Black women may have long felt the pressure to fit in society’s dubious standards for beautiful hair: straight, soft, and neatly tamed—none of which generally meet their natural ‘fro. That’s why many have had their hair relaxed, blown out in soft waves, and colored to blend in. But the Afro, in particular, is making a comeback in Paris runways and the red carpet, sported by award-winning celebrities like Lupita Nyong’o.
More and more naturalist icons are encouraging their fellow black women to be proud of their authentic look. Interestingly, as a New York-based celebrity stylist notes, many black women are joining the naturalist bandwagon not because it’s a trendy fashion statement, but simply because their hair could no longer withstand the chemicals and heat that attend straightening.