It is no longer a rare thing to see a Black woman with natural hair. Actually, its becoming so unrare it’s closing in on becoming the norm in some areas. But what comes with sisters chopping off their hair in an ever increasing number and talking about how liberating it is to go against mainstream? It becomes mainstream to do so.
With so many Sisters joining the natural hair crowd, this group of women– who used to signify the epitome of mainstream rebels– are now becoming the cool crowd to join. Giving credit to the plethora of blogs, YouTube videos and websites dedicated to sharing natural hair care information, many are finding that not having a relaxer may not be as bad as they were brought up to believe.
For those who haven’t noticed, let me make it clear, corporations are consciously changing how they represent Black Women in their advertisements. Except for maybe L’Oreal’s Cover Girl and the like, most companies are representing black women by hiring those with natural hair to advertise their products. With it being reported that relaxer sales have been on the decline since 2007 and Target adding several natural hair product companies to their hair care isles nation wide—it’s safe to say “Going natural” seems to be a term that will soon be outdated.
But is the natural hair community ready to go mainstream? Many naturals testify that growing up they saw getting a perm as a rights of passage to womanhood. Almost all black women portrayed in the media rocked straight hair, with the exception of Foxy Brown and Angela Davis, leaving many Black women to not even consider natural as an option. With the media slowly, but surely, bringing naturals to the forefront, little black girls of today are sure to consider keeping their hair in its natural state.
While this recognition seems good, the natural hair community must consider what comes with being the popular crowd to join. Outsiders looking in want a piece of the pie and when I say pie I’m not talking about a celebratory pumpkin pie , similar to what’s served on Thanksgiving. Everyone wants a piece of the monetary pie. This means the presence of huge corporations in what started out as a small town based on local mom and pop shops. What comes with recognition, is the market saturated with natural products and the like. Going mainstream can result in too many players in the natural hair game.
So, yes. it’s 2010 and natural hair is nearing a mainstream status. The question is, is this really what the natural hair community wants? Do the cons of going mainstream outweigh the pros?