The natural hair movement transformed the beauty industry. Young natural hair brands enjoyed relative overnight success while older brands scrambled to create natural hair lines. YouTube vlogging became a veritable career where hair gurus can make hundreds of thousands of dollars doing tutorials for their fan base. And the more celebrities, prominent public figures and everyday women go natural, the more the textured style is becoming a fixture in popular culture. But is the progress exclusive to black women with natural hair? Can women of other races be included?
CurlyNikki got people talking by featuring Sarah, a white hair and beauty vlogger on YouTube under the screen name waterlily716. Though Sarah been natural her whole life, she revealed that she didn’t always embrace her curly texture:
Prior to the beginning of high school, my hair was constantly up in a bun or a braid. I was around 14 when I started learning how to style and care for my curly hair. Beyond learning the techniques, I also had to accept my hair for what it was…voluminous, temperamental, and very curly! Learning to wear my curls also helped my adolescent self to gain confidence. When people started complimenting my hair it was unsettling at first because of my introverted and shy nature, but eventually it grew into a source of self-esteem for me.
There’s something very freeing about accepting your natural hair. I feel like I have a lot of inner confidence, regardless of whether my curls are looking amazing or not so great that day, because I love my natural hair either way. I love the unpredictability of my hair and how unique it makes me feel.
The post drew backlash almost immediately. One commenter abbiethrills believes black women shouldn’t have to make space on our limited number of platforms for people who already have representation:
Why do we need to make spaces for people who already have representation? Always so willing to accommodate and yet always being less accommodated. Making spaces for white women in the limited spaces made for women of colour isn’t going to change anything.