Embrace Your Natural Hair!

Share your personal experience with transitioning or natural hair.

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Natural hair has been an experience beginning with manipulating it to the standards of those around me. My hair was exposed to uncomfortable heat and rigorous handling. My family members and other influences deemed straight hair as kept and beautiful. Most young African-American children grow up with  peers talking down on the appearance of their hair on a regualr basis. If you did not fall into the unhealthy habits of getting a “relaxer” every eight weeks, you would receive the infamous side eye.

My first appointment with my third hairstylist changed my mentality. She advised my mother to stop my hair treatments. “You do not need one,” she recommended. Her organic methods toward achieving hair growth and length were quickly adopted. Applying her strategies helped me recognize the beauty of my natural hair and how significant it was to unlearn these pernicious influences and norms. 

Almost every black individual remembers a moment during their youth when they recall being criticized and humiliated regarding whether they should straighten their hair. Being continuously belittled for how your hair texture differs from everyone else’s can be psychologically damaging to a child’s self-esteem. A study at California State University analyzed the experiences black women endure with their hair.  These events will carry on in their minds during their adolescence and adulthood, including their mothers and aunts using excessive heat to tame their locks.

What our grandmothers, mothers and aunts did not realize is that chemically transforming hair can be detrimental to your health. One of the harmful active ingredients contained in a relaxer is sodium hydroxide, which serves in breaking down hair and depriving it of its strength. This chemical leaves the hair straight, yet destroys its volume. Not only does this substance affect the hair, it can harm the body.

According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, chemical treatments raise pregnancy risks in black women due to toxin exposure. It was also proven that black women are twice as likely to birth babies with lower weights. The results in this study are not the only facts that are frightening. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have to approve the registration of these products; manufacturers do not have to be regulated. I would proudly take these curls any day over harming my body by with these substances.

We realize how far we have come to love the hair that naturally grows on our heads. By breaking out of the stereotypical norm, we can openly love the various unique textures we are born with. Mothers are starting to use organic, natural haircare products on their children. Gradually we can pass down new, improved ways to style hair and ditch that dreaded straightener. By joining this image-positive movement, we are changing the game for generations to come.

 

 

 

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