#MIXXBeauty: Texture Discrimination?

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For the past few years I have noticed a RISE in people “going natural”.  There has been a lot of talk. From the big chops to the mass marketing of hair growth vitamins like Hairfinity and while I support it – because I inherently view it as a generally good thing – I knew it would come with some backlash. As they say – if it is too good to be true then usually it is; but what hurts the most is when it becomes another thing that divides amongst not only the natural hair community but also black naturals.

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Personally I have been natural my whole life. I’ve worn puffs, fros, buns, crazy braids, dyes, straighten my hair with a flat iron – you name it I’ve done it. I’ve always taken great pride in my hair because I was raised that a woman’s hair is her glory and yada yada yada. I would have to say that around 2009 I’ve begun to see a rise in natural hair bloggers on youtube talking about their hair growth journeys, why they do big chops, and wonderful ways to style your hair for work and play. I became even more proud. It never mattered to me whether a woman permed her hair or decided to remain natural because to each their own. But when it became public knowledge that some women were perming their hair because they felt they HAD to because they wouldn’t be accepted in corporate life, or because of a significants others preference, or because of self-hate desiring a more european look – I thought wow it is much deeper. Things are always much deeper than what we think.

So let’s fast-foward to 2013-2014 to the shelves of Walmart, Target, and yes even Ulta where we see an abundance in marketing and production of natural hair products geared towards the African American community specifically. Hair charting has been established and major brands have cashed out tremendously with new products. YES!!! We’re being targeted, acknowledged and our cries have been heard for more products that will work specifically for our curly, kinky, coily hair. There have been natural hair conferences featuring vloggers from youtube sharing their experience, product reviews and etc but within the natural hair community there has been expression of lack of representation for those with more kinkier tightly coiled hair affectionately labeled as 4C.

 

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Is texture discrimination arising in the natural hair community because there is a lack of products that will work better with 4C hair? Because manufacturers only want to accommodate certain curl types? Is the texture discrimination something that is to solely be blamed on companies or on members of natural hair community?

No matter who points the finger I think we should take it back to the individual who is making the journey and why.  Representation is key and very helpful when we strive to make new strides for ourselves but sometimes you just have to go it alone. If your hair curl type is not being represented, marketed – think back to why you decided to return to your natural hair. For you. Larger companies like Motions, Creme of Nature, are great to buy from because they are everywhere but there are some upcoming new ones that are worth considering like Obia Natural Hair Care, Alikay Naturals, Koils By Nature to name a few ( And they are all black owned).

To the vloggers who feel as though companies are excluding their textures by inadvertently promoting texture discrimination with products that promise to “elongate curls” and “give shine” – don’t buy their products. Yes it would be nice- but lets be for real where was the products before the craze? Muhfuckas never loved us.

Happy Hair Growing!

Special Features Writer for The Mixx Magazine