Communities and Social Media

Black Natural Hair Vloggers on YouTube Are Empowering Their Audiences’ by Encouraging Them to Embrace Their Black Identity.


The aim of this paper dive into natural hair communities on YouTube and their way of affecting black women’s hair visibility/promotion and identity building. The main argument is that natural hair vloggers on YouTube have increased the mainstreaming and popularity of curly/kinky/afro natural hair by creating content that breaks the stereotypes of those types of hair. Those Black curly hair vloggers have empowered black women and participated in the solidification and construction of their audiences’ identity in relation to their natural hair. The paper will highlight three different supporting ideas using academic papers and examples that establish corroboration for the key argument. Firstly, these YouTube curly hair communities create a sense of belongness among black women allowing them to identify with women with similar capillary history thus helping in the construction of their black identity and own beauty standard. Secondly, the normalisation of kinky hair has help in the breaking of stereotypes and the empowering of black women with natural hair which results in an increase in the acceptance and embracement of their black women identity by educating black women on the false assumptions about their own hair. Finally, the vloggers create a virtual ‘safe space’ for black women in the natural hair community. This ‘safe space’ helps black women transitioning to natural hair to have a place to voice out any doubts or to ask for advice without feeling judged or un-understood which enables these women to explore in-depth their black female identity.

Keywords: Natural Hair, Black Identity, YouTube, Vloggers, Empowerment, Safe Space, Communities


Hair is probably the most strong racial or ethnic category descriptor, as well as a way of identity (Synnott, 1987). Black women are facing a slew of confounding truths structured around toxic stereotypes and societal expectations about their natural hair which is present since the slavery period. The female slave’s hair were cut off as they were captured and as hair is often related to identity, this may suggest that their identity and cultural background was taken from them (Randle, 2015). While slaves did not have the proper tools to have healthy hair, the black natural hair was described as dirty and not real hair by the westerns (Rowe, 2016). However, black women are more and more embracing their natural hair. The natural hair movement was founded in the 2000s and is ‘similar to the Black is Beautiful movement of the 1960s and 1970s’ (Versey, 2014). Its aim is to urge Black women to avoid using hazardous substances such as relaxers and other hair straighteners, customise healthy habits, and to stop Western expectations of straightened hair by promoting the self-definition of their own beauty norms. While the ‘natural hair movement’ has increased in visibility and controversy, scholars have not paid attention to how Black women with natural hair of all textures are handling the effects of avoiding chemical treatment to their curl patterns (Phelps-Ward & Laura, 2016). Although those natural hair movement were present before the apparition of web 2.0, with the popularising of internet and social media platforms, natural hair movements have made great evolution and is now impacting on thousands of black women, wanting to transition to natural hair, around the globe. Black woman content creators post their personalized natural hair experiences on YouTube, and there tends to be a link between audiences and the kinky-haired women who offered tips on how to style natural hair and recommended unique items to help in hair growth maintenance. YouTube thus gives a platform for both black YouTube vloggers and viewers to allow the negotiation of black female identity by highlighting the effects of transitioning to natural hair on both their hair and how they portray themselves.

Natural hair care methods, on the other hand, can be daunting for beginners, and Black women often require additional help in making changes in both hair care procedure and changing esthetical principles. In this way, women’s transition to natural hairstyle or ‘hair travel’ has been represented on public hair websites, video blogs, Black women’s hair forums, and user-generated content platforms including, YouTube (Versey, 2014). Therefore, this paper will look at the community-oriented content of YouTube Black natural hair vloggers and the way they solidify their audiences’ identity as a mean to empower their natural black hair. Firstly, these YouTube curly hair communities create the sense of belongness among black women allowing them to identify to women with similar capillary history thus helping in the construction of their black identity and own beauty standard. Secondly, the representation, by the online community, of this particular type of hair on YouTube channels have made it popular and helped in the battle against related stereotypes which results to an increase in the acceptance and embracement of their black women identity, empowering them to educate themselves on the false assumptions about their own hair. Finally, this paper will analyse the role of these YouTube vlogs in the lives of black women transitioning to natural hair by providing them with a safe place to share and obtain hair care and hacks. This ‘safe space’ helps black women transitioning to natural hair to have a place to voice out any doubts or to ask for advice without feeling judged or un-understood which enables these women to explore in depth their black female identity.

