CCSU Students Embrace The Natural Hair Movement

Tyra McClung, Assistant Arts and Entertainment

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The natural hair movement is a trend everyone can get behind. Its purpose is to encourage individuals to embrace their natural curls, twists and coils.

Resident Assistant Jamiya Williams’ program “Curlfest,” gave residents the opportunity to create products for natural hair. They were provided with natural ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil and avocado oil.

Residents of all races and genders gathered at the event, including male student Matthew Feliciano.

“My girlfriend brought me here, but it’s mainly because she and I want me to have better curly hair. I didn’t know you could make your own curly stuff I thought you had to buy it off the counter,” Feliciano said.

The students were given instructions on how to create a curling cream as a reference but had free rein to design the product that would be the most beneficial to their hair texture.

“I actually made a hot oil treatment out of what we were given, I put jojoba oil, avocado oil and coconut oil. That will help to nourish my hair before I wash it and style it,” resident Destiny Johnson said. “I didn’t necessarily learn anything new because I consider myself to be highly educated on this topic, because I’m passionate about it.”

Curlfest is an actual annual festival, “a mecca of afros, twist-outs, curls, and beards” founded buy the Curly Girl Collective.

“But what I did gain out of this, was a really good social experiment with other people of color so I really enjoyed that a lot,” Johnson continued.

The festival is typically hosted in Brooklyn and was created in 2014 by women of color in an effort to embrace all different hair textures.

The event features music and vendors allowing participants to buy and sell products made specifically for their hair texture. Curlfest offers a positive space where people of all races and genders can learn how to care for their natural hair.

Events such as these are important because there are institutions where men and women of color can be discriminated against for wearing their natural hair.

There have been several instances in recent years where young women of color have been reprimanded or suspended form their schools for simply wearing their natural hair. Today, it is actually legal for a company to deny a person a job for having dreadlocks.

Hair discrimination is real issue, it is an egregious attack specifically targeting people of color who cannot control the hair that grows naturally from their head.

The natural hair movement will continue to advance, emphasize and popularize natural hair. Movies such as “Nappily Ever After” and events like the Curlfest will continue to push back against the stigma on natural hair and keep the conversation in the mainstream media.

According to BET, progressive states such as New York and California are attempting to combat hair discrimination in the workforce.

The New York City Commission on Human Rights has implemented stricter guidelines. Companies found in violation of these guidelines will be fined up to $250,000.

California is reportedly working to pass a Bill called “The Crown Act” that would also hold companies accountable.