Dreads, Curly Fro, Nappy Fro, and Braids?


In the last three years, there has been a growing epidemic of people in the African American community rocking natural hairstyles. From dreadlocks, to the curly afro look, to the nappy afro-centric style, and all types of African braids. People of color have been embracing the ‘natural’ look. But what exactly is a ‘natural’ look?

For as long as I can remember, people in the African American community, especially black women, have acquired hair care products, such as relaxers, to straighten their hair. Those who didn’t acquire hair-straighten chemicals in their hair, either physically straighten their hair or wore weaves to get that ‘European’ straight-hair look. The need for black people, especially African American women, to possess the ideal image of ‘American beauty’ has made a 360 degree turn. Public figures such as Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar, Janelle Monae, and Solange Knowles, just to name a few, have embraced their natural hair. They refuse to follow societal qualms from the media and their ideology of self-expression. Wearing natural hair takes a lot of confidence, patience and self-love.

On the contrary, many people think wearing African American hair in dreads, braids, and or a nappy/ curly afros are the only styles of natural hair. Actually, any type of texture of hair that doesn’t possess distraught chemicals that changes the original emphasis of the person’s hair is considered natural. You don’t have to wear your hair in dreadlocks or even an afro to possess natural hair. A lot of natural-hair advocates have ‘bone-straightened’ hair, but it is still considered natural.

In all honesty, I am an advocate for natural hair. I started growing my dreadlocks in late August 2014. It is a easy way to wear my hair, and I was bored with my old hair. Most of all, I am an advocate for self-expression. Whether you rock a curly afro, a ’22 inch Brazilian weave, or a short haircut, do you! I’m just happy young people today are not afraid to push ‘status quos’, and they’re doing whatever it takes to make themselves happy.

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