The growing number of black women transitioning from relaxed to natural hair has created a strong movement within the hair care community. It has also created slight divisions between those who opt to stick with chemically treated hair.
This is a movement characterized by self-discovery and health. There are some black women who prefer their hair straight, and there are many black women who have embraced their kinks, coils and curls.
As young children, we were indoctrinated to believe that our hair is something to be “tamed.” Many black women were brought up under false assumptions that relaxers and hot combs are culturally defining. With the staggering number of black women going natural, quite a few questions have been raised.
Among the most questioned are worries in the workplace and corporate environments. Then there are questions from society as a whole. Every woman with natural hair is not a tree-hugging hippie.
Furthermore, there is no correlation between hair and politics. Natural hair is not specific to any demographic, and just because your hair is natural does not mean it is healthy.
Taking care of natural hair beats all of the detrimental consequences of excessive chemical treatment to the scalp. As the list of chemicals in everyday beauty products has grown, the U.S. oversight has been nonexistent. There is no regulation by the Food and Drug Administration or law that says companies have to make safe products.
A new study in the American Journal of Epidemiologyconcluded a correlation between hair relaxers and fibroid tumors in women and early puberty in young girls. The study found that black American women are two to three times more likely to have fibroids that were linked to chemical exposure through scalp lesions and burns resulting from relaxers.
If left untreated or diagnosed too late, fibroids can cause heavy and painful menstruation, painful sexual intercourse, urinary frequency, hinder pregnancy and may even lead to a hysterectomy. As black women, we should all look into a healthier lifestyle starting with natural hair.