Black/African women, their hair and skin colour have been the most affected victims of white beauty standards. White bias about black women’s hair and skin colour reinforce the western perceptions that only straight silky hair and light skin are beautiful. Hair straightening and skin lightening products that are rigorously marketed to African/black women strongly reinforce the belief that hair cannot look so beautiful unless it looks straight and long.
I have been keeping my natural hair for 3 years now because I got fed up using chemicals to straighten my hair. The hair revolution taking place amongst black women is a kind of relief, it sounds like a throw back to the 60s but this time it is different. It feels like self-acceptance, freedom, health, and spiritual growth. While many, including me, celebrate this movement I’ve noticed women are finding “Self”. A “Self” that had little or no space in the media by the standards of the white man.
When I look around on the streets in Germany where I live, I still find a few black women who awake that feeling in me that something might have gone wrong with the cultural shift. For all the horrible scalp and hair damage I have seen due to weaves and poorly applied relaxers, the experiences associated with it have created a powerful thread that connects the vast majority of black women, and they have decided that enough is enough.
Women are now becoming more conscious of the importance of regularly cleansing their scalp and hair more often. A lot more distributors are catering to women with natural hair by introducing products that will naturally help the health of the hair. You are also finding more and more stylist, using more natural and organic products to encourage healthy looking hair. The movement is strong and I am happy to be a part of this change.