Black Girl Problems: Natural Vs. Relaxed


It’s no secret that more women of color are transitioning back to their natural roots. This new found movement has spark  the growth in black hair care companies. As US Black consumers continue to embrace the natural hair movement, its impact is greatly shaping the US Black haircare market. New research from Mintel reveals that sales of styling products have increased 26.8 percent from 2013 to estimated 2015, reaching $946 million, now comprising 35 percent of Black haircare sales, a significant increase from the 16 percent it represents in the total haircare market. The Black haircare industry has undergone quite a transformation over the past five years and that should continue heading into the next decade. As more and more Black consumers are embracing their natural self and walking away from relaxers, it is presenting opportunities for natural brands to enter the market.

However, there are still women who still chooses to relax although they know the potential damage it can to their hair in the long run. Why are women of color shaming each other for their personal chooses? Natural women tend to feel more “woke” and think that women who do decide to put chemicals in their hair aren’t aware of the damage. However, relaxed women have made the argument that it doesn’t matter what they decide to with their hair. They are still just as “woke” as anyone else. Although in the past and somewhat in the present, women of color felt the need to fit in with european beauty standards. Straight hair, nose etc. Women of color should’not feel ashamed. Kendra Turnquest speaks on why women who relax should not feel out of place or disconnected from women who have went natural. In her blog post, Natural Vs. Relax Hair, Black women who choose to relax their hair have the right to do so without being persecuted by their race.   Women of Color choose to relax for many reasons not always conceivable to natural women.  Most commonly, women who relax their hair chooses to do so because they find caring for their hair in the natural state to be a hassle.   This can be because she may not be very well educated on how to care for natural hair or perhaps she may feel the processes involved are too time consuming.   

Whatever your reason might be, it is all up to you. I personally relax my hair. I feel it works better for my hair texture and the hairstyle I tend to maintain it in. Black ladies, whatever you decide to do feel proud. Feel proud of your hair, it is truly unique. Because beauty has so many standards based on society, we should look beneath the pulchritude into the soul of the person. Do not let your hair texture define you. You define your hair. You define you.

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Dnysha is a third year New England College student pursing a a Bachelor's Degree in Communications. She is a very active member of the NEC community whether she's hosting events, working as an RA, or organizing functions for Amazing Minority Girls Unite where she works as club President. She has been involved with The New Englander for several years as Social Media Editor and currently writes a column entitled, Black Girl Problems. Dnysha will be graduating in Spring 2019.
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