31 March 2016
As with most things in fashion, lifestyle and beauty, the general question is, is this a phase or has it come to stay? There was a time Jerry curls were the in-thing. The hair relaxing phase has also been around for a very long while, mostly because it is easy to cater for, cost effective and gave the hair a straightened and neat look. Other hair trends include fixing of hair extensions, weaves; especially the category known as Human Hair and then braiding – bob braids, kinky braids, dreadlocks and so much more.
However, there is a revival in natural hair culture. To many, this revival is a movement that is associated with identity. On a daily basis, women are transitioning from relaxed hair to natural hair for many reasons, identity inclusive.
Starting in the 1960’s during the era of civil rights movement in America, black women with straightened hair transitioned back to Natural hair because they saw it as a symbol of rebellion, pride and empowerment. Some women on the other hand do it because relaxers sometimes tend to break hair. Others are doing it because others are doing it.
Has it come to stay?
According to Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, natural hair is political, it is a nod to history and tradition. Beyoncé features natural hairstyles in their diverse glory in her new video Formation, including a curly afro on her four-year-old daughter Blue Ivy Carter. She sings the line “I like my baby hair with baby hair and afros.” According to many, this is not just “singing”, it is a political statement.
The Natural hair has a rich cultural and aesthetic history. Nigerian women are now using different natural hairstyles as forms of individual expressions of style thereby reinforcing their identity – proud black woman. Using hair as a form of self-expression is a mirror of what’s happening in our country Nigeria today. The creativity surrounding natural hair is limitless.
Though the percentage of women with natural hair is still low in Nigeria, the natural hair movement is not just any trend. It is a movement that has come to stay.