Relaxer Hair Sales Continue to Decline. I never believed I would ever go natural. My image included silky straight hair that only a fresh Mizani Relaxer could create. Movement, Body all nonexistent in natural hair right? A lot has happened since then. I am truly happy to say I have been natural for over 2 years. It was one of the best decisions of my life.
A person who is “natural” is any African American who does not have chemically-altered hair. The consecutive fall in popularity of relaxers and the increase in natural hair products confirm that the natural hair “trend” is now a movement – and it is here to stay. More and more Black women everywhere are making the choice to go natural.
While there aren’t many statistics on the natural hair business, other research suggests that the natural hair movement is real, and it shows in market sales. Market research firm, Mintel, estimated that the Black hair business is worth $774 million and relaxer sales are aimed to decrease 45 percent before 2019. This decrease in demand for relaxers suggest an increase in products to replace them. While we could assume these replacements are products for natural hair, there aren’t statistics available for this specifically. Instead, we can confirm relaxer sales are decreasing— and will continue to.
Black Hair Industry Aimed to Be Worth Over $800 Million!
With or without the statistics, the natural hair movement is momentous! While many speculate the reason behind the popularity of the Natural Hair Movement, the hair is obvious. For years, Black women have been discouraged from wearing their hair natural. I still carry some insecurities when it comes to my natural hair. Everywhere I looked for research seemed to focus on beautiful curly/coily puffs that seemed to be impossible for my 4c hair. It took some time to realize we are finally transitioning into a world where we have more options for “socially acceptable” hair styles. We can exercise our right to feel beautiful without bearing the pressures of utilizing chemicals to achieve a certain “look.” Unlike other trends, the care of natural hair is symbolic, and it means so much more than an Afro on a hot day. I still wear wigs and weave partially as a protective style and also to transform. I love having the ability to be versatile. Being Natural means having the power to choose. It means giving little girls the power to know that “curly” can mean pretty. It’s about time we stop teaching young women that only straight hair equates to beauty.
We aren’t just going natural. We are returning. And we are coming back with more elegance and more confidence than ever. I just cut my hair into a asymmetric bob.
Are you thinking about returning to natural hair? Start by asking yourself why. Make sure you do it for all of the right reasons, and do the necessary research. Be patient and don't get discouraged. We all hit a brick wall but stick with it. If it gets too rough, don't feel ashamed to utilize protective styles. You will be so happy you did!
Beautiful. Smart. Resilient. Truly You.