Natural hair is a huge discussion happening in the black community as well as on our site. Our pieces featuring natural hair and the controversy surrounding it always elicit not only the most responses, but the most fervent responses of anything that we feature.

The New York Times is catching on to the importance of the discussion and today, a feature titled “‘Going Natural’ Requires Lots of Help” ran, featuring blogger Maeling Tapp of NaturalChica.com. Before getting to the matter at hand, it is amazing to see a women of color being featured in such a positive way about a topic that really is so central in our community today. The piece is definitely a departure from the film Good Hair, which sought to enlighten everyone on natural hair. This piece really speaks to black women and informs those who might have been searching for ways to connect with more natural-haired women.

Maeling recalls seeing her mother and sisters wearing their hair in its natural state and she was inspired to do the same. Her first attempt did not succeed and she returned to relaxers because of her lack of knowledge of how to care for natural hair, as well as just a lack of knowledge of natural hair altogether. When she did finally go for it again, she learned by watching videos of women styling their natural hair and using certain products. This inspired her to create her own Youtube channel, Natural Chica.

“I thought, ‘Why don’t I just document my own journey to help keep track of what’s working for me?’ I wanted to contribute to the wealth of information that’s out there.” – Maeling Tapp

Other bloggers featured in the article are Alicia Nicole Walton of CurlyNikki.com and Kim Love of Kimmaytube. Alicia started her blog to not only appeal to women with natural hair, but also to rally for women who felt societal pressures when it came to straightening their hair. She is also a psychotherapist, thus she is able to really delve into the minds of women of color who are struggling with self-esteem and their image. Kim is a force in beauty for black women and a go-to for new products and literature. Like Alicia, she believes that gathering together to discuss and educate is crucial.

“How much of that multibillion-dollar industry for African-American hair care is education? Very few people are talking about the science of our hair and how to handle this fiber that can grow long with the right treatment. People are debating about products, but I’m trying to show the tools and techniques that will work for our hair. Stylists, products, educators — this is a big industry and there’s room for everyone.” – Kim Love

Naturally (no pun intended), this will lead to more discussion about natural hair, but hopefully it gives those who are uninformed and misinformed the foundation to start thinking about choosing it as an option, as well as thinking about it in a new light.

Visit www.newyorktimes.com to read the full article.

What do you think of the New York Times discussing natural hair? What are your experiences with it?

-Faith Cummings

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  • I wish this would happen in the UK. *sigh*

  • LaBimmer

    I think focusing on natural hair is awesome. Women have gone natural throughout history, but since our issues of education, health, child care and employment are put on the back burner, natural hair care is the smoke screen put up by the media to take our mind off of the important stuff. I have worn locks since 2000, now I sport a beautiful head of Sister Locks and love it. One thing about natural hair, you have to be mentally in tune with who you are and not care about what anyone else says about you or your hair. Of course natural hair needs as much care as permed hair to be beautiful and complimentary to the wearer. It is also a badge of honor that you wear to show appreciation of self, God and culture. For some, natural hair is not the newest fad, it is a part of a culture that is appreciated by the wearer whether others approve of it or not. I say go for it and wear it in good spirit.

  • Hello, My name is Nimat Bilal-Young, owner of Fabulocs Natural Hair Products and Services. I really appreciate your webiste and love that you are able to help black women understand and appreciate their natural hair. The New York Times did an article that ran today and interviewed our natural hairs salon and I wanted to share it with you. Please check it out at this link:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/us/07hair.html?ref=us