Though many black women have started to embrace the natural tresses they were blessed with, the natural hair movement has been around for a while. And that is all natural hair is about: enjoying your hair in its most organic state, sans the perms and other chemical processes to make it straight.
It's no secret that, historically, black women's hair has not been sensationalized in main stream media. Many deemed it as undesirable, unruly and downright unattractive from all corners of the ethnic spectrum. The natural hair movement, however, has allowed women with naturally kinky and curly hair to fall in love with their true beauty all over again. It is also meant to promote healthier hair practices.
Some of the best natural hair products for kinky and curly hair textures include Carol's Daughter, Shea Moisture, Jane Carter Solution and John Masters. These product lines are known for using very little, if any, harsh chemicals.
But some people believe the natural hair movement is designed strictly for black women. While it may be promoted and marketed mainly for minority women, any women, (yes, even you Caucasian sistahs!) can take advantage of more natural and healthier hair. Permanent curls, more commonly known as "perms," can be applied to any grade of hair. The only difference is women with more straight, European hair tend to get perms to create a wavy and curly look, while women with tight coiled locks, more familiar in Africa and Latin America, get the "creamy crack" slapped on their heads to make it straight.
European hair grows more straight because it's naturally more lubricated. Black hair is more coiled because it naturally lacks moisture. Ask any black women about dry hair and be ready to hear about 30 different ways to provide hair moisture! Additionally, too many perms on European hair tend to make it very dry, brittle and overall unhealthy. This is sadly common for black women with extremely curly hair, but brittle hair can attack any women who has gotten one too many perms.
Because of this, it is not unusual to for women with European textured hair to get trims far more often that women with curly hair types. According to Fox Atlanta, studies have shown that black women are more prone to the development of uterine fibroids, though this percentage is small and even less likely for white women.
However, it should make a woman, regardless of her skin type, to want to take better care of her hair. In fact, Loyola University's, Loyola Maroon, told an very beautiful and inspiration story of a young woman suffering from lupus and hair loss, who happens to be white, who just happened to start making her own hair products to improve her hair health.
Additionally, there are ways women with European hair can make their hair curly without the use of chemical relaxers or heat. Watch this brilliant video of a mother curling her daughter's hair (who's white) with an traditional African hair style.
She can wash her hair and then put her hair in various braids (i.e. cornrows, basic braids, bantu knots), allow the hair to dry and then unbraid her hair for lovely defined curls and waves.
Great products for defining all types of curls include Shea Moisture's Coconut and Hisbiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie or Carol's Daughters Black Vanilla Moisture and Hair Shine Smoothie.
These products can also be superior for white women who happen to have curly afro themselves. It's not impossible!
So yes, bone-straight hair European lass, you can happily march in the natural hair movement too!
[Image via Party Mart]