Embracing Black Identity Within Online Communities

Creation of online YouTube curly hair communities create the sense of belongness among black women helping them in the construction of their black identity and own beauty standard. For a long time, hiding their natural hair was common among black women and it was mainly due to the various racial discriminations and stereotypes (Phelps-Ward & Laura, 2016). Pushing women to meet the euro-American standard of beauty, has only encourage women to transform and neglect their own origins and culture. After slavery, black people needed to fit in the dominant society (Caucasian one), therefore relaxing their hair was one attempt and this created the norm for black women to have straightened hair (Ellington, 2015). Brenda Randle (2015) points out the difficulties that black women face with their hair where it is common that they are constantly teased at school because of their ‘kinky hair’ and thereafter are obsessed to have ‘good’ hair (straightened). Extreme dry hair, burning scalp and more importantly, the various bullying that young black women need to face every day is the reason why various natural hair movement has risen to teach those black women how to embrace their identity as a black woman with natural hair. Approximately 30% of Black women are now wearing their hair in its natural state; natural hair is hair that is free of toxic chemicals and straighteners (Ellington, 2015).

Users appeared to be building connections in what many users have labelled the “YouTube natural hair community” through comments, subscriptions, and the opportunity to generate video replies to other YouTube viewers and uploaders (Brown, 2014). Vloggers such as, they ‘created space for millions of Black women to discuss views and tips about the alternative—perhaps even feminist—grooming practice of natural hair’ (Brown, 2014) thus creating a sense of belonging to the subscribers. While the vloggers are narrating their personal experiences and hair care when transitioning to natural hair, they share a positive image of wearing natural hair. Therefore, the black women viewers are being encouraged to embrace their natural hair whereby reconciliating them with their black identity. Hair is probably the most strong racial or ethnic category descriptor, as well as a way of identity (Synnott, 1987). With this statement it could imply that with the revolution of natural hair movement on web 2.0, especially YouTube, black women have undergone a deeper path than just accepting their natural hair as, when doing so, they are also embracing and accepting their identity and history as a black woman. “This is reflected in the comments section as discussions surrounding confidence, identity, and appreciation for the content took place. This content also revealed an underlying discussion surrounding race/ethnicity and how hair is still a marker of Black women’s lived experience” (Jackson, 2017). This may suggest that there is this sense of community and unity which connects black women on their black identity construction and negotiation where they are not only discussing about their hair but also all the racial/ethnic experience that they experienced during their life being a black woman in society.  Online communities are therefore a really effective mean for black women to receive and share their tips to take care of their natural hair and when reading between the lines one could observe the positive effects on black women and their journey to accept and embrace their black identity in world where for so long their identity did not count.

Normalising and Empowering Black Woman with Kinky Hair

Natural hair Vloggers are encouraging normalisation and empowering of black women with natural kinky through the platform YouTube, thereby increasing the embracement of their black women identity. The numerous natural hair YouTubers found on thousands of YouTube channels, have greatly contributed in the popularizing natural hair which discourage black women to relax their hair in order to fit in the western standard of beauty (Rowe (2016) and Randle (2015)). By doing so, they are also fighting against the various stereotypes about the natural black hair. Stereotypes such as black natural hair being dirty, not presentable/professional or even that ‘black people had wool on their heads rather than hair’ are the reason why most of the black women have abandon their natural hair (Ellington, 2015). While some of the black women have transition to natural hairstyle in the 60’s, others were still afraid to show their natural hair to the world because of the lack of support they were getting from the society; such as the prohibition for a black woman to wear her natural hair in the workplace as it is portrayed as being non-professional. “Many Black American women making this transition to natural hair face rejection from family, romantic partners, and even potential employers” (Davis et al., 2019). Overcoming this fear of not being accepting by the society is what vloggers with kinky natural hair are fighting for. It is critical to examine the growing representations of Black women online because web 2.0 innovations help to contribute in the development of their identity.

