn’t become a “mess” when humidity hits it. That’s a perspective based on the assumption that it is better or easier to manage when it’s straight. Our hair actually craves humidity, because that is what gives it strength. Kinky hair is by definition fragile. Moisture strengthens it. Straightening it actually dries it out, and we are then required to add moisture through other means.

      In your statement, you make “look nice” and “straight hair” synonymous. Natural hair can also look nice. Both types of hair can be lovely. I think the wider issue, though, is why we feel that straight hair is attractive while kinky hair isn’t. If we can’t see kinky hair as beautiful, it’s because we have learned through generations within or society that this is the case. Blacks didn’t feel this way centuries ago when our they lived within their own context and weren’t maligned for their features. Maybe today we as blacks don’t experience this overtly, but there is an underlying societal reality which has made it a reality. It even exists in African countries, due to the influence of white colonial reality. Now, before I’m branded as a “natural nazi” or a “white hater” or whatever, I should clarify. I should point out that I do not insist that all women should be natural (I am, but that’s my choice). I am also married to a white man, and don’t think white people are the devil who stole our identity, lol, but I DO think that over the past several hundred years, our identity has been tied to a European context, and we were encouraged to appreciate their characteristics and not our own (as a means of survival). Now, it’s second nature to accept those characteristics as beautiful, and our natural ones as less attractive. Unfortunately, many of us can’t/won’t accept that this is what has happened, but it is a sociological (scientifically proven) reality.

      It’s fine to accept straight hair as beautiful. The problem is when we don’t accept kinky hair as beautiful as well. When that is the case (for a person of color) it is due to a deeper root that just “personal preference”, even if we don’t recognize it as such. There are subconscious things that shape or “personal preferences”. That’s human nature.

      • The Sus
        Clearest comment on hair. My Hair has been natural, relaxed, shaven off, natural and relaxed again. I have resisted every friend and relative’s insistence that I relax my daughter’s hair and have become a natural-nazi about hers. Mine was relaxed because it was easier for my mother to comb without having to cut it off – it was cut anyway, and I resented the fact that it has never achieved the glory of its pre-relaxer days. I should explain that I am multiracial and my hair seems to individually reflect every ethnic group in my ancestry, and not necessarily in a blended way. Strangely my daughter’s hair seems to have inherited this trait and I freely admit to vicariously really loving her hair, despite the fact that I can barely control it. For that uniqueness alone I have encouraged her to be cautious about doing anything permanent to it, citing my experience. In the end relaxing one’s hair is a personal decision, like cutting it off and does not always involve identity issues.
        It is sad, though, that the cost of styling natural hair, now that it has come back in vogue, is quickly catching up to the financial strain of maintaining a relaxed hairstyle.

        • The cost only goes up if you get product happy, I mix my own conditioners, and moisterizers, to keep the cost down, and now have moved on to skin oils also. for the year it has cost my maybe 50 dollars in shea butter, almond oil, jojoba and argan oil , plus some glycerin, coconut oil and rose water. The only commercial product I buy is shampoo and I use coupons for that. As for hair type, I am a straight tight kinky curl girl and you would never know due the fact that my twist outs last for weeks at a time. I love my hair. kinky curls and all, the only people that seem to have a problem with it are other black women and to them I say -just bask in the glory reflected from my tresses.

    • thats right on my nappy hair lol

  5. Our brothers are being educated on the natural hair explosion. I myself have been natural for 3 1/2 years and I am a 56 year old woman. I have educated all the brothers that I come into contact with on my natural hair journey to include my son; biological brother; father and significant other. Our brothers, at least the ones in my circle know whats going on regarding natural hair and know the terminology that goes with it. They are so proud to be educated on women of color and natural hair, our natural hair styles, the maintance and the journey!

  6. it was done way back in the sixties. then they went from the full Afro to the Gerry curl, and the blow outs, then right back to the straightening combc or relaxers. with so called African Americans having such a diversity of hair types, who can say what is natural and what is not? who cares? Just keep looking good.

