Black women returning to their roots with hair styles

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by Sherry Williams / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on May 3, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Updated Thursday, May 3 at 6:01 PM

HOUSTON — Hair is always a hot topic among Houston women.

The latest hair headline involves a trend among African-American women who are choosing to go natural.

They’re giving up the relaxers and hot irons in favor of curls and braids.

Perhaps they were motivated by Chris Rock’s documentary "Good Hair."

The natural hair movement people say it’s not a political issue, but a green one.

"It just starts in one place and we eventually get around to eating well, living well, taking better care of our hair, taking better care of ourselves in general," said Tamika Fletcher, owner of Natural Resources Salon in Rice Village.

Natural hair advocates say there has been no backlash in corporate America.

"Who knows what somebody else’s opinions are and how they have mischaracterized me based on what they think my hair is saying," said Shannon Buggs, Director of Communication in the University of Houston’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

Buggs said it’s possible ultra conservatives in corporate America could react negatively to natural hair styles or make judgments. What she knows for certain is that colleagues can be curious.

"If people start to have questions, you just don’t have to engage. You can say, ‘Now why would you ask me that? Do I ask you about your hair?’"

Experts say the biggest critics of natural hair are African-American women.

"The chief concern is, ‘What will my Mama say?’" said Fletcher.

"Tell them that, ‘No there’s not these stigmas as far as you being a advocate or anything like that. Yes, you can get a job.’  I’ve gone on actually several job interviews and gotten the jobs with my hair natural," said Tamara Floyd, creator of Natural Hair Rules.com.

On a personal note, I too have quit using relaxers but I don’t prefer my natural look, so I get my hair straightened using a process that seals keratin into the strands using a blow dryer and flat iron. But I caution women to do their homework and some research before letting a stylist give them the treatment. In the hands of someone untrained and unskilled, the results could be adverse

My last relaxer was two years ago and my hair has never been stronger or longer.

The keratin treatments, which I get every three to four months, cost a little more than a year’s worth of relaxers applied in a salon.

Whatever you chose, Buggs said critics need to stop pulling their hair out about it.

"It’s hair. It is just hair," she said.

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