Afros, cornrows, dreads, curly or frizzy… love the hair you’re in is the message of the natural hair movement.
Nicki Walton is an author of two books on natural hair and a blogger at CurlyNikki.com.
She says “The natural hair movement is more than hair, it is a lifestyle. It is learning to be comfortable in the skin that you’re in.”
“For the last 50 years we’ve been told we’re not good enough with the way our hair naturally grows from our scalp, the way our skin looks, our features… to be able to reclaim that and take that back and say ‘I am beautiful’ and I don’t need to change anything about myself.”
An increasing number of African American women and women of colour have been holding onto their natural looks rather than resorting to severe chemical straightening or hair extensions.
Celebrities have also been embracing the look with Lupita Nyong’o and Alicia Keys sporting their natural locks on the screen and on the stage.
In Beyoncé’s song ‘Foundation’ she sings ‘I like my baby hair and afro’ referring to the natural hair of her daughter Blue Ivy, in a song that seeks to empower women of colour.
Children's show Sesame Street has even embraced the movement with a brown Muppet, representing a young African-American girl singing ‘I love my hair’ in an episode in 2010.
The video went viral with thousands sharing their support on social media with one woman writing: "My daughter loves this video. ... I could see her eyes light up as she began to sing along with a little girl with hair like hers.”
The song was written by Joey Mazzarino, the head writer at "Sesame Street," who adopted a little girl from Ethiopia named Segi.
"She's like my little muse," Mazzarino told the ABC.
As Mazzarino and his wife watched their daughter grow, he noticed a change that when she started playing with Barbies, Segi started saying negative things about herself and her own hair.
"She was going through this phase where she really wanted like the long, blonde hair. ... She would look at Barbies and really want the hair."
Comedian Chris Rock noticed the same trend with his five year old daughter.
“Just yesterday my daughter came into the house and said ‘Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?’”
The comment prompted him to investigate the $9 billion industry that is the black hair business. in 'Good Hair'.