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Curly Nikki

Food For Thought- The Future of Black Hair

By January 27th, 202112 Comments

Happy Friday,

I’ll be featured on one of my favorite websites next week, and just completed the interview. One of the questions stood out to me:

Black hair has been big in the media this year. What do you see in the future for black hair?

My response:
It may be a lofty notion, but I see natural hair becoming the standard. Today’s natural hair will not go the way of the Fro. Mainly because natural hair today is more of a lifestyle than it is a political statement or movement of some sort. Women are becoming educated on the dangers of relaxers, extensions, and other excessive forms of manipulation, and are consciously striving to learn to care for and maintain their natural textures. Eventually we’ll reach a critical mass–natural hair will replace the straight hair standard in the media, in the workplace…everywhere. Our love for our various textures, will spill over into the majority, and they will have no choice but to accept it. Natural hair today, is simply one part of a fulfilling, healthier, fabulous lifestyle! A girl can dream, right?!

What do you think? What is your opinion about the future of Black hair? Is natural hair here to stay?


  • Bilqis says:

    First off Nikki i have to say that i love this site more and more every day…truly..i really do..thank you and all of you ladies for what you do. I havent seen the chris rock movie yet…but i do think all this attn to Black hair is good. My sisters and I ahve been talking alot about it. A major realization has/is coming over black women, namely that OUR HAIR IS MANAGEABLE!!!! We jsut need to know how to manage it. Our issue in my opinion is that we have always thought our hair to jsut be too much…to time consuming and just overall too much to handle in its natural state. I'm natural and still learning..esp after a horrible hair frying incident that leaves me with half a head of natural but heat damaged hair… anywho…my hair is manageable…wow..its just that despite being born with this hair, i really never knew how to manage it. anyway, this is revolutionary, and is finally giving us Black women the freedom to wear our hair and care for it beautifully. I'm so happy about this, really I am. Cowashing, ACV rinses, and just experimenting with different products to find the ones that suit my hair best…this is revolutionary. Anyway, thank you Nikki, i love this site. I love that we are embracing our own beauty. Its so crazy that many of us dont like to see our hair the way it naturally grows out of our heads. ANyway, i dont hate on anybody decisions on how to style their hair, but i love you wokan for giving so many the courage and the incentive to know that our hair is beautiful, and with the right care and attn it too will flourish.

  • Maria says:

    I can't speak for all women, but as for me and my hair… we're here to stay! I am in love with my hair and I am having way too much fun. My hair is thriving and I just love my curls.

  • Anonymous says:

    Great answer! although I dont believe the Fro was a political statement back in the day anymore than the twist n curl is today. I think women were attempting to embrace their natural beauty as we are. Media made it a political stmt so scare white america into rejecting the image which is where the run for relaxers came in. Well I hope what you said is a reality in my life time, I would love to see us wearing our natural hair as the standard. To Conni3 I feel you and understand where you are coming from but I strongly believe that even though you can grow relaxed hair and you can nurture relaxed hair to keep it from experiencing its most detrimental effects, relaxed hair is chemically altered/damaged hair-by its very process you cannot say that altering the structure of the hair shaft and breaking the bonds of it down is a good healthy option. Its an option, and I dont knock anyone who chooses it. But its like smoking-yes it is legal but you cant say its good for you. I would hope that once someone is educated abt relaxers they would choose to change. I dont see natural hair as a styling option, I see it as my hair, that God created, that grows out of my head. This isnt for you personally but it just irks me when people call our god given locs a styling option. Do women from Japan call their naturally coarse/straight/hair a styling option or thier just their hair? Do white women who wear thier natually curly hair call it a styling option or their naturally curly hair? I might be splitting hairs here but this just really gets under my skin. We dont even know what our natural hair looks like half the time and then to defend relaxers we want to call our natural hair just a styling option as if we could go to the salon to get it. Its something abt us still not embracing the real us.

