In the historical background of Africa is the route of the natural hair. From the 1940s till date blacks especially Africans have been noted for their Afro-textured hair since it differs from the smooth texture of the Europeans.
The term natural hair is defined as relaxer-free hair. Adjectives such as “wooly”, “kinky” have frequently been used to describe natural afro-textured hair.
During the colonial rule, African civilisations, hairstyles could indicate a person’s family background, tribe and social status, says Journalist Lori Tharps, co-writer of the book ‘Hair Story’ which talks about the history of black hair.
After the colonial rule, Africans dispersed across the global world due to the slave trade. Within the modern terrain, some mixed nationalities are easily identified because of their hair.
The most interesting aspect is that historical hairstyles are having a comeback in contemporary times with most African women now adopting natural methods of hair care instead of the chemicalized treatment.
In Ghana, for instance, the craze for natural afro-textured hair is simply amazing. Women are flaunting it in different ways.
According to some students from the Ghana Institute of Journalism, in an interview said natural hair ’empowers’ them.
The Controversial Side of the Natural Hair
Rocking a natural hair has often been controversial. It is sometimes considered unprofessional and people especially black women who choose to express their hair’s natural beauty still face unfair treatment today.
Within the Ghanaian context, young children are expected to keep their hair short. From the Basic to Senior High School level, it is a rule in most schools for young girls to keep their hair short.
A teacher from Peace Academy, Madam Mary Agyeman said, children are obliged to shave their hair to make them focus in class. She believes these children tend to play with their hair in the classroom.
A parent also said, he was compelled to make his ward keep her hair short in order to stop an ‘unhealthy’ competition of hairstyles in her class. He believes braiding a child’s hair is a problem.
Regardless of these misgivings, others believe natural hair enhances the beauty of women.
In order to have a successful natural hair journey, hair care is important.
According to an article on natural hair published on “Curl Centric”, to achieve healthy natural hair, the Natural Hair Blueprint should be a guide.
The blueprint is divided into three pillars: (1) foundation, (2) products, and (3) styling and maintenance. Each of these pillars works to help you improve your natural hair
For natural hair care, shampooing, washing, conditioning and the use of natural oils are essential. The caution is to choose products that are designed to be gentle on your hair.
One key point to note on the natural hair journey is that it is a strategy for growing long hair.
The natural hair trend is not limited to only women. Some men love to keep it natural. In the entertainment industry, most male musicians, for instance, are adapting Rastafarian hairstyles to represent their brand.
By: Victoria Amankwaa