    • Thank you, sir, for bringing that point up about the swinging style/fad? pendulum through the generations. I’m personally glad to see it swinging back to the more natural look, but I’m also sure the popularity will rise and fall as has been doing all along. I also agree with your point on the wide diversity of African Americans – especially as it relates to female style, fashion, and appearance – the rising tide of self-awareness, pride and identity will continue to blur the description of what is ‘natural’. But, as you say, just keep looking good and we men will continue to support and applaud.

    • Brother Hill, natural is natural.

      Peace.

  7. i’ve been going without a perm for over five years and hair has never look so good. In fact, It has grown past my shoulders. I just get it wash, condition, blown dry and flat iron.

  8. i am 51. A healthy headof my own HAIR, W/NATURAL OIL ,SHAMPOO occaional twisting. use the money i save on a gym membership, and massage. look at the picture. aint got nuthin to hide.

  9. I have always enjoyed looking at a black woman whose hair is natural. In the 1960’s was one of the most glorious days for me because I loved so much seeing “sisters” with their naturals, especially the dark complexion sisters. If you look at an Afrikan female model with her short natural, there is nothing so beautiful as that. I understand some sisters talking about the difficulty of going natural, but for this brother “natural” has always been the best look and it also compliments an attitude of “self-worth” and “confidence”. If a woman feels better about herself because she has to “fry, relax/perm” her hair than so-be-it, not all woman have to this and it gives men “variety”. No one is the same and I’m sure the Lord made us all differently for a reason, just find yourself mentally and spiritually first, this will dictate “how” you make yourself presentable to the public regarding hairstyles, clothing, etc. I can appreciate a ‘confident, intelligent, good-looking natural-hair wearing woman with a positive disposition for life and men. Now thats beautiful!

  10. I have been natural for over 11 years. I wore locs and then I cut them and remained natural. Yes it can be alot of work but when I am grooming my hair I love it! I am not downing anyone who has relaxed hair… it is just a matter of choice and being natural is mine! 🙂

  11. Nice topic. Critical, in fact. But, surely you could have chosen a photo of a person less typical of of mixed genetics (“good hair”._ The photo trashes any constructive intent the article had.

    • CREE SEVEN … YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD! SHOWING HAIR ON A MIXED GENETIC HEAD IS NOT THE NORM. WHOMEVER SELECTED THAT PICTURE S/B CHASTISED FOR THEIR SELECTION!.

    • agreed.

    • Do your research before you comment. She is not “mixed”. That style is called a twistout lol. It gives the appearance of waves on AFRO textured hair

  12. i dont know what kind of resolution your computer screen has but the young lady in the picture is not of mixed heritage and neither is her hair. Not every persons hair is kinky in its natural state. Some people of African decent actually have a slight wave pattern that can be emphasized by simply braiding when wet.

    • The many so called Afrikans in this part of the world who have the skin complexion of the woman above, do have mixed genetics due to the rape we experienced during slavery and other travails we have gone through. If this article was truly being supportive it would have chosen a woman with Viola Davis’ complexion. Women with Viola’s color would tend to have the so called “kinky” hair because “kinky” hair is the effect of the blessing given to us called Melanin. This carbon known as melanin is so complex that it makes our hair strong, extremely tight and coiled not “kinky”. It is a great benefit to have that hair. Yes, Afrikans have all types of hair, but that “kinky” hair is the original blessing from the Creator. Of course, don’t take my word for it, do the research and find out for yourself.

      • Kinky hair (which I have) is actually quite fragile. In fact, the kinkier it is, the more fragile it is. It’s not very strong, that’s why we are so gentle with it.

        • T, You said “Kinky hair (which I have) is actually quite fragile. In fact, the kinkier it is, the more fragile it is. It’s not very strong, that’s why we are so gentle with it.:—It is true that kinky/nappy/tightly coiled hair is fragile to pulling—- in what material scientists call “tensile strength.” Unlike the hair of other folk and the fur of almost all animals, such hair does not have the center strengthening rod called the medula. This is what allows it to curl so tightly like a flat ribbon pressed against a flat surface. And, therefore it does need to be handled gently when pulling it by combing, brushing, etc. Unfortunately, we have been accustomed to believe that hair can only be properly groomed over even hygienic when combed/ or brushed. Yet, , as you say, such hair responds quite well to water. It also responds quite well, beautifully and without pain to grooming with fingers in stead of artificial implements like combs. Finally, this hair is an engineering marvel in that: it defies gravity; gives significant resistance to things falling on ones head (it has what material scientists call “compression strength” that FAR exceeds all other hair); It is a a fantastic insulator that both cools the head in heat and warms the head in cold. It’s a whole different model. It’s not fur.

