Document Type

Literature Review


Now more than ever we see black women in the United States wearing their hair curly and chemically unaltered. Nationwide perm sales are declining, more than 26% since 2008, while natural hair product sales (such as leave-in conditioners, styling gels, setting lotions, and curl creams) are steadily rising (“Hair Relaxer Sales Decline”). For centuries, black women have felt immense pressure to straighten their thick, curly hair to not only appeal to mainstream white beauty standards but prevent themselves from jeopardizing their social mobility and employment opportunities (Tracey). Now, however, black women are embracing the way their hair naturally grows regardless of texture, length, or curl pattern.

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