The Black Power Movements’ Influence on the “Natural Hair Movement”
Before the term “natural hair” became a household phrase in black communities there was the Afro or “fro”; which was popularized during the Black Power Movement.
The Black Power Movement, borne out of the Civil Rights Movement, despite the negative connotations that were associated with the movement at the time, emphasized racial pride and self-help for a people who often were treated as second-class citizens. (Remember that the Jim Crow laws which legalized racial segregation and discrimination were not banished until 1965).
The Afro – natural hair worn in its picked and puffed kinky, frizzy, textured glory, was one of the symbols of the Black American’s journey towards self-pride and acceptance.
Women were encouraged to embrace their own natural beauty, which meant putting down the hot comb and relaxers which were used as a beauty staple for decades and letting their natural hair take center stage.
Men were also encouraged to wear their natural hair with pride. “Conking”, a popular hair straightening method for men as well as the traditional closely trimmed hair cuts that were considered acceptable at the time were deemed only for “Uncle Tom’s”. The bigger and rounder the ‘fro, the more you were supposed to be in touch with your “black” identity.
During this time, there were some blacks and whites alike who felt that the Afro represented something more menancing than just an interest in accepting our textured hair the way it grew out of our heads. Wearing our hair in its natural state was viewed as a political, (militant), anti-government statement; and there is no doubt if you look at the history of the movement that the Afro indeed represented some or all of the above depending on who you spoke to.
Fast forward 50+ years. Choosing to go natural has become more of a personal choice. Women are choosing to go natural not because they are making a statement per se, but because they love the kinky, coily, curly texture of their hair. Yes, some of us are still taking a personal stand: We don’t want to accept as gospel someone else’s standards of beauty and we choose to embrace our ethnic beauty in its’ own right. Some are just tired of relaxers. Still others have health concerns about the safety of exposing our bodies to chemicals.
Regardless of why we choose to wear our hair natural, it all started as part of a movement that encouraged, self-love, self-respect and pride of who we are as a people.
|“Changing attitudes about natural hair” is what we do at Natural Haircare News. Through informative articles, podcasts and videos, we go beyond just sharing the latest advice and tips on kinky, curly, wavy haircare – We shake things up and focus on the realities of wearing our hair natural.|
You May Also Like:
- How to Reroute Uncomfortable Questions About your Hair
- Natural Hair Annual Events
- Lupita Nyong’o Inspires All Natural Women
- How to Work Through the Highs and Lows of the Natural Hair Journey
- A Historical Perspective to Natural Hair Movement
- Frizz and Natural Hair- What’s up with That?
- The Politics Behind Natural Hair- What Kind of Statement am I Making?
- The Natural Hair Journey- How to Begin the Process of Going Natural
- How to Dispel Common Misconceptions About Natural Hair
- Growth Tracking the Natural Hair Industry Over the Last Five Years
- The NaySayers Were Wrong…Natural Hair Is Not Going Anywhere
- Black Women’s Reactions to 90’s Hair Products Echoes That of Many Naturals
Explore Our Website!
Let’s Stay In Touch
What Others Are Saying
Natural Haircare Topics
- How Do You Know If You Have Scab Hair? Pictures
- 6 Tips for Controlling Frizz in Natural Hair
- The Finer Things In Life: Tips For Fine Hair Naturals!
- Combating Fairy Knots In Natural Hair, (Single Strand Knots)
- Natural Hair Care and its Products- What’s Black-Owned and What’s Not
- Why Did Black Women Start Perming Their Hair In The First Place
- The LOC Method: 3 Steps For Happy, Moisture Rich, Natural Hair
- Mature Women and Natural Hair – A Photo Gallery
- Top 5 Sexy Natural Hairstyles: A Man’s Perspective
- Natural Haircare Training and Certification Available at a North Carolina Community College