Tuesday, July 13, 2010

From Angela to Target: Mainstreamin' Natural

You can find most things in Target. It's the serious one stop shop, but haircare has always been tricky for us Black girls. While in recent years, Target (and other stores) have expanded their Black hair care options, a few months ago I was thrilled to run into an endcap displaying a variety of brands of hair products for natural, "ethnic" curly hair. Pretty spectacular.

When I began transitioning about 3 years ago, going natural was still considered a revolutionary event. For me (in the heyday of my grad school, Angela Davis, bell hooks Black feminist glory*), it was about decolonizing the self - rejecting the imposed standards of beauty that have more Black women than not slathering a concoction of unknown, probably carcinogenic chemicals onto our heads every six weeks. It just stopped making sense to keep spending money damaging and stripping layers off of my God-given hair in an effort to have my sh*t bounce around like a white girl - because well, I'm not a white girl...and I like it that way (no offense to white girls, I hope they like themselves too).

I grew out the chemicals, did the big chop and have never looked back...and I've never had to. For Black women, going natural has gone from counter-cultural to mainstream and lots of us are selling out. It's a beautiful thing.

With the help of some cool-chick celebs and some crazy good new hair care products for curly, Black girl hair (Kinky-Curly, Miss Jessie's, Hair Rules, DevaCurl), going natural is getting easier, as is should (being "natural" and all). Imagine: Black women loving ourselves and embracing our hair just the way it grows out of our scalps...(still)revolutionary indeed.

*Perhaps more of a subtle version of this self, it is still my essence...no doubt.
**I love Amel Larrieux's hair (in the pic above)...one day *sigh*

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