Natural Hair Movement
The early 2000s saw the growth of the Natural Hair Movement, focused on encouraging Black people to celebrate the natural characteristics of our kinky, curly, hair texture. This came with growing evidence that hair relaxers can cause serious and permanent damage. The growth of the internet, and more recently social media, allowed the natural hair community to connect across the world and share encouragement, advice, product reviews, hairstyle tutorials and much more. The movement saw the beginning of reclaiming the word “nappy” in the United States, which had previously been intimately tied to slavery as Black hair was likened to the tuft of a cotton plant called a “nap”. This new enthusiasm for natural hair caused a significant rise in products for natural Black hair care, and the industry is now worth an estimated $2.5 billion in the US alone. The foundational principle of the Natural Hair Movement is that the hair curling from our heads is innately beautiful and should be free to exist that way without policing or prejudice. So, too, should we be free to choose any other hairstyle without shame or judgement.