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VIEW: 'Texture Discrimination in the Natural Hair Community'

VISIBILITY: Dark-skinned women with a tighter curl pattern have been overlooked by some members of the natural hair community, say LAMBB (image credit: Instagram/@chiziduru)

LOOK AT My Black Beauty (LAMBB) is an "online haven" for its black female online community, which "uncovers truths beyond the beauty" and works to both educate and galvanise users through vlogs and short documentaries such as one of its latest, Kinks and Curls: Texture Discrimination in the Natural Hair Community.

Part of a relatively new vanguard of (mostly Millenial) black and mixed-race women who have taken to social media to express what is sometimes a new-found love for their natural hair and how to maintain it for optimum health; LAMBB have not shied away from the elephant in the natural hair expo room. Discouragingly, there is a murmur of dissatisfaction among natural bloggers and their fans who have noticed that women with a looser curl pattern, or what appears to be mixed-textured hair, have been given prominence within the community; whilst women whose hair does not conform to this type, have been rendered less visible.

Some of this prominence is expressed by those who produce and star in online tutorials featuring hair products for a 'certain type' only, perpetuating the belief that these products will not produce desirable effects or even 'penetrate' other, tighter curl patterns, or that some women don't possess a curl pattern at all.

LAMBB co-founder Naomi Grant told The Voice:

"The documentary sees the dark-skinned woman with 4C hair reclaiming her spot in the natural hair movement. After the movement was hijacked by a specific kind of curl pattern, LAMBB brings to light the beauty in every kink and curl."

WHAT IS A '4' CURL PATTERN?

LAMBB interrogated the idea that some products or hairstyles 'just don’t work' for kinkier hair types by documenting the results of women with different hair types who had sampled products. They discovered that the products and styles did in fact work; the curls achieved were just different.

Grant commented:

“We are slightly shifting from the stagnated ideology of what beauty is. However the shift has only been marginal and it is still rare to see a dark-skinned woman with 4C hair centralized in a discussion on natural hair.

“There is a longstanding legacy that comes with our hair, and a history rooted in its roots. The afro was once a symbol for radicalism, an unapologetic portrayal of black beauty, with the likes of Angela Davis and Huey P. Newton rocking their afros whilst they fought oppression. Today, there is a lesser fight, but it doesn't strip it of its importance.

"The documentary features women with 4C hair who has since been removed from the mainstream idea of natural hair. The women discuss the politics of black hair, and unpack what 'good' hair is and how to achieve it."

WATCH KINKS AND CURLS: TEXTURE DISCRIMINATION IN THE NATURAL HAIR COMMUNITY, BELOW:

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