A few years ago, relaxed hair (hair that has been manipulated by chemicals to make it straight) was the in thing. Fast forward to a few years later, it seems Africans are finding their ways back to their roots. Although this movement largely began by African-Americans and/or other Africans in diaspora, it has swiftly made its way to Africa. More and More Africans are cutting off their previously relaxed hair (what is known as the Big Chop in Natural hair Lingo), in order to grow a natural and relaxer-free hair. Even though there are still a number of people who do not want to join this bandwagon, or others who have joined and later realized that natural hair was not for them, the rapid decrease in the demand for hair relaxers cannot be ignored.
While African-Americans are capitalizing on this movement and producing natural hair-friendly products, and opening up Beauty shops that specialize in natural hair, Africans in Africa do not seem to be doing much. Not to slam the infant companies, but the average Naturalista cannot walk into a supermarket and easily find a product to be used on her hair. Also, some still fear trips to the hair salon due to certain problems such as having relaxers mixed in conditioners and having stylists treat their hair without care. Since this is still the case, here are 4 reasons African Cosmetologists need to jump on this;
The Products Are Found In Africa
It make sense for the products which makes our hair grow at its best to be found where we are from. Most, if not all natural hair-friendly products can be found on African soil. From Shea butter which grows in the tropics, to Aloe Vera, to Coconut oil, among others. With these products growing on our land, African cosmetologists ought to take advantage of this because it makes life and budgets easier for Naturalistas. Also, it allows for stylists to have easy access to products that help manage the hair well.
It Means Supporting Our Own
Except the costs of the products far outweigh the costs of ordering a product online, there’s no need to fear not having consumers. Africans are keen on supporting our own . Moreover, who would want to place an order for a conditioner and have it delivered in 3 weeks rather than walking to the store across the street and having it in that minute.
Yes, the internet is an advantage. There are increasing natural hair blogs on the web, this blogs deliver a wide range of assistance to the natural hair community. Some of these include; giving out tips on hair manageability, providing recommendations, easy tutorials for DIY hairstyles and products, among others. If used strategically, the internet will indeed prove an advantage to upcoming cosmetologists in Africa.
Worthy of mention, once again, is that the Natural hair community keeps growing. Growth means more consumers, more consumers mean increased capacity for high demand , and the rest is history. Until the day someone discovers that natural hair produces flying cockroaches, the community will keep growing. However, till that time comes, we expect African cosmetologists to take advantage of this . It’s a win-win for everyone.
I am positive there are a million other reasons why African cosmetologists need to be active for the naturalistas, but having said these, we hope to see more “Made In *insert African Country*” soon.