I was over on XOJane the other day reading a post about natural hair and black beauty culture. In the comments section one reader asked, if the current natural hair movement is happening with little attachment to anything overtly political is that making it easier for more people to participate and would that kind of political attachment change it in any significant way.
First of all black hair in America is political, whether we want it to be or not. We all know the rhetoric that hair relaxers and other straightening tools/methods are a way for black women to achieve Eurocentric ideals of beauty. Also they are trying to deny their true selves. Whereas natural hair is more defiant, “real”, and “more black”. (MAJOR side eye to all of that!)
So unfortunately there are going to be some women who will make hair choices based on these ideas. I have a friend who told me one of the reasons she doesn’t want to go natural is she doesn’t want to seem more militant. (I personally think she would look fantastic.) The greater political implications within the black community and in this country will always be a factor. But on the smaller every day scale of how we each live our lives, I don’t think they play a big role in the hair choices of many woman of color.
When reading transition stories most woman want to go natural for health reasons, to better their self-esteem, and general curiosity to name few. I went natural because I was tired of damaging my hair with a flat iron. I’m glad that the current natural hair movement has no specific political attachments. Especially in today’s political climate it’s very easy to isolate people. I think that it’s wonderful that so many of us are choosing to wear our hair in whatever manner we see fit.