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Hair + Beauty Life

Natural Forever?

Ask any Urbanbella and she’ll tell you there is nothing like natural hair. The freedom from toxic chemicals, long salon hours, damage and breakage allows her to celebrate a texture as unique as her signature. For her, natural is the only way. This now begs the question: is natural hair here to stay forever? Do you know anyone who has gone back to relaxer or is considering doing so? If so, what are the reasons? Does your best friend simply miss a straighter texture or are there other reasons at play? For example, does she feel pressure to fit into a particular work environment or is fielding requests from a romantic partner.

Popular styles, including hair – especially black hair – while not always political, have often matched the social mores of the day. For example, the influx of black professional women in the high-powered 80s often meant blending in with the big, though still straight-textured coifs popular at the time. Climbing the corporate latter meant downplaying the attributes of your culture. High-ranking women free enough to wear their natural hair were usually most visible at universities, niche magazine publishers, or other institutions more accepting of individual and cultural expression.

No one wants to return to a time where career advancement means assimilation through altering your hair. Even now, this is not impossible. Just last year, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that dreadlocks can be banned in the hiring process. In short, all natural styles are not welcome in every workplace. It is a reminder that seeing natural hair in just about every business now, is the result of long, diligent legal challenges. What do you think about the future of natural hair everywhere? Sound off in the comments below.

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