The Natural Hair Movement & Going Natural

Tifanny Ndinda4C Hair2 Comments

natural hair, pros of natural hair

Times are changing. Women are learning to embrace a natural lifestyle. The most remarkable trend in the natural hair movement is women of African descent going natural with their hair.

The Natural Hair Movement

The natural hair movement originated in the United States and began in early 2000’s.

Before then the beauty industry was in direct contrast with the black woman’s reality for much of America’s history.

Adopting white standards of beauty by straightening curly hair and trying to lighten dark skin was perceived to ‘protect’ black women. Thankfully, we are getting past this slowly.

The aim of the natural hair movement was to encourage women of African descent to embrace their natural afro-textured hair.

As a way of embracing our natural curls, women are giving up relaxing and letting their hair grow in its natural texture. Return of naturalness, at the organic era has been encouraged by the awareness of the harmful effects of relaxers on the scalp.

A study  done by the American Journal of Epidemilogy linked relaxer usage to health risks such as uterine fibroids, Heart disease, Hair loss, Scalp damage, Chemical imbalance, Cancer and Early puberty. [1]

Dreadlocks , another form of going natural, were popularized around the 1970’s and 1980’s mostly by Bob Marley through the reggae music and Rastafarian movement.

Going Natural

Going natural means restoring your relaxed hair back to it’s natural state after the chemical alteration.

Most women decide to go for the Big Chop when making this transition.

This is considered the easiest way to start, but because most women don’t like the thought of having short hair, they opt to slowly let their hair grow and end up cutting out the relaxed sections over time

Pros of Natural Hair

  • Less prone to breakage as it has more elasticity and not chemically tampered with.
  • Structurally stronger than relaxed hair
  • Natural hair grows longer compared to relaxed hair as it is stronger and healthier.
  • Healthy and fuller. Natural hair is resilient to damage and healthier because the strands are free from harsh chemicals.
  • More versatile in styling. There are so many natural hairstyles you can where when you decide to go natural.
  • Relatively Economical. Relaxed hair requires frequent care and that’s quite expensive, but with natural hair it is easy to come up with a routine at home which saves you a lot of money.

Cons of Natural Hair

  • Time-Consuming. Managing your natural hair requires attention to every little detail.
  • Transitioning challenges. Trying to relearn your hair can be stressful and many women don’t like the transition process.
  • Tangles more. Once you learn how to manage your hair, this will not a big problem, with a good conditioner and the right de-tangling techniques, you are good to go.

Will Going Natural Help Hair Grow?

Yes, in the sense that your hair is healthier, stronger and less prone to breakage which results in length retention.

Going natural will not ‘magically’ lead to length retention, you have to work for it. 4C hair type in particular is prone to breakage due to its curl pattern and thus, to maintain your length you will need to maintain a healthy, consistent hair regimen.

Here are some tips that will help your natural hair grow faster

  1. Stick to a healthy diet. A healthy diet gives your body the necessary nourishment which in turn boosts the growth of your hair.
  2. Give yourself a regular scalp massage to increase blood flow to your scalp, enhance the strength of your roots and help nutrients get to your follicle faster.
  3. Ditch your routine of hot tools to protect your strands from heat damage
  4. Reduce how much you expose your hair to shampoo. Ensure you use shampoos that are appropriate for your hair.
  5. Handle your hair gently. Avoid over manipulating your hair and wearing very tight hairstyles.
  6. Embrace natural remedies such as Fenugreek, Moringa and Aloe Vera.

Is Going Natural Worth The Hype?

Well, many women have different views on this. Some women believe that it’s not worth it and they have their reasons, and there are those that go natural and love it.

I will look at both sides of the coin.

Personally I don’t miss relaxed hair, I have had natural hair for over 4 years and I loved every bit. Whilst it will be difficult and stressful at the beginning, with patience you will learn how to take care of hair.

I believe that every woman should watch, Nappily Ever After, Violet Jones really portrayed what most women go through their whole life with their hair. They spend so much money on their hair that they forget that there’s so much to beauty than just hair. Yes, at times you need that big chop and try living a little.

On the other hand,

As much as it is considered affordable in the long run, maintaining your natural afro-texture hair is time consuming.

Women are busy, as we all know, either with school, career, raising kids or both. Adding the ‘stress’ of maintaining natural afro hair is nothing close to what some women want and thus  they choose to ignore the hype and carry on with their relaxed hair.

At the end of the day, nobody will make the decision of going natural for you, my part was to simplify the decision making process. Wear your hair like a crown because you are a queen and you deserve to feel like one.

Is it Okay To Texturize My Hair While Transitioning?

The answer is no. Texturizers are made from harsh chemicals that will alter your natural curl pattern and therefore texturizing will set you back on your natural journey.

Even the best regimens can be stressful. Find the products that work best for your hair, determines what hairstyles keep your protected and dedicate time on your busy schedule to give your hair some Tender Loving Care.  

I hope you found this useful.

2 Comments on “The Natural Hair Movement & Going Natural”

    1. Hi Adenike

      Thanks for taking time to read the article. Glad you found it enjoyable. All the best in your hair journey.

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