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Original MAMMJ Project

A trend or hair to stay?

With recent media focus on afro hair being trendy Afro Caribbeans are turning to their natural hair to be fashionable, with many opting for it to be a permanent fixture in their style.

In addition to the hair “movement” the shift in consciousness in the ingredients put on hair and skin and how they are taken care of has only added to the afro hair appeal.

Editor of Black Beauty & Hair magazine, Ms Irene Shelley said: “I think it’s a trend. People are obviously more conscious about what they want to wear, how they want to wear their hair and what products they are using on it.”

“You’d say it is a trend because it’s a growing pattern and that does qualify as a trend, no matter how people disagree with that term.”

“People are either going for locks, afros, or very short hairstyles. The person who locks up might then shave off their locks, start again and do something else with their hair. They’re treating it like a bit more of a fashion statement rather than a cultural statement, which perhaps seemed to happen in the past.”

The popular natural versus relaxed hair debate in the Afro Caribbean society, however, may be proving more damaging than encouraging.

The Afro Hair and Beauty Bible author, Ms Alison Husbands said: “I don’t agree with the whole relaxed versus natural debate. I think every woman is an individual and if she chooses to relax her hair then that’s fine, if she chooses to wear her hair natural that’s fine. Just as long as your hair is healthy and you know how to maintain it, how to look after it, that’s the main thing.”

Despite the on-going debates on the trend and its potential cultural implications afro wearing individuals may find reassurance that for now, despite any arguments, they are at least in style.


About Combing for Curls

Ghanaian-Nigerian Accra-based natural hair blogger and vlogger. Creator/curator of African culture and political content.


2 thoughts on “A trend or hair to stay?

  1. I’m really insulted that afro hair is seen by some as a trend in the UK. I went natural in 1994 because I was sick of how hairdressers treated me and because I could not afford relaxers, I simply shaved my hair off and kept that style until 1997, I even bought clippers.
    Then I had my hair in plaits for ages then finally discovered two strand twists and after a few years decided to loc my hair as all I ever did was twists. I would have stayed with locs but after about 2 years my hair started to thin. I then went back to relaxer and had a Halle Berry style but I soon got fed up with the maintenance and went back to locs until my hair thinned again. Now I have discovered hair websites and have learnt to look after my hair, I make my own hair products and only go to the hairdressers for a trim once a year.
    Never in all these years of being natural have I considered it a trend, my neices all have relaxed hair, I see nothing wrong with it, I just want to be in control of my hair.
    When I went natural it was no big thing none of my black or white friends made a big deal out of it, apart from the fact I’d shaved my head. In the USA being natural is seen as some big thing and the UK seems to have decided to copy that but for me that was not the case.
    I did notice that there were no black hair magazines that catered for naturals in the UK or USA all there was were the braid or loc styles magazines from the USA – Brandy and Robin come to mind as my hair heroines.
    I have worked in many different places during my natural years and it was never an issue providing my hair was well groomed I was left alone no relaxed women ever looked down on me or suggested I was going through a phase. Natural hair in the UK is not a trend just a choice.

    Posted by Natalie | February 28, 2012, 6:11 PM
    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. I suppose there are many angles to look at this from. I agree that not everyone who has gone natural is following a trend but perhaps a few have been inspired by the surge in natural hair and jumped on board? If this is the case then the fact that natural hair has been made fashionable recently and into a trend of sorts can only do us good right? I maintain the stance I believe we all have a choice. I personally want to work towards a wide understanding of the implications and potential consequences of our actions. Otherwise trend or not the natural choice is always an option!

      Posted by nwadiogo | March 11, 2012, 11:45 PM

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