          • Cree, I totally agree with your statement about how fragile yet “strong” our hair is. I was responding to emmisaryofwar’s statement about our hair. I wanted to emphasize the point that our hair is delicate, not, as some people assume, tough fiber which can be pulled and tugged at without caution. Our hair is amazing, but has to be respected in order for it to do function in the resilient, protective manner to which you referred.

      • As an avid researcher of natural hair and being a natural sister myself I know several women of Viola Davis’ complexion with the same hair texture as the young lady above. It is all about the technique used to style the hair and to some extent the products. I myself look more “mixed” than she does and you cannot get hair more kinky than mine!

        • To relaxrelaterelease: I’m sure what you say is correct. However, the fact remains that the hair texture pictured in the pic of this article is far from typical of black women in this part of the world and on the planet generally. As I commented earlier, hair with this appearance has always been celebrated by most black folk and if most black females could get this look most would. And. I’m sure it’s not for lack of knowledge of technique and/or product. It’s like we cannot get the courage to admit that we have been conditioned to dislike what we see when we look in the mirror.

          • Cree – the hair in the model could be natural hair that was plaited wet and loosened when semi-dry. It is not in its raw state. That was a trick I learned to plait my own hair which is also much kinkier when it is shorter.

          • I call bull. I am black. My hair has a looser curl pattern than the lovely girl pictured. I know several predominately black sisters with hair just like mine. Try again. There is no such thing as typical black hair. That’s akin to saying we all are the same color

  13. and you wonder why “blackmen” so foolishly lust after women of other races. his own women are trying to imitate other women (white, latino, asian, whatever). hey, why settle for an imitation, when he can have the real thing. you are “confirming” straight hair is “good” hair by your actions.

  14. I stopped chemically altering my hair 4 years ago and locd it up last year. My hair is so good, that it locd in 3 months. My hair had been trying to loc for years, but I kept fighting it with perms and trying to fit in with what this country thinks is beautiful. Let me tell you all who think that natural hair looks a HAM . . . you people are what I refer to as “wrong.” If you took the time to learn how to properly take care of your hair, what to use and what not to use, it would not look a HAM. I have seen many perms, weaves, wigs, lacefronts, you name it that for real look a HAM. So don’t get think that just because somebody wears the aforementioned perms, weaves, etc., they automatically look good. Most of the ladies I see with perms have balding hairlines and very thin, raggedy ends to their hair. Not trying to generalize here, but just letting some of you know that just because you have decided to alter your hair, don’t think your stuff looks good because a lot of times it just does not. BTW, I was 42/43 when I transitioned and will be 47. So if you are considering transitioning to a healthier way of life, please be encouraged. I mean, the way some people’s mindset seems to be “well I been been putting chemicals inside and outside of myself all this time, it’s too late to change now.” Again, those are the people I like to refer to as “wrong.” But hey, if it is “easier” to slap some of that creamy crack on, go for it. It’s like buying a really cheap dress, being able to wear it once or twice, then buying another really cheap dress and wearing it once or twice. Just not worth it to me.

  15. I applaud each and every one of you on your success transitioning to natural hair. However those of us that decide not to follow you do not have identity issues. It is my choice to continue to relax my hair. I know my hair and I am not so delusional to believe that natural is for everyone. It’s definitely not for me! I am happy with myself and my decision. Those of you trying to change others must not be happy with yourself. Black is beautiful, no matter the shade, hair texture, or hair style!!

    • A Reed said, “I know my hair and I am not so delusional to believe that natural is for everyone. It’s definitely not for me! ” That echos what I have heard many, many times by black females. I have never heard a white, “Hispanic,” or “Asian” female say it. Though they dye and curl their hair to a minor degree, I know of no instance in which they drastically change the texture of their hair. I know of no instance a white, Hispanic, or Asian female saying that is “delusional.” to believe that her hair in its natural state is acceptable/attractive.

