The Influence Of The Natural Hair Movement

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About five to six years ago, I noticed a trend among my female family, friends, and peers regarding their hair. They were tired of constantly applying chemicals and heat to their hair to straighten it or create loose curls. Starting over was their go-to and by doing so, they cut off all of their hair. My initial reaction wasn’t really a positive one because I couldn’t imagine just cutting off hair that’s been growing since birth. Unbeknownst to me, I was doing the exact same thing, just in a different and more insidious fashion.
Around this time, I began to wear hair extensions, which are commonly referred to as weave. My real hair was braided and a hair net was sewn onto these braids. Then, the weave would be sewn onto the net. Prior to
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Huffington Post has dubbed 2012 as the year the natural hair movement was conceived (Wilson, 2012). They gave a comprehensive timeline of events of actresses, singers, and social media gurus that have embraced the movement. Among the social media gurus was an African American woman named Nikki Walton who is better known as Curly Nikki (Wilson, 2013). She has developed a huge online following because of her blogs concerning natural hair. Her blogs and videos detail helpful tips for women who are transitioning, which is the act of cutting off hair and ceasing to use any type of heat or chemicals. She also details helpful hair care tips for maintaining and making the most of natural hair. There is also a connection with past movements such as the Black Power movement from the 1960s, which birthed the phrase “Black is Beautiful.” There are some similarities as well as differences between statements being made in that era versus currently. Even though the focus is on natural hair in the African American community, there are more broad implications that suggest the acceptance of one’s self as an individual who is not only naturally beautiful, but deserves the means to express that beauty without…show more content…
Bertram D. Ashe (1995) discusses the black women’s role in beauty in Toni Morrison’s “Song of Soloman” and Zora Neale Hurston’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God”. At the most climactic part in Song of Soloman, the black woman who has natural kinky hair asks her mother and grandmother why her love interests, who is an African American man, doesn’t like her hair. The response was another question on how he can like himself if he doesn’t like her hair. This is a common retort used to combat the negative implications made by African American men. First, the most important women in their life have hair similar to other African American women. Are they willing to go home to their mothers and grandmothers and tell them what to do with their hair? Not without a harsh reaction from the women who raised them. Secondly, they neglect to consider what grows from their scalp is the exact same as what grows from the scalp of their female counterparts. Yes, some do cut their hair but if you took away razors and products that make a wavy pattern in their hair, the results would be identical to African American women. Essentially, this can be seen as an expression of self-hatred. Furthermore, the domination over women comes in the form of physical attractiveness. The female lead character in “Song of Soloman” and “Their Eyes Were Watching God” were not concerned with how

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