The natural hair movement hasn’t just caught on amongst everyday women seeking to rid their hair of harsh chemicals and products, the look is showing up on runway models around the world and Vogue Italia has caught on to the trend.
In a recent profile on the website of the Italian version of Vogue, which is always ahead of the diversity curve, Marjon Carlos talks about trendsetters like Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks who have openly discussed battles with alopecia due to the damaging handling of their hair by stylists. The writer points out that now many other models are also saying “no thanks” to the careless way their tresses have been fried and dyed behind the curtain, and are opting to rock what God gave them naturally.
“It is uplifting then to see the newest pack of Black models storming the catwalks in full embrace of their natural hairstyles, from cropped Afros, flat tops, to buzzed scalps–and in turn being embraced by the industry that has typically approached Black hair with skepticism and harsh critique,” Marjon writes.
While Marjon does acknowledge that natural hair is still only embraced by a small number of models and designers, and that models like Alex Wek and Noemi Lenoir have been natural for sometime, he says “one can’t help to argue that such a general upsurge in visibility surrounding natural Black hairstyles, if they be worn by fashion darlings Julia Sarr-Jamois or Solange Knowles, or are documented thoroughly by the press, is helping usher in a new era of hair treatment for Black women broadly, and Black models specifically.”
As more and more natural hair products come on the market, Marjon is hopeful that runway stylists will soon catch on to the trend and make it a priority to understand the needs of natural black hair. But as Jessica C. Andrews points out in an article on Ebony.com, the very fact that natural hair is seen as a trend means its promotion and acceptance is likely to be here today, gone tomorrow, as the story goes with other fashion fads.
What do you think? Will the fashion industry ever be fully accepting of natural hair?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.