    • Thank you A Reed, this is what I was saying earlier. I agree with you natural is not for everyone and I applaud those who go that route. but it is not for me. What ever makes you happy then continue to do it.

      • lovelyspoiled , I know of no instance a white, Hispanic, or Asian female saying that is “delusional.” to believe that their hair in its natural state is “not for everyone.”

        • You need to be exposed to the rest of the world – Asians bleach, curl and colour their hair as much as we do in their own countries. Hispanics change their hair every Monday morning. White people bleach and straighten their hair probably just as much, if not more but it is less noticeable on them. I appreciate your points about the benefits of natural hair, but please be factual – women as a whole do a lot of crap to our hair.

          • If you don’t believe me, name 5 non-afro celebrities whose hair is in its natural state.

  16. When I turned 40 my permed hair started to thin at the roots so I decides to go natural. It took about two years for the real naturalness to come out because the chemicals was so deep in my scalp. About that time (1996) I attended the “All Natural Hair Show” in Atlanta and the education I received was invaluable. Not only have I learned my curl pattern, my hair type and what products to use,I have learned to be creative and innovative in my styles. To get the style the model is wearing, I 2strand twist while my hair is wet and let it dry overnite. My curl pattern is “S” my hair type is course and thick.
    know to most as NAPPY. I get comments and compliments from everyone but over the years the conversations are changing among women of color. I am loving it. I am NAPPY, GRAY and HAPPY.
    I also look at photos of my Grandmothers and learned al lot about my natural hair color I am 61 and gray and loving it.

  17. As for the beautiful sister featured in this article, I echo the comments made by others. Having coily hair does not mean that she is “mixed.” It appears that she is rocking a twist out or braid out and she has grown her hair to the length in the picture for approximatley 3+ years depending on her hair growth rate, and if she chopped off previously relaxed hair. Once you become a natural haired woman, you learn so much about the texture of your hair. All African American women do not have the same texture, or type of hair. Some of our hair has a tighter curl pattern than others; however if you have a looser curl pattern it does not mean that you “mixed” with another race. Our natural hair tends to be kinky, curly and coily. Believe it or not, not all natural hair on the same person’s head is alwats the same texture. I have curly and coily natural hair in the front; however the back of my hair has no curl definition or pattern, it is just a patch of kinks. On the natural hair journey you learn how to care for your hair and how to keep it healthy. We have so many styling options and styling products to showcase the versatility of our hair. The sister that is featured in this article is beautiful and she is just wearing one of the styles that many natural hair women rock on a daily basis.

    • Bev Willis, I recognize a braid-out, just like you. The gloss and the hang are not genetically correlated with the typical phenotype of a black person in this hemisphere. This lovely woman would be regarded as having “good hair” now and for a very long time as a result of the brain-trauma we have received at the hands of Racist Man/Woman.—-one of whom I suspect has posted on this thread. Anyhoo— black females with this type of hair are celebrated and it is no big news for such persons to wear their hair natural.

    • My hair looks like hers when in a twist out. As a matter of fact why don’t people go to her site and ask her??? I think I’ve seen her You Tube videos…I think it’s her. But this is either a braidout or twist out. When done well—it CAN appear like someone’s natural texture..esp if you curly-Q the ends. I have been asked if mine is natural. Other than that I think she was a nice pick. NOT all dark skinned women—-**in this hemisphere** have extreme tight hair…..I think we need to broaden our thinking…and saying that not all dark women have tight hair is not shameful. My sister is VERY chocolate…think Pumpernickle bread and has Curly-Q hair. She is not an exception.

      With that said….tight textures are nice and not messy as someone stated earlier. Heavenly fluff!!

      Bev I agree with you sis!!

      • Well said!

        • Tanya, I appreciate that you are not being antagonistic. I didn’t get that sense. I do still appreciate our saying it because we black folk have waaay to much conflict between us given the many problems caused by others above us in this global caste system.

          First, let me answer your question. You asked “rom what you’ve shared, it sounds like your opinion is that a better way to portray a woman of African descent with natural hair would have been to present a woman with an afro, or a style with little to no manipulation. Is this a correct assessment?”

