Just recently, my sister wrote a note on Facebook stating that she doesn't think that natural hair is a trend. I say for the most part I do agree with her. However, as more people start to go natural I begin to wonder if they are doing so because they are finally choosing to accept the natural glory given to us by God or if they are only doing it because of the harmful qualities of a perm?
I began to think back to the 1970s around the time that so many Blacks were choosing to embrace their natural texture and rock the afro. It was the "I'm Black and I'm Proud" decade. This was a great period for our people. Yet, at some point they chose to loosen the texture of their natural coil and more individuals started to embrace the Jheri Curl. In my opinion, the Jheri curl allowed for individuals to give the illusion that they had a looser curl pattern or what they called "good hair". Then, the no-lye relaxer came out and it provided a better option than the pressing comb or the pure lye relaxer. With this option females could go swimming, sweat, etc. and not have their hair revert to its natural kinkiness. So, the relaxer was widely embraced by our community so that it became the norm when it is actually abnormal.
One of the most common reasons cited by females who have chosen to let go of their relaxed tresses in this decade is that a relaxer was ultimately damaging to the hair. This is a very good reason to go natural. However, I think there is a problem when individuals go natural and choose to hide their beautiful coils under wigs, lace fronts, extension braids, etc. Or naturals who can't rock a afro, puff, or wash n' go--instead choosing only the twist outs, etc. (though I love twist outs and braid outs we should love the natural texture also) It shows me that though they chose to go the healthy route they are still ashamed of their natural hair. And another option individuals are choosing to embrace are products such as the silkeners, texturizer, etc. These products remind me of the Jheri curl (w/o the greasy look) because they allow for you to have a curl pattern but, it is a looser curl pattern. This pattern is considered more pleasing or more manageable to some. To me it still goes back to that "good hair". My question to a lot of naturals would be "If there was a relaxer developed that straightened your hair and had no harmful effects whatsoever, would you choose to use it??"
In the end, being natural should not be a trend or chosen soley for healthy hair. Being natural should be a lifestyle. It should be the norm for our community. We should choose to wear our hair naturally because it was the hair given to us by our Lord, Jesus Christ. It shouldn't matter if the hair is loose waves, bouncy curls, or course coils. We should embrace the texture we were blessed with b/c it is our diversity that makes us unique. Once we can accept our God-given textures then, I will honestly say that being natural is not a trend and it is a lifestyle.