Plural noun: trends
- a general direction in which something is developing or changing.
“an upward trend in sales and profit margins”
- a fashion.
“the latest trends in modern dance”
Is wearing ones hair in its Natural state a trend? I certainly don’t think so.
However, lately, every time I wear my hair out, I have a number of girls touching and asking how their hair can look just like mine….My beloved sister who has heat trained natural hair (heat trained is just a PC term for heat damaged hair in my books) and her relaxed friends are constantly badgering me for info on how to get their hair to look like mine….for them and a lot of others, wearing hair in its kinky, coily, curly state is just that, a style.
In the70’s Afros were de ri·gueur, then came the jheri-curl, then perms, then the era of weaves, now natural hair……
In Nairobi today, it is currently hip and cool to be spotted rocking your natural hair….have you seen the number of new naturals? I love it…I wonder how many will stick it out… and five, ten years from now? Will it still be cool? Does this make it a trend?
That said, these are the reasons I think ‘A Natural Hair Trend’ is not such a bad thing…..
- Better Hair care Practices
It is disheartening that for a nation filled with ladies who are born with kinky, coily, curly hair we are just learning how to take care of our tresses. Our hair dressers are experts at handling relaxed hair, weaves and other protective styles but have little or no knowledge of handling natural hair. I relaxed my hair a couple of years ago because Beatrice, my hairdresser, said it was better than constant blow-outs… (this is partly true)…but I wish she would have said… “Just quit the heat already”.
I feel if this trend picks up…hair dressing schools will have to incorporate natural hair care and healthy hair practices into their syllabus. Thus, churning out a generation of hair care experts who can get your perm laid and also give a banging twist-out.
The mothers, sisters, daughters, friends and nannies of naturalistas will also pick some useful tips along the way resulting in a much healthier nation…Hair-wise at least!
- Availability of Good Quality and Affordable Products
Good quality, natural friendly hair care products in this country cost an arm, a leg and two kidneys…..and no, I do not exaggerate. Oh, and that is if you can find them, because Nairobi Naturals in particular have mastered the art of cleaning off shelves of good products when they show up. As a relaxed girl, I could walk into any supermarket or beauty supply store and pick from a wide range of products without having to break the bank. I can’t do the same as a natural.
I feel that if the natural hair trend IS a thing…suppliers, marketers, manufacturers, vendors etc will begin to take note. Large chain stores and beauty shops will begin to stock their shelves to cater to this emerging market. The influx of more products will hopefully lead to reduced costs. Everybody will be happy
- Cultural Mindset Shift
If there is one that makes me sad it is when I hear a curly gal having to return to relax her fro because of her job or because her significant other requires it. Sadly, it has been ingrained in our society that only straight, long, flowing hair is beautiful and can break the proverbial glass ceiling. If you are in the arts or in jua kali, you can get away with natural hair.
I know there has been a some small changes….magazines and advertisements feature curly ladies, there is more social commentary on the topic…but it is far from adequate or ideal….However, if this trend takes off…this paradigm shift will be for real. We will, as a society, learn to wholly accept and wear our natural hair as it grows from our scalps. It will be the norm not the exception.
- General Wellness Overall
The last benefit of this trend would be an improvement in the general wellness of society.
For most ladies, when they return to natural, they become more aware of their health, diet, water intake, lifestyle choices etc. for obvious reasons. You can’t grow a healthy head of hair if the rest of you is not up to par….and you cannot stop putting chemicals on your head and have a household choke full of unhealthy chemicals.
Healthier ladies, means healthier children, husbands/boyfriends and families in general. A win win situation for everyone.
So, there you have it, a natural hair trend is not a bad thing after all.
What do you think folks?
Love, Peace and Fros.