Inside the World of Black Hair: Returning to Natural Hair Styles

Posted: Updated: Mar 01, 2018 01:09 PM

In a series this week we're taking you inside the world of black hair to learn more about the significance of style in the black community. NBC29's Madison Carter is looking at the history of why women in America wear their hair in the styles we often see.

There are very few black women with hair that grows straight, yet, we see it all the time.

“You can go all the way back to the way people were treated. The people who work in the field versus the people who work in the house,” said Yolonda Jones with His Image Natural Hair Studio.

Straight hair has its origins in slavery. Black women were forced into submission, which included adhering to European standards of beauty for decades. Straight hair was called "good hair."

African American women would straighten their naturally kinky or curly hair using a chemical straighter called a relaxer. This would permanently change the texture of the hair. 

“Cause there's all this shame associated with blackness," Jones said.

Now, people are starting to break away from that tradition. Within the last decade, there's been a rebellion against those standards.

“There are people who are very prominent in science, technology, engineering, math, art that have natural hair and are wearing their hair the way it grows,” Jones said.

Many have led the way for women to embrace their natural hair. The struggle now is finding educated stylists.

“Women who are deciding to wear their hair natural go into beauty parlors of all kinds, and kind of, be treated like, kind of like they have the plague,’ Jones stated.

"You have to attend a stylist or a barber that knows how to cut curly hair, textured hair, nappy hair, kinky hair, wavy hair,” said Jones.

Friday, Madison Carter will be wrapping up our look inside the world of black hair. Carter will be taking you to the salon to show you her hair journey.