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6 Reasons Natural Hair is Not a Fad

Avatar • Aug 22, 2011

Many blog posts and real world conversations have been dedicated to the question of whether natural hair is a passing fad. People wonder whether it’s current popularity will remain steady and increase, or if it will go the way of jheri curls, finger waves and the high top fade. We might be preaching to the choir here, but we don’t believe that natural hair is a fad. Here are a few reasons why.

1. Natural women are teaching their daughters

Thousands of young black girls are growing up without the hair drama that many of us faced. As we learn to manage our hair, we’re passing on the knowledge to our daughters so that things like conditioner, detangling and sealing won’t be the mystery to them that it was to us. Check out this story of Ayoka, who taught her daughter to love and manage her waist-length kinky hair. Or this video showing a 5‑year-old discussing her natural hair regimen.

2. Natural hair companies are enduring and expanding

While many natural hair companies pop up and disappear, several others have established lasting brands. A prime example is Carol’s Daughter, which has been in business for close to two decades and developed a broad customer base. Even women who aren’t African American benefit from the pro-healthy-hair products and services of natural hair companies.

3. Natural hair never left

Whatever the time period, whatever the social temperature, there have always been black women who wore their hair naturally. Only time will tell whether the current popularity of natural hair will remain but regardless, naturals will always exist. Check out this 1969 Ebony Magazine article highlighting the natural hair culture of the time.

4. Black women are becoming less dependent on relaxers

Relaxer sales have been in decline for a few years now and are projected to keep dropping. It could be because many women are realizing how serious relaxer damage can be. Countless women deal with chemical burns, irritated scalps and chronic breakage as a result of relaxer usage and, as far as anecdotal evidence goes, many go natural as a result of bad relaxer experiences. Check out this story of a 9‑month old who got a relaxer and suffered large bald spots by age 3.

5. Natural hair is being recognized as a healthier choice

Many stylists and celebrities are going on record with the admission that natural hair is healthier. Prominent black female celebrities including Beyonce, Michelle Obama and Queen Latifah have acknowledged that they either straighten their natural hair or wear natural hair beneath a weave. Although we’d love to see these women rock their unadulterated natural hair, it’s good to see an acknowledgement of the health benefits of going chemical free.

6. Natural hair isn’t a fad, it’s part of our biology

Finally, the reason that most people overlook. Natural hair, by definition, can’t be categorized as a fad — just like being born a black person isn’t a fad. All black people have natural hair — whether it’s a half inch of new growth or a full on afro. How we choose to perceive it, and what we choose to do with it is up to us. But technically, we’re all natural.

Do you agree with our list? What would you add? What would you take away? Please share!

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cassidybarrett
cassidybarrett
9 years ago

True! It’s like people are trying to run away from who they are. But they can’t. Yes, India Arie said “I am not my hair” but this is genetics. Everytime your hair grows back, it’s kinky or curly or coily. Sometimes it’s hard but I love my hair. And I say to myself that one day I’ll pass this knowledge to my daughter. I wish my mom had taught how to care for my hair when I was younger.

Nkia
Nkia
9 years ago

Not into this article. It didn’t really relay the positives of being natural as much as it harped on about it being the antidote to straight/relaxed hair. How many mothers are really natural compared to relaxed or weaved? I think on the Internet, the impact of natural hair on the wider society is overestimated. My reasons: - there is more information than ever out there about going and staying natural. — the styling options have increased to include more fashionable adult styles. — the hassle of going to salons, dealing with new growth and processing hair makes natural hair a… Read more »

JL
JL
9 years ago

i like the last point in the list the most: “it’s our biology”, yup, like being black isn’t a fad, same with our natural hair! 🙂

ElectricFeel
ElectricFeel
9 years ago
Reply to  JL

I agree the last point was right on point.

JJ
JJ
9 years ago
Reply to  JL

+1

Jene
Jene
9 years ago
Reply to  JL

Yep me too loved it! Why go against what you were born with?

