Natural Hair: The New Wave?

By: Schanelle Bouie A unique trend is beginning to spread across the African Am

erican community like wildfire. Natural hair!
African Americans who have opted out of chemically processing their hair still have many options when it comes to styling. In some ways, women with natural hair have the best of both worlds. They can wear their hair in weaves, straightened or in natural styles such as Bantu knots, two strand twists and countless other styles.

Aleisia Balogun attributes the new appreciation of natural hair on Lincoln University’s campus to the diversity she sees on campus.
“Being surrounded by so many people from different places around the world makes college students more aware of their natural beauty,” Balogun said.

Shying away from chemicals was an easy choice for Anthropology major, Yetunde Olayinka. She said she absolutely loves the versatility that having natural hair gives her when it comes to styling.
“Weaves are easier to style and don’t require as much time and work as natural hair does,” Olayinka added. Becoming natural isn’t easy but it’s not impossible.

The transition of going natural is a hard process because you’re dealing with two completely different hair textures. Transitioning to natural hair happens when you’ve made the decision to refrain from chemical processing your hair and have begun to let your natural hair grown in unison. Maybe you don’t want to cut all of your hair off or maybe you just feel comfortable with having your hair a certain length. There’s no wrong way to becoming natural. A benefit of transitioning to natural hair is the time that you’ll have to become familiar with your natural hair texture. There’s no time limit on how long you should transition. After a year or two, the processed hair sheds and you’ll have more natural hair than processed. Now you’re ready to cut the processed hair off.The fastest way to go completely natural is by doing a big chop, referred to as a “BC” on natural hair blogs and websites. BC’s are exactly what they sound like; essentially chopping off all of one’s chemically relaxed or chemically treated hair. After going this route, you’ll have time to practice the maintenance and set up a regime before your natural hair grows long. This method is perfect for someone who is impatient and simply ready to be natural already.

Junior, Yasmin Ismail has been natural her entire life and has never wanted to chemically process her hair. She sees a couple of the benefits of having natural hair is it’s cost effectiveness.

Other benefits of having natural hair include: healthier hair, longer hair (in some cases), fun hair and in most cases you’ll have more confidence. The ultimate benefit is having hairstyles and textures directly associated with your culture!

Natural hair has always been a part of African American culture, but recently it has become more celebrated. Natural hair isn’t just a trend, it’s becoming a way of life.

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