I'm sure those of us who wear our hair natural have heard the statement, "the natural hair trend" and on many of the natural hair care forums and blogs this statement has been questioned. Is natural hair in the African community/diaspora a trend? Well here is the definition I found online of what a trend is (thank you google).
Based on this definition here are my two cents on the subject matter. Yes I think the natural movement, phenomena or whatever you want to call it is a trend. I've been natural for over 10 years and when I first did my BC (big chop) I was pretty much alone, then when I locked my hair (my first set of locs) as a female I was really, really, really alone. I must add where I locked was in Maputo, Mozambique and the only people with locs were male artists. Fast forward to 10 years and wow! Not only are there North American cities like D.C. and Philly were from my viewpoint every other head is a natural but when I went back to visit Maputo a significant number of women wore their hair in its natural state including locs!!! Now over here in Los Angeles, the city I sometimes call the land of the weaves (just an observation not a judgement), I have seen more and more women wearing their hair in its natural state, they are still few and far between but it's happening. I see more more models, actors (mostly commercials) and their hair is natural. This is all great and I love it, I feel we and by we I mean beyond the African community is embracing our unique beauty but I still think we are in trend land. I believe the natural hair (insert your word) is more than a fad but not quite to the point of mainstream where I would like to see it. We still have issues of good and bad hair, the mainstream images of natural hair on African women tend to be of only one particular type of curl pattern (you guys know what I'm talking about), don't even get me started on the whole hair typing business of 3a, 4c, 5 whatever! And where are the locs??? So while the trend is good I can't wait for the day when a professional woman isn't having a dilemma of whether she can wear her hair natural, or hearing a story of a woman whose husband/boyfriend doesn't like her natural hair and prefers it straight, when parents aren't concerned about their child's future because that child has decided to loc their hair, when I'm seeing all the various curls, coils and kinks represented in fashion magazines, in commercials, in film and television and celebrated for the beauty it holds just as much as silky straight hair is. When wearing our hair rises above being a statement and can just be hair, beautiful hair. I love that natural hair is a trend and not a mere fad, it is a joyful movement, declaration and reclaiming of that which is ours to embrace and celebrate. But we're not going to stay in trend ville forever, we're going mainstream baby!!!