Documentary Chronicles Black Women's Relaxed to Natural Hair Transition

The film follows hair journeys, including the filmmaker's own transformation.

Posted: 06/05/2012 11:17 AM EDT
Black Woman at Salon, Black Woman With Natural Hair

A new documentary about Black women's journeys from relaxed to natural hair is coming out. In an op-ed on the New York Times, British-Nigerian filmmaker-writer-reporter Zina Saro-Wiwa writes about the basis for her film and why she ultimately decided to show her own transformation — both appearance and emotions — in the movie.

“There are as many 'natural hair journeys’ as there are transitioning women," Saro-Wiwa wrote. "What I find remarkable about the movement is the way it is spreading through Black women in America. Many are transitioning silently, without much fanfare. Some are inspired by friends and family members who have already made the switch. As Anu Prestonia, the owner of Khamit Kinks, a natural hair salon in Brooklyn, told me, ‘There’s been an evolutionary process that has turned into a revolution.’ It is not an angry movement. Women aren’t saying their motivation is to combat Eurocentric ideals of beauty. Rather, this is a movement characterized by self-discovery and health.”

Saro-Wiwa didn't plan to include herself in the film, but filming herself shaving her head and dealing with the emotions that new naturals can feel “forced me to examine how I felt about my hair with more honesty than ever before,” she wrote.

In addition, the film will share about 50 other women's stories about their own transitions, experiences and what spurred their hair change.


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(Photo: Courtesy nytimes.com)

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