African-American women talk about embracing their natual hair

The debate over Olympic gold medal gymnast Gabby Douglas’ hair shouldn’t come as a surprise. The controversy surrounding her ’do, which some African-Americans thought was poorly-styled, speaks to how passionate the topic and imagery of black hair has historically been within the culture.

The debate over Douglas’ ponytail certainly got more ink because of the Olympics, but at the same time, social media sites were debating Oprah Winfrey’s decision to wear a natural hairstyle on the September cover of her magazine, O.

In Rochester and across the country, more African-American women — including powerhouses such as Xerox CEO Ursula Burns — have embraced “au naturale” hairstyles, abandoning more popular relaxed styles.

Once seen as an anti-assimilation declaration, “going natural,” or no longer chemically straightening one’s hair, is coming full circle as a less radical and increasingly popular trend among African-American women, who are embracing their naturally “kinky” or “tightly-curled” manes instead.

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Healthy Scalp, Healthy Locs

Nyesha Samuel, Publisher/Master Loctician for

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