          I understand how you made that assessment. It’s a logical one. What is “natural” hair and what is “mutilated/ contrived” hair in black folk. It’s like the question of, “How many hairs make a beard?” We know there is a boundary line. But, where exactly is it? Right? Well, fortunately in this conversation, it seems you and I agree that natural hair is not confined to afros and non-twisted locs. Out disagreement is a different one and one that can be settled by scientific observation. I say the model’s hair is atypical and you say it is not.

          Here’s the test: Of a sample of 100 people randomly chosen who reside on the continent of Africa 1000 miles below the Sahara desert, how many combs, embedded in the hair near the scalp, would shake loose by shaking the head at the rate of 3 cycles per sec? I say it will be less than 10%. Further, even though a great many of us in this hemisphere have several ancestors that had straight hair, I say that amongst us, AT MOST, the figure is 40%. And, that’s really stretching it.

          For the record, my scalp has a combination of textures—which is not uncommon over here. About 50% of it is wavy, 40 % of “popcorn curls, and 10% tight/nappy. Im representin’ for the naps.

  18. If you use a dangerous chemical to alter you natural appearance, that act makes a statement about that person and it is not a positive statement. a green film has been reported on the skull (or brain you can double check for accuracy) from using chemicals to destroy our hair. We have to know that a foreign substance found on our brains is not a good thing. Natural is for everyone, well it use to be before racist i.e. (white people) entered our lives. Black women are beautiful no matter how they choose to look(mostly), but they are their best possible selves when they are natural and love being so.

  19. See PBS Series “Race, the power of an ilusion.

  20. I’m wondering why this is a factor. First and foremost it does not matter what one does to their hair because IT IS THEIR HAIR. Whether or not they have low self esteem or not what they do to feel beautiful is clearly THEIR BUSINESS! I will not do the natural thing because it does not fit me. Not because I have identity issues. I have a choice and my choice is to wear my hair, relax my hair, corn roll my hair, wear a wig, put a weave in, or just let it all hang out depending on how I feel. People and their theories are sickening. Because you choose to take the nails off or to go natural does not mean EVERYONE should do it. Because you felt insecure with a relaxed hair does not mean everyone else had these same issues. It is about how we look at ourselves and clearly no one else’s idiotic opinon matters. I will continue to do as I please with MY hair because I have those choices. So if you see me with a weave in my hair do not ever assume I have an identity issue assume I have looked in the mirror and said “SHE’S FLY AND SHE KNOWS IT” GoodBye!!!!!

    • We have a CHOICE! YOU GO GIRL!

      • To Wondering: Michael Jackson’s skin should have also belonged to him. Unfortunately, we currently exist under a system of white domination. And, the folks who have operated it for at least hundreds of years have stolen more people —from THEMSELVES–than any other in the history of this planet. So, the mutilation of hair and skin of the victims of this system matters enormously because it is part of this theft.

  21. Ladies , help. I’m in the industry and need length on my hair to pull off my signature look. I earn a living from this look and as Black woman I know you can all appreciate the earning power of a particular look. Does anyone know how I can make the transition from relaxed to natural without breakage. I searched high and low and Youtube, Essence, Ebony,our British Pride magazine nor any hairdressers can help me. Can anyone here help. Don’t say wigs I can not abide them. lol THANKS X

  22. Wow, I just realized that people were referring to the pic of “hair crush” on this article. That’s her youtube name. For some reason, I thought there was another pic being referred to. I actually saw the pic and decided to read the article thinking that she had written it or that it was her blog. She’s one of the youtubers I follow, and I thought to myself, “Oh cool, she has a blog,” lol. Incidentally, that hairstyle was achieved by doing a braid out or twist-out, and many women could achieve the same look if they wanted to. For the sake of interest, she describes herself as a 4a or b. I also remember her saying she has very little shrinkage. When she just lets her hair air dry, it is huge, without bunches of curls and definition. I say that just to clarify that I do think other models could have been chosen with the same exact look, because it’s only a braid out. Yes, her hair is long, but that’s the primary difference. If the hair in this pic depicts the antiquated picture of “good hair” then most of us have it because this is a good ole braid out. And I think it’s pretty. 😉 Oh, and the gloss is product. I’ve seen her hair is several other videos, and she it isn’t always that shiny.

