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The Natural Hair Revolution

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Jumoke Ayo-Ajayi

on 20 February 2015

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Transcript of The Natural Hair Revolution

What is natural hair?
Natural hair is a term used to refer to the natural texture of Black African hair that has not been altered by hot combs, flat irons, or chemicals (through perming, relaxing, or straightening).
What spurred this natural hair movement?
What do the students at FIU think of natural hair?
The Natural Hair Revolution
How is natural hair viewed in society and why?
What is the history behind natural hair in America?
early 1900s
Antebellum Period
The quest for upward mobility led to the desire of straight hair.
Hair tests emerged to stall blacks from entering night clubs.
Annie Minerva Malone and Madame C. J. Walker made fortunes in the black hair business while uplifting their own race.
Civil Rights Era
The phrase "Black is beautiful" is popularized.
Blacks attempt to reclaim their identity.
The afro was stigmatized as "radical" and "political."
Many blacks were policed into wearing their hair in an Afro-like state.
Post Civil Rights Era
The growing depoliticizing of natural hair begins.
Bo Derek popularized Bo Braids in the film
Braids were scrutinized in the workplace during the 80s.
The Jherri Curl became popular in the 80s.
The Natural Hair Revolution Today
Today a growing number of black women embrace their natural hair texture.
Many black owned hair care businesses are arising (i.e. Miss Jessie's, Shea Moisture, Obia, Mixed Chicks) and many relaxer lines are now accommodating natural hair (i.e. Cantu, Motions, Dark and Lovely, ORS).
Natural hair is growing in acceptance but is still seen as "radical" and "unkempt."
Pre-Slave Trade
Before the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, Africans wore their hair in styles that communicated social class, marriage status, messages, religion, and ethnicity within a community.
African slaves had their heads shaved when they arrived in the New World.
It was the first step to stripping Africans from their identity.
The terms "good hair" and "bad hair" was coined.
Tignon Law
There are many theories to what initiated the current natural hair movement...
Harsh Relaxers
Harsh chemicals in relaxers caused many to return natural.
Many suffered hair damage due to relaxers.
Many could not grow long hair with use of relaxers.
The emergence of YouTube allowed women to share their journeys.
Bad hair habits in the black community were being reevaluated and shared amongst women on YouTube.
Blogs helped women share personal experiences and pass on knowledge.
Self Enlightenment
Many women returned natural to embrace their true beauty.
Many wanted to stop appealing to a Eurocentric standard of beauty.
Many wanted to set examples for their children.
Full transcript