The African hair is a beauty to behold. It is luscious, resilient, fluffy, bouncy, springy and defies gravity. The texture of the African hair varies from kinky, curly, to wavy which are generally grouped under 3a, 3b, 3c, 4a, 4b and 4c hair types.
Going natural means wearing your hair in its natural state without flat irons, hot combs, texturizers or relaxers.
In recent times, there has been a significant drop in the sales of hair relaxers as a result of women choosing to go natural and an increase in sales of hair products for natural hair.
The Black Panther Party first introduced the natural hair movement in America in 1966 which symbolised the shedding of all brainwashed ideas of beauty assimilated from the white folks during and after the trans Atlantic slave trade. It meant embracing ones true identity as an African in all its glory until the demise of The Black Panther Group in 1982 as a result of oppression from law enforcement agents.
In 2009, the black hair movement continued with American women choosing to go natural. President Barack Obama becoming the president of the United States of America became a benchmark and incentive to women in America. It gave African-Americans hope once more to be themselves and embrace their true character.
Here in Africa, a significant amount of women wear their hair in its natural state and the number seems to be on the increase. Women who are self employed and have their own businesses are mostly the ones who fall in this category as opposed to women with white collar jobs. This is so because wearing your natural is still being frowned at in most workplaces all over the world. Women who wear their hair in its natural state have lesser chances of being promoted at their workplaces. Cote D’ivoire, Nigeria and South Africa are countries championing the natural hair movement here in Africa.
Social media has become a source of inspiration to women who choose to wear their hair in its natural state with countless YouTube channels dedicated to tutorials on how to care and maintain natural hair. There are endless blogs also devoted to this course.
The process of changing your hair from a relaxed state to its natural state is called transitioning. It is quite easy to transition from relaxed hair to natural hair. You can do that by having a big chop, which is cutting off the relaxed hair, or choosing not to relax your hair again and letting it grow to a desired length before cutting off the relaxed part of your hair.
Transitioning time usually takes a period of 6 months to 2 years, depending on the hair growth of the individual.
There are a thousand and one ways to wear your hair as a natural, like the bantu knots, crochet braids, twist outs, locks, dreadlocks, cornrows and so on. Below are styling inspirations for you natural fashionistas.