It’s time for a little hair history! The first natural hair movement was document to have occurred in the 1960’s and 1970’s. This movement was described as a way of African Americans and people of color to self identify as black and define what they wanted to look like. There were also political reasons that played a big role in this movement.
This is when wearing hair in an Afro and stepping away from the Eurocentric standards of beauty first started. Cornrows and different braid styles also gained popularity at this time. It is hard to say when the natural hair movement ended but the Afro slowly stopped being as popular. Some say that the natural hair movement lost traction because people were being targeted by the law, not hired for jobs and relaxers became very popular.
The current natural hair movement began in the 2000’s and has not stopped. It’s amazing to see how much progress the natural community has been able to achieve in the last several years. What makes today’s movement a bit more successful is that although we still face hair discrimination, it is not as bad as it was in the 60’s and 70’s. We now have a lot more education, acceptance and tolerance. Additionally laws such as the CROWN Act have been passed to protect naturals from being discriminated against or fired at jobs due to our hair. The natural hair movement is here to stay and our Afros are not going away!
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By: Jiolka Peralta