Scrolling down my Instagram feed I am always happy to see the creativity and sisterhood that the natural hair movement is encouraging. As VH1 and Bravo continue to portray the less refined side of black women, organizations such as Return of the Curls and the various natural hair and body events held throughout the country are fostering a sense of community among black women of all ages. These events draw mothers, daughters and grandmothers and encourage women to acknowledge one another’s beauty and identity as a black woman. In addition to hair products available at these events you will also find handmade soaps, African print dresses, art prints and other items for sale – usually all handmade by black women. Yes, the momentum behind natural hair has put black women’s creativity and entrepreneurship on blast.
If you take a look at most of the major hair care brands today for natural hair, they were all started as homegrown products made in kitchens or salons. This includes Miss Jessie’s, Carol’s Daughter, Karen’s Body Beautiful and many other hair and body care lines. Not only did the creators come up with the recipes they also played integral parts in marketing their brand and lines and getting them into mainstream beauty retail locations such as Ulta, Walgreens and Target. Many brands that are national now started out as Etsy shops.
All of this goes to say I am very proud to be part of this cultural revival. Bloggers, journalists and photographers are hanging tough with everyone else who is excited by the revival of black-owned businesses and creativity. The community among bloggers and general reliance upon each other by bloggers, companies and photographers is amazing. Black women (and men!) working together is a beautiful thing and a departure from what has become the mainstream portrayal of black women.