What started as a way to free yourself of chemicals and a financial burden became the next big fashion statement. Or at least that’s the way it appeared. Little by little, more and more women seemed to be joining a society of naturally curly girls. That was fine until people began questioning our motives, finding new ways to segregate us and using our plight as a way to make money.
Quite honestly, I hated it. I hated being accused of joining the bandwagon. I hated people referring to all I’ve been through as simply the hottest new fashion statement. Mostly because it seems to diminish the plight of my hair care journey, I always hated being looked at as a trend follower. And that’s how a lot of people seemed to view it – as a trend. However, when things become a trend, they start becoming commercialized. And once things get commercialized, it tends to diminish their significance. That’s exactly what happened in terms of the natural hair community.
Texture Becomes Mainstream
As natural hair became more mainstream, there was a sudden influx of companies who coincidently decided to care about us once they realized there was money in the natural hair community. It seemed like everybody and their mother wanted to come up with some new fabulous product that revives our curls with their all “natural” ingredients. And then there were those who really wanted to act like they catered to us by making products according to hair type.
While I can understand why there is a hair typing system, it seems to bring more drama into the natural hair community by segregating us. In some ways, I feel like hair typing brings to light the whole “good hair” argument that many African Americans have had to deal with. Rather than having someone with 4a hair bond and compliment someone with 3c hair, the kinkier hair type diminishes the hair journey of the looser curl pattern because they have easier hair to manage. The hair typing trend also seems to have brought on hoards of curly stylists who feel entitled to charge more per hair type because one type is easier to style than another – an example of segregation and diminishing peoples feelings and experiences. In some ways, it takes away from the unity and bond curly hair girls should share with each other.
The Cult of Curly
On the other hand, there are those who treat the curly hair world like a cult and look down on any person who chooses to chemically straighten their hair. I’ve even seen some curly haired girls frown upon those who chose to temporarily blow dry their hair straight. According to them, straightening your hair in any form is a sin and denying your true identity. There’s even a natural hair sorority, Pi Nappa Kappa, dedicated to educating and uplift natural hair boys, girls and women around the world.
And then it occurred to me, what started as a trend became a lifestyle of self-acceptance. So for me, "Texture on the Runway" is not simply another style event during Fashion Week. It’s an event to honor all the differences of women today, curls and all. So I am proud to be a part of something that marks history and finally encourages women to embrace their natural selves from roots to tip. It’s about time people began to see what we already knew: curly hair girls rule the world!
Terri Huggins is a Freelance Writer/Journalist in NJ who specializes in beauty, relationships, education and business topics. She also writes marketing paraphernalia such as brochures, press releases, blogs and newsletters for local businesses. Connect with Terri on Twitter: TERRIficWords or stop by her blog, www.terrificwords.