    She’s not biracial. (and that’s a whole “nother” issue.) Why do we assume when we see someone with curly (looking) hair (or long hair) that they’re biracial?!

    • Tanya thank you for stating this, I thought this was her but couldn’t remember the YouTube name. That is how I knew it was a braid out of a twist out.

      We should never be so militant about hair that we make assumptions to far off the mark. I love natural hair and prefer it. But I still see we aren’t NEVER satisfied with our images…

      One moment she’s too light….then she’s too mixed…too heavy…..the next moment….she’s too dark and her hair short..she’s too skinny…..her lips too big….her hips too big….she has no hips….blah!blah!blah!..

      My goodness black women!! What do YOU want? The lady above….she is pretty, long hair and her hair is healthy and natural in a nice twist out….and????

      • Lana, and Tonya and others who have commented that this hairstyle was done by way of a braid-out or twist out and/or that the model is not “mixed” and/or that not all black females with darker-than-a-paper-bag hued skin have tightly coiled hair. I have no need to debate any of those contentions . In other words, I was aware of the styling method and was sure that she did not have a parent that would not be classified as black. NEVERTHELESS…. this woman’s hair is not typical of the descendants of our fore-parents on this land. And, THAT is the point. It is NOT about the dissatisfaction that females or black females, generally, gave about our images. It is about a standard of beauty that is decidedly ant-black as “black” is usually identified in physical type (phenotype). There are black people with blue eyes. There are black people with long noses, thin lips, flat butts, and/or glossy, hair. However none of these physical types are typical. And, none of them inherently more beautiful. There are black women with balanced features and a waist-to-hip ratio that signal fertility and healthy genes who have tight hair with a matte surface rather than a glossy one. If we were having that discussion, I think we’d be on the same page.

        In an article that is about black females becoming more comfortable wearing our natural hair, I’d have expected to see a statistically typical hair texture and in a style that does not produce a look closer to the standard that defines most of us as less beautiful

        • I hear what you’re saying, Cree, I really do. And please don’t understand my comments to be antagonistic, because that isn’t my intention. I just don’t agree with your assertion. . I think that your definition of the phenotype is too narrow. This may sound overly simplistic, but there isn’t one “characteristic” look for Americans, Caribbeans, South Americans, etc of African descent. The variations which you referenced aren’t exceptions to the rule.

          Before wearing my hair natural, I thought that pretty much all people of African descent had the same type of hair. It wasn’t until I began looking for input on how to take care of my hair that I saw the many other typical textures of hair which people of African descent have. Looser curls, are not an abberation. What I’ve come to discover more than anything else is that black hair (even black hair in the Americas) doesn’t have one typical texture. There is a range (similarly, there isn’t a standard texture of hair for white people. They range from bone straight stiff hair, to straight silky hair, to extremely curly and everything in between). It’s not fair to say that her hair isn’t typical of our foreparents on this land. I would daresay that their hair texture was quite varied as well. I base this belief on the fact that I have seen West African women today with a diversity of textures.

          From what you’ve shared, it sounds like your opinion is that a better way to portray a woman of African descent with natural hair would have been to present a woman with an afro, or a style with little to no manipulation. Is this a correct assessment? Interestingly, that is another discussion which is being hashed out amongst naturals; the question of whether or not a person is truly representative of natural hair if they style/manipulate the hair beyond the afro. (Now, I’m not trying to put words in your mouth, so please correct me if I’m understanding you wrong.)

          • Oh, by the way, I realized that I’ve commented on here using two different names. I have commented as both Tanya and as T on this page. Hopefully that will give a fuller picture of my perspective.

  23. We are all beautiful, we have different preferences
    We need to unify and not negatively speak against each other.
    In order to get folks to listen you have to speak positively and show positive results

  24. It’s the variety of skin color, hair texture and styles that make us beautiful on the outside. It’s the acceptance of our divesity and the love of our sisters that makes us beautiful on the inside. Let’s remember that and allow all sisters to express themselves in their own way. If we can’t do that, all this black love talk is hogwash. And yes, this is coming from a natural sister. Also, I’m very pleased the chemicals products are dropping in sales. This should cause black salons to get more creative in coming up with various styles for natural hair.

