Natural Hairnamix: 3 Out-of-Character Natural Hair Trends
May 19, 2015 ē By Rossette Allen

The resurgence of the natural hair trend a few years ago brought with it a level of seriousness and commitment on the part of those who embraced said hair transformation. Some very rigid and sometimes unrealistic guidelines were put in place and naturals made every effort to adhere to them as much as possible for the sake of the health and vitality of their tresses.

 

For the most part, naturals follow the recommendations of the experts who often substantiate their arguments with scientific evidence. The different suggestions for moisture retention, the warnings about potentially harmful hair practices, the hazardous product ingredients checklist etc. often set a standard for a naturalís modus operandai.

 

In time, naturals have moved away from some of the most foundational beliefs about their hair. A part of it may be as a result of new developments or new information that lead to a shift in the recommended processes for maintaining healthy natural hair. On the flip side, some naturals are choosing to step out of the box, and become more adventurous with their hair. Three increasingly popular hair trends serve as evidence that naturals are gradually departing from beliefs once held dear about the dos and doníts of natural hair.

 

These trends are certainly not ones that emerged overnight; however, they have become unusually and increasingly popular as well as more of a norm than an exception. The following three trends have been observed as changing, lending to the new shift away from what was safe toward a more risky approach.

 

 

THE COLOR CRAZE

 

Anyone who had been natural for at least a day is quite likely to have heard the warning to stay away from color. Hair color can pose a threat to natural and processed hair alike. The harsh chemicals that are present in most hair colors can be dangerously harmful if you donít take extra care of your hair while it is color-treated. With natural hair being generally more fragile and brittle than processed hair, naturals will need to double the efforts to ensure that their hair remains healthy.

 

Diehard naturals would not be caught dead applying color to their hair. It is virtually frowned upon as the cardinal sin. Some naturals with extreme and somewhat unrealistic viewpoints are even of the opinion that naturals who apply color to their hair are natural no more. That is definitely a misguided opinion and one that has stirred up many a controversy among ladies in the natural hair community.

 

The breakdown in the once resolute stance about color is mostly a result of many of the larger, more prominent natural hair product manufacturers offering a safer, less damaging color alternative that has been formulated with less harmful chemicals. The declaration of this claim coupled with the strategic and wholesale color makeovers of many of the leading influential personalities in the natural hair community, has led to a marked increase in the number of naturals willing to embrace the fad. Bold reds or golden blonds, the color trend is catching on like wild fire. Who would have thought that a process that was once deemed as being taboo, where naturals are concerned, would turn out to be a growing trend that doesnít seem to be going anywhere soon?

 

 

TAPERED CUT

 

The Tapered Cut is a fairly new, hot trend in the natural hair community. Girls are opting to put aside their length-preserving ways and reaching for that pair of scissors. When natural hair first resurged a few years ago, it was all about length, couldnít have enough of it and it would be a great tragedy if there was a threat to it. In recent times, however, many naturals have been released from the obsession with length and have begun to embrace the idea of cutting off their once treasured mane for the sake of this new hair trend.  This very chic and edgy look features very low or faded sides and back with more length on the top of the head. The origin of the trend is uncertain but one thing for sure is that there is something very magnetic about this style that is pulling many naturals away from their usual full head of hair and towards this cut.

 

Whether it is embraced because of its ease of maintenance, or to remain in tuned with current trends, there is some amazement that this community of naturals who were so big on having long hair, would at a momentís notice decide to give it all up for the tapered cut. Although it is out of character for a natural to make such a drastic cut, rest assured that it is just hair and it will grow back.      

 

 

HAIR STRAIGHTENING HABIT

  

Hair straightening for naturals is not a new thing. Although initially widely unpopular, there were always those brave souls who expressed their willingness to take the risks associated with applying heat. While I wouldnít say it has become a wholesale practice, there is a marked increase in the number of naturals who have broken their anti-heat policy to wear straightened hair.

 

Again, large companies that cater to the hair needs of naturals, have developed hair straightening systems that promised to safely take your hair from kinky to straight and back, like that of ORS. This claim lays to rest many of the fears and apprehensions faced by naturals. No longer is heat viewed as the enemy but by correctly using these systems it may actually be a welcomed friend.

 

The versatility of switching between textures and the fact that hair is more manageable in a straightened state are both motivating factors that could trigger naturals to become more open to the trend. The burden still lies with those who apply heat, to ensure that extreme care is taken so as not to cause irreversible damage.

 

In every area of life, people evolve and as Wendy Williams would say ďIím a woman, Iím entitled to change my mind.Ē

 

The truth is that life involves a series of risks and the risk-takers are stepping out of their comfort zones to embrace the notion of YOLO. While I may not opt to experiment with all of the above trends, I do respect those who are stepping out and not allowing a set of guidelines to dictate what to do with their hair. Some may view the moves as being hypocritical and not being true to what natural hair represents, but at the end of the day, itís just hair and it holds power in determining who you are. These out-of-character trends are - for different reasons- catching on like wild fire and as time progresses I am sure there will be other major changes in the natural hair community. The decision of whether or not to embrace them, however, lies solely with the natural in question.

 

 

 

Candie's Natural Hairnamix was birthed a few months after Jamaican native Rossette "Candie" Allen began her natural hair journey in May 2010. She gears this column toward naturals, transitioning naturals, aspiring naturals and the naturally curious, sharing experiences, expertise and experiments while celebrating emancipation from chemical slavery.

 


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