By: Trischan Laing
Hot combs, perm rod sets, and hours under the dryer so that our beautiful curls could be hammered into bone straight hair is a tale too many Black women can relate to. From the Jerry Curl of the 1980s to the Perms of the early 2000s, Black women have always struggled with their hair, because they never learned how to love and appreciate its peculiar nature. This is because we were always told that it was too coarse, too short, and not beautiful.
Growing up, my parents were never taught how to care for and love my kinks and coils, which resulted in my childhood hair memories being traumatizing. Some of these horror stories included ripping out my hair with a comb, that was never designed for my hair texture, to my scalp burning from harsh chemicals. I also recall very few actresses who looked like me or had my hair texture. Even today, there is still a lack of representation in Hollywood, based on their preference for individuals with looser curls, such as 3B-4A hair. This is because these hair textures are considered “good hair,” which is a demographic I most definitely do not belong to.
“People have to know that there are different types of women of color. We’re not all Foxy Brown. We’re not all brown or light-skinned beauties with a big Afro. We have the girl next door. We have the older, dark-skinned, natural-haired woman.” –Viola Davis
However, within the past 10 years, the natural hair movement has grown, as the internet now serves as a space for black women to learn more about their hair. Personally, some of the YouTubers I have grown to appreciate are Jai Marii and Beauty in Natural, who both taught me how to do protective hairstyles while saving money, as well as different hair care regimens. When I was younger, I also recall there being very few hair products for Black hair. One of the most popular products used was Blue Magic, which was a popular clammy petroleum jelly that could leave your hair feeling drier than before. However, over the years, so many Black-owned natural hair products have emerged. Below is a list I composed of some of these brands, as I believe it is crucial to support Black businesses in everything we do, including our hair care regimen.
Black-Owned Beauty Brand to Support
There are also a lot of celebrities, like Solange Knowles, Viola Davis, and Cardi B, who have embraced their natural hair by providing diversity and rejecting the narrative that their hair is unruly and unkempt. These women have also encouraged young Black girls to love and appreciate their own hair and Afrocentric features.
Learning to love yourself is not easy. It requires you to go outside of your comfort zone, love yourself, and most importantly, unlearn the “flaws” you once saw in yourself. Every day, I am still learning how to love my natural hair, despite having some bad hair days, and I hope to inspire other little Black girls to do the same.