Natural Hair vs. Relaxed Hair: Black Women Discuss the ‘Going Natural’ Revolution
May 24, 2012 | Comments 0
More black women are embracing their ethnicity in beauty again. After the black power era of the 1970s, many black women abandoned afros and braids and decided to perm their hair and follow mainstream beauty standards.
But within the last decade, a multitude of black women have embraced their natural hair.
During Taliah Waajid’s “World Natural Hair Show” in Atlanta, rolling out magazine spoke with several women who discussed the natural hair revolution in the black community.–amir shaw
“I went natural 11 years ago. I think now that its more popular and we are teaching each other how to transition. You can wear your hair natural and look fly. It’s like a trend now. It’s more acceptable. I can still look beautiful and still have natural hair. Growing up as a black child, our parents may have thought that it was easier to do our hair with a relaxer in it. I got a perm in middle school. Some do it to kids at three or four years old. But natural hair can be manageable. I’ve done it for 11 years.” - Valerie Jenkins of Tallahassee, Florida
“I have been natural for most of my life. I had a perm for one year. I got tired of being burned and it was too much. The natural hair industry has grown. I think it started with our generation when the singer Brandy started wearing braids. Now I even see teens wearing afro puffs in school. When I was in high school, you would never do that. But I think it should be on a larger scale. Because you have a lot of women who want to go natural, but they are afraid. They don’t know what to do. They have to see other people and understand that they can still look good and have natural hair.” - Janelle Holder of Atlanta, Georgia
“I think it’s a very powerful thing. I think it’s beautiful that black women are embracing what they are naturally born with. But the change is still happening. Some women are still afraid to transition.” - Denise Francis of Atlanta, Georgia
“I was going through a transition from relaxer to natural because I was trying to find myself. With the relaxer, I was wasn’t being me. I was trying to be somebody else. I feel so much better about myself now. I am just happy with being me. Some people are still walking around with long hair. There’s nothing fake about me. I’m 100 percent real.” - LaWanda Jones of Auburn, Alabama
“I find that a lot of black women are loving themselves. They are loving their hair whether it’s short, straight, long, or kinky. We are loving who we are.” - Jorae Jefferson of Fayetteville, Georgia
“A lot of black women are embracing natural hair because of the recession. They’re not spending a lot of money going to the salon getting relaxers. And over the last 10 years, we are learning to be more into ourselves as a community. We are on this natural hair tip. I hope we keep embracing the natural hair care industry.” - EJ of Atlanta, Georgia
“I think we are in a different era. The younger people have no fears. They embrace who they are. We were told that our hair was nappy and hard. But wearing natural hair says that you are loving yourself. It’s good to experience it.” - Shelly Walker of Atlanta, Georgia
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