More Caribbean women are opting for natural hair look – Fitzwilliam
The entrepreneur, who is also a former Miss Universe, spoke with Loop News about the third season of Caribbean’s Next Top Model.
“Our show tackles subjects you won’t see on America’s Top Model or Britain’s Next Top Model. For example, natural hair is very popular right now."
“ Many of our Caribbean women are very comfortable in their skin with their own hair and that is something to celebrate. This is something we do not talk about and are not aware of but it is important for young women between the ages of 18 and 27. That dialogue is in the show and crosses the language barrier in the region.”
The question of black women wearing weave and false hair and opting not to wear their hair naturally has always led to much discussion.
What is clear is that it is a big industry. According to the Huffington Post, market research company Mintel put the dollar value of the artificial black hair industry back in 2012 at US$685 million with it expected to grow to US$760 million by this year.
Jamaica’s weave and false hair imports was estimated to be J$1billion back in 2013.
Mintel noted that in the US, nearly 6 out of 10 black consumers wear a wig, weave or extensions, which enables them to switch up their look.
“Relaxers represent 21% of the black haircare market in America with expenditure at US$152 million, down 15% since 2011 due to the natural hair trend.
“What’s wonderful about today’s natural hair movement is that it has broadened the idea of beauty and given a new generation of women the courage and confidence to embrace our hair textures, despite living in a society that has historically made us feel inferior and unattractive in our afros or coils,” writes Shahida Muhammad.
South African photographer Robert Nzaoukissolo notes that only black women are lectured to on how they should wear their hair.
He had this to say: “ Magazines influence society to think that successful women are those that wear fake hair. Most celebrities in magazines also wear fake hair and nails and this has become a norm.
“When women start working they feel pressure. Society expects them to wear false hair. The way a woman wears her hair depicts who she is. How did our ancestors maintain their hair? Their hair was kinky and it was also difficult to care for.”