When I was in high school and college, going natural wasn’t all that common among Black women. It was a luxury for those with wavy or responsive, easy to manage hair, be they racially mixed or just plain lucky enough not to need a perm to manage their hair in a reasonable amount of time. The women at my childhood church, where modest attire was the requirement and wearing wigs was considered overdoing things, put relaxers in their hair.
Shopping for natural hair care products wasn’t easy, 20 years ago, either. Back then, women would “greez” their scalps, instead of frequently moisturizing with water and light oils. And if a black woman wanted to buy products that were beneficial to her, she would have to order the products, mix them herself, or hunt down a local natural food store to find what she wanted. Maybe the store would be in some hole-in-the-wall place off of a high street in an urban neighborhood. Not these days. Bruising the hair care aisles now looks like this:
It’s so much easier now to find good (or passable) products. Word is out that women with curly hairy don’t have to subject their locks to overheating and harsh chemicals to look good. Information and resources about holistic living have proliferated, and are now wisely accessible. I think it’s one more incentive to take my hair natural again. Or at least ditch the bone-straight routine.