The widely used hair product among women of color and those of other hair types, has changed its ingredients.
The Cantu company has added isopropyl alcohol to their hair products which has concerned many of its users. The alcohol is also known to dry out hair and proves unhealthy to all hair types. Product users remain disappointed as some of their go-to hair products will no longer serve its purpose as a hair moisturizer and many hair 'naturalistas' will begin turning to alternate hair products.
For years, Black women conformed to the universal standards of beauty- light eyes, light skin, straight hair. The natural hair movement was created to empower women of color to embrace their natural hair and not to fall into the societal standards of beauty. However, the reemergence of the movement has sparked controversy through its presumed preference for looser hair curls and patterns.
Beauty gurus fled to social media platforms such as YouTube, displaying their quick and easy to do hairstyles- such as wash and go's- leading many stranded and with unrealistic perspectives on natural hair and the several different textures among it.
Many black girls turn to social media, aiming to maintain achieve hair just like their favorite 'Naturalista'.This misrepresentation of black women causes young girls to feel left out when their hair doesn't look the same as the woman in the video.
Fortunately, the number of women with different hair textures are rising to social media, bringing more diversity to the natural hair world.
While the number of women purchasing relaxers has decreased by 36.6% between 2015 and 2017, work still needs to be done.
The natural hair movement in itself does not accurately represent the versatile hair textures of women of color, it merely provides a similar opposite to the previous universal beauty standards, a fair skinned face with curly hair.
Prior to the release of 'Nappily Ever After', I explore expectations and potential impacts of the film on women of color.
Sanaa Lathan's character, Violet provides insight into the lives of African- American women and their emotional attachment to their hair. Lathan allows other women of color to embrace their natural hair and curls, as she lets go of the cultural and social stigma surrounding the hair of black women.
For years, black women have turned to straightening or perming their hair and in some cases, the idea of straight hair is seen as more professional.
Until recently, the natural hair movement began, allowing women of color to embrace their hair. Nappily Ever After plays into this movement, destroying the expectation that women of color should have silky hair to be respected and treated as professional.
Benny Harlem first took the nation by storm in 2016 with the 'world's highest high top fade' with his hair reaching 21 inches. Since then, he has become an entrepreneur of the Harlem Hair Care Institute, sharing his hair secrets. Harlem began his healthy hair journey 14 years ago and has made products customizable for his hair. His hair products are also customizable for all customers. He uses natural herbs and vitamins in order to provide healthy earthly substances. According to Benny Harlem, "I wouldn't put anything in your hair that I couldn't put into my body!"
What hair type are you?
Choosing your hair type can help you determine what hair products work for your hair. Hair types range from 1 to 4c and guide you to decide what hair style fits your hair type.
For thick and kinky hair types, creamy products work best in keeping hair moisturized. These hair types include 4a, 4b, and 4c. This hair type also requires frequent deep conditioning in order to retain moisture.
Thick curly hair is defined as type 3 and requires cleansing with conditioners to avoid dryness. Light products and cleansers should also be used to prevent buildup.
People with type 2 hair should avoid heavy butters and oils and instead use water-based products and along with mousses and light weight gels. These tips help to maintain moisture without weighing hair down.
For those with type 1 hair, it is best to avoid oils and serums and to instead use volumizers.
Understanding your hair type can help you to discover a wider range of versatility and lead a healthier hair lifestyle!