  25. Wow there sure are a lot of interesting comments on here. Well I finally stopped getting relaxers and weaves about 3 years ago. I have always been on a quest for growth and self love and going natural felt like the right step. I couldn’t do it anymore. Now when I want to wear my hair straight, I press it. I don’t like hormones and chemicals in my food. So why should I put it on my head. I don’t judge anyone who gets relaxers, cause like I said, I use to do the same.
    I do think that as black women in this country, we have been made to feel like our look is not what the world considers beautiful. But if you notice, our features are so often copied. It’s the “in thing” to have a big butt when Jennifer or Kardshian does it. Tanning salons are not going out of business anytime soon. And everyone wants full lips… So its up to love ourself from the inside out. I feel my sexy has went to a higher level since I’ve been natural. It took a minute to learn how to work with my hair after years and years of working aganst it. But now that I’m understanding it, I can do so much. What crazy is now I worry less about getting it wet. I can easily braid it and go swimming, then take down the braid when it dries and I have a great style. You can take a look at: http://calivegans.com/about/

  26. It’s absolutely hilarious to speak about “going natural” as a lifestyle or a trend. That’s like saying having teeth is a trend. LOL. How is simply wearing your hair the way it grows out of your head some type of lifestyle choice? Cracks me up.

  27. I am 48 and natural, and brought my mother into the natural world before she died. I see now really good reason to continue to use chemicals on my hair that have not been well tested and did nothing to raise my self esteem. I'm comfortable with myself and my hair and if some man isn't happy with it, he's free to move on to the next woman.

    • amen to that!

  28. I Been On this Hair Thing For 25 years and Finally My Black Women are getting it.
    Be Proud of Yourself, Stay Soul Beautiful and Stop Straighten Your Hair!

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  30. I love this article because it's true that alot of women are going natural even I took the leap and have been transitioning for 13 months. The only thing that I dislike is when we as natural vs relaxed hair tend to put each other down because it's just hair. I wore a relaxed not because I had identity issues but because it what worked for me, I have never wanted to bleach my skin or any other crazy thing of that nature. My natural hair journey has taught me alot about my hair and I am glad that I decided to go natural because I have so many options that I can do with my hair. So no matter natural or relaxed it's your choice and we need to embrace each other choices.

  31. HER HAIR IS JUST GORGEOUS!

  32. ES UNA NECESIDAD EL CONSTRUIR UN AMOR ETERNO CON NUESTRO CABELLO NATURAL DE MUJERES AFRODESCENDIENTES.

  33. yo lo logre hace muchos anos.

  34. I have been natural for about a year and I love my hair. I went natural mostly to give my scalp a rest from relaxers (sores were not cute), but haven’t looked back. For those who say that natural hair is a lot of work, I disagree. I spent more time in the mornings doing my hair when I had a relaxer, than I do now. Once I educated myself on how to take care of my hair and keep it healthy, my hair has looked great. I also don’t spend a lot of money on hair products like I used to either.

  35. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found
    that it is really informative. I am going to watch out for brussels.
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  36. why is wearing what grows out of my head naturally some kind of earth shattering movement?

  37. @ Veronica that' s not a weave it's her hair. She a youtuber and she goes by the name haircrush. Check her out

  38. It is her hair.

  39. Estoy totalmente de acuerdo con vos.

  40. Don't hate cause hers is long and luxurious and yours short and nappy!

  41. Natural hair for Black Women is not just a fading fashion trend…Its a more than a moment its a movement!!!!"Been a long time comin, but a change has come"!!!!! Aintgoneletnobodyturnmearound…..

  42. don't be so negative towards your sisterif you take care of you here it can be long and luscious like hers

  43. True nature is sexy, always has been to those of us that have been conscious. Now I don't hate on those that choose to wear weaves, wigs, bleach their hair, relaxers and so forth but natural hair should have never been frowned upon and I am glad it's making a comeback.

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  48. lol not a weave but a woman with curly hair. More like a mix chick. What nobody is saying is; natural real nappy hair which is most, is often hard to manage.

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