Digital media has been a revolution in the hair care industry. As little as ten years ago there was precious little information online about black hair and even less about natural hair. There can also be no doubt that the natural movement gained momentum in the beginning mostly because of forums, websites and blogs.
It may seem silly to say now but in the past a lot of women never really saw the connection between weak breaking hair and relaxers. Even today at a hair shop on any given Saturday you will see a stylist suggest to a client that the relaxer should be left of a bit longer than normal. ‘You’ve got resistant hair’ being the mantra.
The fault in this instance is not necessarily the relaxer’s, rather it’s the stylist’s method of application that is facilitating breakage. That along with inadequate information to the client on how to care for their hair between appointments leads to average length of relaxed hair being neck to shoulder length.
Even so, it’s no wonder than when the idea of going natural so that your hair could grow longer was introduced, a lot of us jumped ship without question and had our suspicions about relaxers confirmed when our hair finally became longer than it had ever been before.
Since then there have been different sects of naturalism that have developed. There are those who never use heat, those who wear their hair heat straightened most of the time, those who concentrate on curls be it via wash and go’s or twist outs, those who shun the idea of curls and even those who keep their hair in low maintenance braided styles majority of the time.
As the natural movement hots up and gains traction, a lot of women who have gone natural themselves have taken to putting down women who choose to remain relaxed. The term ‘creamy crack’ that refers to hair relaxers has many negative connotations to women who choose to remain relaxed. The suggestion that you are literally a crackhead doesn’t sit right with many for obvious reasons.
With so many self styled natural hair gurus online and with the sheer number of natural blogs and websites outpacing relaxed ones 2-1, the natural movement will certainly go from strength to strength. Far fewer relaxed ladies have reached ‘long hair nirvana’ (as compared to natural sisters) and there is definitely a need in the relaxer industry to reinvent itself if it is to survive.