Zyaran
Zyaran
9 years ago

It’s an 50/50 issue for some it maybe an fad, not all people can deal with being natural. Some people enjoy being relaxed and others not, but in time will try being natural. So it’s just deciding if this can be a life time style for you or if not don’t worry about it just hair. Being natural is fine but not the holy grail of hair as can be said for being relaxed. But you have to do what makes you comfortable at that point in your life and just go from there, no matter what people may say… Read more »

Londa
Londa
9 years ago
Reply to  Zyaran

I hear what you are saying Zyaran, but I do believe going natural goes way beyond hairstyle itself, it emerge into something deeper than that, such as acceptance within yourself, can you truly be the real natural you and be happy, or accept permed hair which is what society,family and friends definition of beauty is and become what they want you to be. And if you choose the later, you really have to ask yourself is being the real me really that uncomfortable to accept and why? … I do like to add that I am not putting down people… Read more »

CROWN
9 years ago

i believe it IS a fad.
ESPECIALLY in marketing.

and it annoys me completely.

how are people with STRAIGHT hair making NATURAL HAIR PRODUCTS??
YES, you can be “natural” with straight hair,
but are you PROUD of it?????

its DEFINITELY a fad to me.…. but more of MARKETING, ADVERTISING, PRODUCT wise. and THAT’S what bothers me.

as far as anything else is concerned,
i believe EVERYONE should be able to wear their hair howEVERRR they chose, and many natural sistas need to chill out on the bullying.

Peace.

Jene
Jene
9 years ago
Reply to  CROWN

Ditto on the last part about the bullying, it happens alot. At times I do think that it is becoming a fad within the realm of the business world, people will do anything to make a buck, even advertise their products as natural. good points.

deena
deena
9 years ago

Call me crazy but natural hair is still not a fad. I live in a well-populated Northeastern city with a majority black population and its rare that I see a natural black women (3/day max). Most people have stopped getting perms. Yes but they have traded in the perms for the weaves and wigs. Is that really ‘natural’? To me, no. They dont know anything about their hair, are barely taking care of it, and if you were to talk to them for real for real they would admit that they hate their natural hair (and black hair as a… Read more »

AJCiti
9 years ago

I agree with all of these points. The statement that natural hair has always been around and that all black people have natural hair is reason enough that natural hair is not a fad. I think more people will embrace their natural hair over time and our hair will stop being such taboo.

Jade
Jade
9 years ago

I think it’s also important to note the differences between the “Natural Hair Movements” in the 1960s and today:

1) Today, many forums, youtube videos, and blogs that exist to educate BW about their natural hair did not exist before.

2) Back then, “going natural” was more of a political statement. We all know that political movements are rarely long lasting. Now, it seems BW want to wear their natural hair for reasons outside of the political realm.

It is also important to note that CAROL’S DAUGHTER IS NO LONGER BLACK OWNED.

mangomadness
mangomadness
9 years ago
Reply to  Jade

CAROL’S DAUGHTER IS NO LONGER BLACK OWNED”

That explains a lot…

Jene
Jene
9 years ago
Reply to  Jade

REALLY!!!! WOW. Interesting, wonder what happened.

Salome
Salome
9 years ago

Was and will never be a fad for me, whether I have it long, short I’ve had natural hair for years, I may have back tracked but it wasn’t something I did because I saw others doing it. I went natural initially to just see the texture of my hair. Now Im doing it for health reasons. I can’t see how loving how god made you would be a fad. GO BGLH!

Fro
Fro
9 years ago

Sorry but I think it’s a fad for many. Once folks reach their “Goal Length” their going to be up in an Asian BSS to get a box perm in no time.

MP
MP
9 years ago

Yeah, it is a fad for some and that’s okay. Those who are following a fad not a threat to me. I don’t really need to justify to anyone why or why not natural is or is not a fad. It’s been over a decade since I began embracing my kinks. If/when the curly and kinky haired women disappear from marketing again, when trendy types stop big chopping for fashion, I’ll still be here like I was before. And yeah I know that was covered in the six reasons, I’m just saying it is and it isn’t.

MsKroberts
MsKroberts
9 years ago
Reply to  MP

I’m going to say that I hope it is not a fad. I do think that some will reach goal length and want straight hair. And there is nothing wrong with that, but hopefully there will be a more protective way of straightening our tresses that won’t cause heat damage and ruin the kink.

Just because you embrace your kinks doesn’t lock you in to them. One may want kinky kinks one day, curly coils the next, or straight follicles at different times depending on how they feel. and there is nothing wrong with that.

