They come in various sizes, textures and colors: the inescapable trend of natural hair seems to appear more often. Both black men and women have been altering their hair, straightening and coloring it just to fit into society’s image of modern day beauty. This includes long sleek hair with no sign of natural kinky coiled hair. Up until five years ago… More and more women started to make a statement with their natural hair, and embraced their natural manes. From celebrities to bloggers, afros are back in the game.
Even though natural hair has been around since the creation of the human race, it’s only been something to take pride in since a year or five, max. That is why I consider this a micro trend. I believe it flows forth from the resistance black people (especially in the US) have been feeling lately. As they now face the resignation of the first African American president, struggle with police brutality and many more forms of racial conflicts, they finally try to break free from the oppression. Proudly showing their natural hair off, instead of measuring up to the standard of Caucasian-like hair is one way to show pride of their roots.
As I myself, and people around me are a part of this movement, I can state that the idea behind natural hair really does go deeper than “just fashion”. It’s about breaking a tradition that has been around for ages, the idea that natural hair isn’t pretty or professional because that’s how we’re raised. It connects people and brings them closer together. This occurs in a lot of ways: Facebook groups, curly hair festivals and much more.
Just like other micro trends, the change of a lifestyle can have a large impact on the sales of certain products that go (or don’t go) with that lifestyle. For example the adaption of a healthy lifestyle, that’s combined with organic foods, special supermarkets with biological food and more products that are also considered the product of a micro trend. This will cause the sales of healthy biological products to climb, while the sales of unhealthy foods go down. This is exactly what happens with hair relaxer brands (the chemical product that changes the texture from curly to straight). For years black people have been buying these chemicals in shops that are specialized in natural hair care. The sales of these products are trapped in a downward spiral because of the rising trend of natural hair. To the contrary, sales of natural hair care brands such as leave-in conditioners and curl-enhancing crèmes have been shooting up massively. This might be a result of the placement of the products. They appear more and more often in “regular” shops like supermarkets and drug stores. Also, large companies that caught wind of this trend try to respond by launching products that are similar to natural hair care, for example the Andrélon coconut boost products (coconut oil is a product that is used often in natural hair care, just like shea butter and castor oil).
All in all, the natural hair movement is still alive and growing in members, making history. It does however remain a part of the fashion category. Fashion is known to make comebacks every decade or so. Which is what I base my question upon: will natural hair, just like every other fashion trend, eventually disappear and make a comeback decades later? Or is it more likely to stay growing until it’s no longer a trend but a normality?
Wilson, J. (31-12-2012) Natural Hair In 2012: The Year Curly, Kinky And Natural Tresses Took Over The World
Retrieved on 13-09-2016 via http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/31/natural-hair-2012-_n_2388496.html
Sidibe, N. (1-07-2015) This hair trend is shaking up the beauty biz
Retrieved on 13-09-2016 via http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/01/african-americans-changing-hair-care-needs.html