Like clothes and music, hair also has its own trends including the increasing number of African American women becoming natural. The natural hair craze is indeed a movement and has taken the web by storm with blogs, Youtube videos, and natural hair care “experts.” The hair industry has taken notice of the growing trend of natural hair and there has been an open market for selling chemical free or natural perms. The demand for natural perms is also high because of health concerns stemming from the use of relaxers. Just recently, there have been reports that perms may have connections to early puberty in females and tumors. With natural hair now being popular, will natural perms become the next big thing?
Go into your local CVS, Rite-Aid, or neighborhood beauty supply store, and take note of how many relaxer kits are organic, chemical free or natural. For many people the words “natural” and “perm” are total opposites and shouldn’t even be paired together. However for the billion dollar hair industry, it’s a perfect match. Women who are not totally sold on going natural are willing to purchase natural perms in exchange for believing the product is indeed all natural. Unfortunately, many of these products have had minimal alterations to their original ingredients, added a little aloe vera or natural extract, and slapped organic or natural on the box. Products boasting chemical free ingredients are sometimes hard to find in national chain stores, but have been getting exposure because of the shift in hair trends. Products like Diva Smooth or Xenna Curlaway, which is sold in Walgreens, are examples of chemical free products and an alternative to a relaxer. The downside to these products are that it can take more effort and it may not fully straighten your hair but only loosen the curl.
Whether natural hair is just a fad for some, it’s a staying trend with many others. Products like conditioner, shampoos, and now perms, are slowly but surely moving into the direction of the natural hair trend. Hopefully these companies aren’t just branding themselves to serve ladies wearing their hair natural when their product ingredients tell a different story. While natural perms or chemical free relaxers could be a step into the right direction, being informed about ingredients could save you a lot of questions. Next time you’re shopping for hair products and decided to purchase a natural perm, look past the organic or natural label and read the ingredients.
Words by: Valerye Griffin (@valmarie)