JJ
JJ
9 years ago

As much as it’s not a fad for some of us, I honestly think a lot of people are just jumping on the natural hair bandwagon. It would be interesting if people were honest about why they are natural and if relaxer or constant pressing/straightening is an option for them in the future. For me it isn’t and has never been since I went natural because nothing else leaves me with healthy happy hair and I have grown to love something that I always had but didn’t appreciate.

BrooklynCoily
BrooklynCoily
9 years ago

*natural hair never left* — that says it all!

I was in Sally’s this past weekend and there little tags all over the hair product section “Perfect for Natural Hair” — never saw those before! I’ve also noticed relaxers are lower in price! Demand is going down. Natural hair was the norm — Relaxed hair was the fad.

Tonya Juanise
Tonya Juanise
9 years ago

If some women are just going natural because it seems like the “in” thing, they truly need to be smacked. I’m sorry, but if I were relaxed, I wouldnt go through the difficult yet rewarding journey of going natural just because. I went natural because I was tired of the chemicals but it’s just too much to go through just to do it because everyone else is doing it. And 9 times out of 10 if you are doing it because you think it’s cool, you won’t last long. For me, I knew a relaxer was not an option, so… Read more »

Zyaran
Zyaran
9 years ago

To those that buy Qhemet Products thought I would share in case you hadn’t heard. FYI: DETAILS OUR END OF SUMMER AUGUST SALE IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER! DATE: FRIDAY, AUGUST 26! TIME: 12 NOON EST, 11 AM CST, 10 AM MST, 9 AM PST PLACE: QHEMET BIOLOGICS DISCOUNT: 20% OFF orders over 27.00 (subtotal) + FREE DOMESTIC SHIPPING on orders over 70.00 (subtotal). COUPON CODE: supple SPAN: The sale will last as long as supplies last so place your orders early! We are currently closed to prepare for the sale. All products appear as out of stock until we reopen… Read more »

sinny
sinny
9 years ago

As the economy changes and more people become broke, natural hair will be here to stay because its cheaper. My main reason for going natural? To save some money!!!

Real RBN
Real RBN
9 years ago
Reply to  sinny

It starts out that way but you can spend more on being natural.……pj

Vicky
Vicky
8 years ago
Reply to  Real RBN

I love natural hair, but it is really a choice to be made not forced on. As a cosmetologist my client is a balance of both relaxed and natural hair. And it is way more expensive to have your hair natural. The products are more expensive and so are the services. But my clients love the way I care for their natural hair so they keep it that way. But I do not like having to put so much time into my hair so i am relaxed and colored and i prefer not to be judged because of it. Hair… Read more »

Jasmine
Jasmine
9 years ago

I see that natural hair movement is also part of the “natural” or “green” movement which is heavily influencing our culture (well maybe in NYC. Black educated women like myself are wary of chemicals that enter our bodies. Another factor is the recession/depression we are going through. I have no idea how so many black women can afford the touch ups, weaves and lace front wigs.

Adeyinka
Adeyinka
9 years ago

Random: Did anyone else think that the girl in the photo kind of looks like Aaliyah?! mhmm.

I think healthy hair will always been in and that is person specific…

Apples
Apples
9 years ago

Why would you put relaxer in a nine month old baby’s hair? I swear people have no damn sense these days!

Shanitta
Shanitta
9 years ago

@Adeyinka I was thinking the same thing! So pretty!

Naomi B
Naomi B
9 years ago

I think for some it may be a fad, for others it is not. I personally went natural 6 years ago because I hated relaxers, and my hair hated them too. My sister on the other hand loves her relaxed hair, and has been relaxing it for a number of years. Her hair still grows very healthily and beautifully, she does not experience breakage, chemical burns, etc. People always admile her hair. When I sugest going natural to her, she says, why would she do that when she loves her relaxed hair and for the past +/- 14 years she… Read more »

VoiceofReason
VoiceofReason
4 years ago
Reply to  Naomi B

I guess I am confused about how wearing your hair naturally is a fad when altering it is actually the fad. I think people have it backwards. How can something in its natural state be a fad?

