Deeper than hair: The evolution of natural hair

Samilia Asare – Genetic technologist

[two_third padding=”0 10px 0 0″]How long have you been natural for? If you did transition, what was the reason behind it?
I technically stopped relaxing my hair in 2003….I went to get my hair relaxed and all the back and sides fell out because my aunt left the relaxer in my hair for too long. Since then I was scared to relax my hair and I started transitioning.

How would you describe your hair type?
To be honest I don’t really follow a typing system for my hair as my hair has about 3 different textures. But if I had to say I guess I would say my hair was 4b/c sort of in between.

How long have you been natural for? If you did transition, what was the reason behind it?
I technically stopped relaxing my hair in 2003… I went to get my hair relaxed and all the back and sides fell out because my aunt left the relaxer in my hair for too long. Since then I was scared to relax my hair and I started transitioning.[/two_third][one_third_last padding=”0 0px 0 0″][/one_third_last]

Growing up did you encounter any challenges with your hair in terms of a lack of representation in the media, school etc?
Most definitely. At school most of the girls had relaxed hair only a few had natural hair. Back then the media never portrayed beautiful Black women as one’s with natural hair, it was always a woman with straight hair. Salons were so clueless as to what to do with my hair when I was transitioning, I was always asked why I don’t just relax my hair.

Why do you think natural hair has become so popular over the years? Do you think this is a trend?
I think it’s become popular because we are starting to appreciate our natural hair more and that’s largely due to social media and the increase in natural hair bloggers showing us how to handle our hair….that in turn I think has pushed more hair brands to produce products tailored to kinky coily textures. I personally would not want the popularity of natural hair to be referred to as a trend, it’s as natural to us as our skin colour and being Black is no trend.

Do you think the standard of beauty (hair) in the media has changed or do you think we still have a long way to go?
I think gradually it is changing as people of colour and of influence themselves are starting to appreciate their natural hair and have been trying to represent more on screens, but we definitely have a long way to go.

Are you perceived differently with natural hair in terms of work, the opposite sex?
I have always had a positive reaction to my natural hair. I work in a very relaxed environment, so I literally wear my hair however I want, my colleagues always get excited to see how I style my natural hair. With the opposite sex also, I have never had a negative reaction. My husband actually prefers my hair natural.

It is easier to manage natural hair now due to a plethora of natural hair products. Which three products can you not live without?
• Shea butter
• Olive oil,
• Aloe vera (oil and gel)

What advice would you like to give to anyone who wants to be natural?
Don’t think about it just do it, our hair is beautiful and it grows with TLC and consistency.

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback : Afro haircare tips to promote healthy hair and scalp |

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