by Lynetta Carson-Owens
Stylist, Author, Coach
As a natural stylist of 20 years, I’ve seen so much heart ache and pain in relation to hair loss from chemical damage. After 3 or more decades of consistent chemical use, thinning and hair loss is almost as good as guaranteed. Looking at the women I serve who are our mothers and grandmother and hearing the stories of how thick their hair used to be and all the different styles and chemical treatments they’ve had over the years without question I knew it was time to do things different. Often times I hear fellow cosmetologist who only focus on relaxed hair say that they can’t wait for this natural hair trend to be over; but I don’t think it’s a trend and it’s not going anywhere. This isn’t the afro of the 60’s and 70’s. This is more than a resistance or a statement. This is an evolution. This is a paradigm shift.
According to the LA Ti mes (online):
“…But with 71% of black adults in the U.S. wearing their hair naturally at least once in 2016, according to research firm Mintel, natural hair has now hit the mainstream. And with black consumers spending an estimated $2.56 billion on hair care products in 2016, it’s no surprise others are eager to edge into the market. Meanwhile, multinational corporations were left catering to a dying trend: relaxers. According to Mintel, black spending on relaxers fell 30.8% between 2011 and 2016. By 2020, it’s estimated that relaxers will plummet to the smallest segment of the market.”
For reference see: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-natural-hair-industry-20170809-htmlstory.html
We all see the promotion of Natural products everywhere! You can even catch a few commercials with “Natural Sistas” these days. You can see the natural styles on the outside, but what’s even more beautiful is the magic that’s happening on the inside. Black women are no longer accepting the main stream definition of what beauty looks like. They are looking in the mirror and saying “this is beauty; I am beauty.” This evolution is about learning how to love
yourself, take care of yourself and put your wellness first. It may seem that the focus is all about healthy hair but it is about health across the board. Choosing healthier foods, working out, cooking, creating natural soaps, deodorants and oils that help restore the body not make it toxic. It’s about a healthy body, a healthy mind, healthy relationships and a therapist or detox when necessary. It’s about reaching for the herbs and the essential oils for healing and wellness before heading to the pharmacy.
The blessing of this change will have a positive affect on the children generations to come. These black children are growing up under the guidance of amazing women. These are women who know who they are, women that have defined beauty for themselves, and have decided to take a wholistic approach to wellness. These are women who know the importance of being grounded and connected to nature. Children surrounded by this energy can’t help but have a deeper sense of self worth and a stronger love and appreciation for who they are. I can’t wait to
see the magic the next generation bring to the world.
Stylist, Author, Coach