Christina
Christina
8 years ago

Hi, I agree with the above comment. My relaxed hair was thick, full, healthy, with minimal breakage, and was growing to BSL.…in fact, I was an inch away! I swore I would NEVER EVER go natural even though all my friends were doing it. What changed my mind was my mother who grew out her chemically-induced curl/wave thing bc between that and her color, her hair was breaking off. She said one day I may have to choose between getting my hair colored OR having a perm.…without a doubt, I want to color my hair, and not go gray, so… Read more »

VoiceofReason
VoiceofReason
4 years ago
Reply to  Christina

That was my dilemma. Luckily for me my hair can withstand a lot and I would relax my hair just to be able to manage it because it is very thick. However, coloring and relaxing was making my hair feel like straw; I did not like the texture and the shedding, which I later learned was not solely the result of over processing but also a thyroid condition. So, I stopped relaxing. It’s been about six or seven years now. I happen to like the versatility I have. If I want it bone straight, I go to the hairdresser and… Read more »

Sherice
Sherice
8 years ago

I think wearing your hair natural is a personal decision, just like wearing your hair permed. I grew my perm out some time ago, but I’m wearing a weave as a protective style until my hair grows to the length I desire. Natural hair will never go out of style, it’s who we are, the main thing is how comfortable you feel with your hair.…never mind what society says.

Nyachom
Nyachom
8 years ago

The last point really does it for me. Regardless of what products or information are available, my hair is part of my identity. As long as I’m alive it will grow that way, regardless of what I do when it comes out of my scalp. This is at the heart of the push for natural hair. If it’s not grounded in accepting our look as black people, then it’s bound to fail like the black is beautiful movement of the 70’s. It’s simply in my genetic code, and so part of being an African. It’s great to see that more… Read more »

abiola
abiola
8 years ago

i think it all depends on why the person went natural. my best friend and i became naturals by accident because we simply hated relaxing our hair and eventually got tired of the different textures of hair and cut it (we didnt even know this was “transitioning” we just did it). i think for some it is a fad. suddenly there is an explosion of natural girls. i walk around campus and see many many black girls with big chops, twist outs, bantu knots, the whle nine yards. i dont think there is anything wrong with it. but i feel that… Read more »

cacey
cacey
6 years ago

for me natural hair is all i’ve ever known. not a fad for me. in my family all the women except my aunt and grandma and myself have relaxers, but i hope that they too will see the light of natural hair and cross on over. my mother never wanted me to get a relaxer, even though she herself stayed relaxed from teen to middle age. I think she knew how horrible relaxers are for the health of hair, and she’d done a great job of cultivating my mid-back length thick natural hair (in spite of having relaxed hair herself).

kathie mccomb
kathie mccomb
6 years ago

I always wonder if queen latifahs hair is natural flat and straight or does she have her hair relaxed and straightened

Lucy Hart
Lucy Hart
6 years ago

While I do believe that people can have the mindset for things to be a fad for themselves, I don’t believe it’s beneficial for onlookers to be concerned with it. A fad, though caused by popularity, I believe, is still a personal choice. When I hear people talking about natural hair being a fad, it seems more like a judgment rather than knowledge that there is a fad. I mean, who really sits and thinks about natural hair being a fad? Possibly someone who thinks they know why someone else other themselves truly went natural and they deem themselves much… Read more »

Erika
Erika
6 years ago

I just scratched my scalp, froze for a second, then realized that I can do that without worrying about chemical burns. It happens every once in a while and I thank goodness I am natural. I’m coming up on my two year anniversary! Best decision I ever made (again)!
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/image-21.jpg[/img]

SantanaNyla
6 years ago

…Plus it grows out of your scalp in its natural state-that doesn’t change.

Aliyah
Aliyah
5 years ago

Many of us learned how to manage our hair without a relaxer . For 12 years , I relaxed . My mom had a relaxer in my hair by the time I turned 5 . I went natural a month before i turned 18 . I learned my hair is manageable without a relaxer and I actually like my curls better. My mom went natural as well . I’m actually spending a lot less money which is beneficial since I’m in college and can’t afford go spend alot of money anyway . I mostly wear braised updos a protective style… Read more »

Aliyah
Aliyah
5 years ago

I also think I was destined to be natural again . I use to look at curly big long poof afros and LOVE IT . I just thought I couldn’t achieve it but I do have a curly poffy afro that im growing out .I’m never giving up !

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