Natural Hair: A Look of Distinction or Fad?

Amin Waajid (center) shown with Black Earth Products employees
Amin Waajid (center) shown with Black Earth Products employees

Natural hair is a style that was once famous among the African American community during the 1970’s; it was a sign of pride, strength, and independence. Natural hair has returned again gracing women of color with a sense of pride that was once alive in the culture.

“I like to wear natural hair because it has given me a different look, I am choosing to set myself apart and stand above proudly in my natural element,” said Dedra Holloway, a 25-year old alumna of Savannah State University.

“I think a lot of women are just doing this natural hair stuff because it is the hot thing to do but I think it will go out of style as fast as it came when the next hot thing comes,” said Courtney McCray, a 22-year old student as she stroked her finely groomed hair.

“Our locks and coils are beginning to explain who we are, it is giving identity to a once unidentified species, we are evolving, first with our hair then our attitudes, for those of you black women who are still Europeanizing yourself with relaxers, it is only a matter of time before you realize that you are conforming to a world that you inevitably cannot identify with,” Holloway said.

Natural Hair specialist Shawntel Waajid, 42, owner and stylist at the Nappy Hutt: Natural Hair Care & Braid Center believes that it is both a fad and a significant look in the culture and community.

“Those who don’t know the significance of embracing their natural beauty are just going along with others who have gone natural or have seen that one perfect picture on YouTube and decided they wanted their hair to look “like that”.”

According to Waajid who has been natural since October 2008, natural hair is much more than just a look but it is a statement.

“Natural hair can be a look of distinction and pride. It makes a statement that you are beautiful and confident in your skin, not societies ideals of what beauty should look like. Embracing what God truly gave to you and not altering it to satisfy those who really shouldn’t make you any difference.”

Waajid cut off her hair after she began working at the Taliah Waajid Natural Hair Care Center in Atlanta, GA. Shawntel Waajid is the wife and business partner of Jibril Waajid, who came up in the Natural Hair industry under his sister, Taliah Waajid, who is a pioneer in this industry.

Shawntel has strategic routines for her hair, both daily and monthly grooming habits.

“Moisture-based products are essential for our hair. Oils and creams are needed as well, but in the absence of moisture, you are just coating dry strands of hair.” Shawntel suggests that natural hair care product buyers read the labels of the products before purchasing.

“When you seek a product line, look at the ingredients. They are listed in order of highest concentrations to lowest. Moisture should be the 1st ingredient listed, followed by non-drying agents, and oils. Never use products formulated for chemically-treated hair on your natural hair. Be mindful of products that just throw the word “natural” on their bottles…remember the word sells these days. The hair industry is a billion dollar industry!” Shawntel exclaimed.

“The hardest part of having natural hair is accepting it, finding products that tame it and make it manageable, and discovering that natural hair styles go way past afros and twists. Knowing what your hair limits are, styling your hair to match your personality, and finding the right products will make everyone’s natural hair journey easier,” Shawtel said

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