The natural hair movement has become a huge deal here in the States, with meet-ups, communities, and new homespun brands being created every day. But what about the rest of the diaspora?
In BBC Raw’s doc, Hair Freedom, Black women in the UK discuss the burgeoning natural hair movement in Britain and why it’s so strange to call wearing your hair as it grows out of your head a “movement.”
YouTube content creator Zindzi Rocque Drayton explains the purpose of her documentary.
“Natural hair’ is defined as Afro textured hair that isn’t chemically straightened. In our society and throughout the world, straight hair is so normalised that a large number of black women chemically straighten their Afro texture. Touching on topics from rocking an Afro in the workplace to the legacy of slavery, I find out the pressures and joys of women who have embraced their ‘natural hair.’”
With Black people making up just three percent of the UK population, it’s no wonder Black women’s hair hasn’t been celebrated or seen as mainstream. Similarly to the U.S., Black British women have had to find love and acceptance of their hair, and redefine beauty ideals, on their own terms.
As our world continues to question the dominant beauty narrative—that white is always right and more desirable—Black women across the diaspora will continue to reclaim and embrace our natural hair.
Are you a UK naturalista? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below!