Kenyan hairdressers attend to clients at a salon in the capital Nairobi, Kenya. (Image Credit: AFP)

Kenyan hairdressers attend to clients at a salon in the capital Nairobi, Kenya. (Image Credit: AFP)

Thanks to the popularity of the “natural hair movement,” women in Kenya find it easy and cost-friendly to rock an au naturale hairdo.

In a recent interview with Voices of America, hair stylist Monica Wamaitha shares her decision to sport her natural tresses. She said, “I decided to go natural because I want to be myself. I don’t want to perm my hair or put weaves because I want to be myself with my natural hair.”

During the course of her natural hair journey, the 22-year-old discovered it is also more affordable. “Maintaining natural hair is cheap as compared to putting chemicals or weaves or anything that’s not natural on my hair,” Wamaitha said.

Like countries across the world, hair care is a billion dollar industry and Kenya is no different.

According to Muli Musyoka, a trichologist who tends to hair and scalp troubles, as a result of products being misused and the continuous hair damage and/ or scalp burns, Kenyan women are doing away with relaxers.

Last year, Mintel, a market research firm, revealed hair relaxer sales in America have declined by 26 percent over the past five years. Researched found nearly 70 percent of Black women now sport a natural look. In addition, “the natural hair trend is driving an increase in sales of styling products such as styling moisturizers, setting lotions, curl creams, pomades, etc., but the increase has caused the relaxer segment to decline in sales,” says Tonya Roberts, multicultural analyst at Mintel.

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  • Anonin

    Good news good news.

  • Anthony

    This is great. I am a firm believer that the natural look is the most beautiful look. The fact that it is easier on one’s hair and cheaper makes it a no brainer.

  • “Researched found nearly 70 percent of Black women now sport a natural look. In addition, “the natural hair trend is driving an increase in sales of styling products such as styling moisturizers, setting lotions, curl creams, pomades, etc., but the increase has caused the relaxer segment to decline in sales,” says Tonya Roberts, multicultural analyst at Mintel.”

    I think the fact that 70% of women are natural is great but the sentence that follows, especially the ‘curl creams’ are a concern because I’m wondering if women are using these products to change the look of their natural hair. Also, I think it’s important to note the the relaxer companies are trying to recoup the money lost from relaxers by creating products that cater to natural hair. Please be aware that these products are made with junk!

    • byanymeansnessa

      The the natural hair movement has definitely progressed in determining how we as black women define our beauty. However, the obsession to have the perfect set of curls is still binding many of us. Some women are even disappointed and discouraged by the lack of defining curls but you have to realize that this hair journey is a constantly evolving process. Look at how many of us viewed natural hair 4 or 5 years ago and could not imagine life without a relaxer. Don’t worry, the obsession with looser curly hair textures will eventually decline.

  • There’s just something so beautiful about a black woman rocking her own hair; whether it be relaxed, natural, straightened or dyed. If it’s her own, it looks better than any weave in my opinion, because she looks more like herself.

    • That’s how I feel about myself. I experimented w/ weave in college, but I never felt like I looked like myself, if that makes sense. It just wasn’t myself that I saw in the mirror.

  • chrissy

    I am happy that people are embracing the hair they were born with, that being said I also think it is totally fine for women to wear weaves, relaxers, or shave it all off. It doesn’t make you more or less than. I have found in the natural hair care world there is still a hierarchy, just look at the advertisements for natural hair products….the girls all look bi-racial or their hair is full of loose curls. The natural hair movement even has a numerical number for they type of hair you have…4a 2c 3b, I still don’t know what it actually means. Is the numerical number based off how close your hair is to European textures? Never really understood this. Also, even though black women are going natural they are still spending tons of money on products to manipulate their hair.