  • totallytwisted<3 says:

    I think natural hair will become mainstream along side relaxers more like a 50/50 split. I don't see relaxers going totally away just yet. I think it's good that it's in media. I think a lot of women are embarrassed that all people can now see how much $$, time, and risking our health us black women have done for years. But as the good book says "what's done in the darkness will come to light".

  • Anonymous says:

    I don’t believe all this attention towards black hair is good at all. All it’s doing is dividing us ‘naturals’ (I hate that term) vs. women who aren’t natural. I love my sista, no matter what’s on her head. We have enough issues dividing us, why drag this one out further.

    I would love to see a push toward education women on how to maintain HEALTHY HAIR, no matter how they choose to style it.

  • rjw says:

    Today's natural hair will not go the way of the Fro. Mainly because natural hair today is more of a lifestyle than it is a political statement or movement of some sort.

    As someone who's been natural since '72 and who's from the generation of "the afro," the above statement is probably a little of a distortion of that era and the sisters who proudly sported 'afros' back then.

    Afros were not just a fad. Black women back then were as convinced as black women today that going natural was the way to go. If by "politics" you mean that reclaiming our natural hair was to our thinking a way to debunk white beauty standards, you're right we were being political.

    But, alas, living in white America won. Perm hair proved too irresistible, for lots of reasons.

    We'll just have to see how long this new trend lasts.

    One thing natural hair trendsetters today have that those in the 70s didn't have is the Internet (with great websites like this one) where one can find helpful information on caring for natural hair, product reviews, and natural styles to choose from.

    Good luck and thanks!

  • Anonymous says:

    I think that not only will more women feel allowed/secured to be natural, as weird as that sounds but many women feel like they cant be natural, but we will also start to pay more attention to where the billions spent on our hair is going. I think more black owned hair companies will start coming back, like carol's and oyin, because i think women with natural hair do more research on what goes on/in our locks and scalp.
    This is kinda an offshoot but this video talking about the black hair care business really made me think.

  • M.J. says:

    I think there will always be women rocking gorgeous, natural hair. Even though, I don't think this will ever become the norm within the Black community. There are too many Black women (and men) who are allergic to the slightest curl or coil. Just yesterday I saw a HUGE advertisement on the side of a bus that said "100% REAL INDIAN HAIR", spotlighting three Black women w/ Indian locks glued to their respective scalps. I couldn't believe it (I'm in NYC, btw)!! Like, I literally fell off bench at the bus stop (well, not literally). So, no…I really don't think that natural will ever catch on to the masses.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think that natural hair will eventually be as accepted in the mainstream as relaxed hair and extensions are now. I honestly do not believe that natural hair becoming more accepted as a whole will lead to the extinction of the use of chemicals to straigten hair as we know it, but I do believe that the standard of beauty will change for the better in that a woman with short, kinky-curly hair will be seen as just as beautiful and graceful as a woman with long stick-straight hair. I think that this is already happening to some degree in the media. More and more women with natural hair are gracing the covers of catalogs and on TV commercials. And once we as black women begin to see the beauty that is in each other rather than envying what we were not born with, then others will begin to accept our beauty as well.

  • Unknown says:

    From your lips/pen to the ears/eyes and hair of women everywhere :)

  • Beverly says:

    I hope your vision of the future is correct. I agree that the more educated black women become the more naturals we'll see. I’m not anti relaxers but just want more women to realize the option of wearing our natural hair.

  • LBell says:

    Funny you should mention this…I just read a comment on NP stating that Chris Rock's movie may end up influencing more black women to go natural. Now I haven't seen the movie yet but my understanding is that he doesn't really go down the third path (natural hair). By revealing the black hair "care" industry for what it is, I get the feeling that sensible-thinking women might start asking themselves: Why am I participating in this?

    That's what happened to me, although on a much smaller scale: My friend started locs from 2.5 years' worth of natural hair that she'd been growing under extensions. It was like a light bulb went on in my head: "I don't have to keep relaxing my hair or wearing extensions…I have another option." For both of us, natural hair was the better, healthier option, and 14 years later we're both still natural.

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