YouTube is well known for its participatory culture where, in this case, multiple of black women having kinky, tight or loose curls and afros come together to share their experience with their natural hair.  “The natural hair culture on YouTube is connected by the many videos about kinky hair that exists on the site and the users that unite through them” (Brown, 2014). This natural hair community has force black women and even the society to reposition them on the stereotypes that for a long time were associated to black natural hair and black women in general. Seeing more and more women accepting and showing off their hair has certainly empowered black women. Many people are rejecting this stereotypical portrayal by sharing their own stories, especially on platforms like YouTube. The process of beautifying themselves by beauty tips and natural hair tutorials reinforces their womanhood in a structured space while still fuelling their own beliefs about their real lives, with the development of their own beauty standards serving as a means of control (Love, 2019). Normalisation and popularising of the natural black hair eventually impacts how women with natural hair construct their black identity. Seeing realistic representation of black women and black hair online have given the chance to black women to reconstruct the way they portray themselves thereby embracing their black identity (Mithembu, 2017). More significantly, Black women from all sorts of backgrounds are using YouTube to restore and reshape their identity, femininity, and womanhood by their own voice (Love, 2019). Women who decide to go natural can experience a lot of emotions, including a boost of confidence. Their hair was frequently a part of their identity, and when this feature shifted, these women could go through a transition process (Jackson, 2017). The natural hair community on YouTube therefore is there to boost up the confidence of those women by showing them tips and how to take care of their hair. By offering advice and sharing their personal stories, content creators were committed to empower audiences to embark on a natural hair journey and to defy multiple factors that may tell them otherwise, such as social stigma, family members, and peers (Jackson, 2017). Kinky hair vloggers have, therefore, managed to break the stereotypes, normalise and popularise natural black hair which empower black women to go ‘nappy’ and to embrace their black identity.

YouTube Hair Community as A ‘Secure Space’

Curly hair communities on channels of YouTube vloggers have created a ‘safe place’ for black women with natural hair to discuss and construct their black identity thus accentuating their sense of belongness. While the Black curly girls sat alone in their rooms in front of cameras filming videos to share with the world, it is discovered that the platform they choose to transmit across serves as a ‘symbolic homeplace’ for Black curly girls (Phelps-Ward & Laura, 2016). This ‘secure space’ is where the women of the natural hair community learn how to learn themselves and have constructive dialogue whereby coming together to share their own experience in life and advice for each other. Phelps-Ward & Laura (2016) argues that having such a ‘secure space’ is essential for especially young black women who may have experienced ‘tensions with their identities’ due to their kinky, curly, afro hair in society in general. One could imagine the natural hair community as being a big family where there are big sisters and mothers (in this case the vloggers/youtubers) who guide the beginners in a safe and healthy journey into the process of having natural curly/kinky/afro/nappy hair. “This family-like bond shared between vloggers and users allows this community to flourish” (Brown, 2014). It thus becomes a safe place to ask question, to voice out opinions, to give and receive advice, but most importantly to embrace the beauty of their unique hair type. Since Black women use both hair and hair-related language as cultural tools to influence how they view themselves and are perceived by others, it is critical that the content generated within these spaces is supportive and validating the Black women’s identity construction (Tate, 2016).

Moreover, Brown (2014) uses the words “virtual greenhouse” to describe this safe place within the natural hair community. He adds that this “virtual greenhouse” enable the perfect environment, characteristics and means to create and develop the online natural hair community (Brown, 2014). Black women are encouraged to partake in a journey of self-definition (own black identity) about all facets of Black womanhood, expressing what it is, what it appears like, and what it can be in these online ‘safe space’(Williams, 2016). Messages of motivation, the challenge to overcome society’s expectations, and debates on own way of defining beauty can all be found within the comment sections of such videos. Although most Black natural hair YouTube influencers mainly educate about healthy hair, others serve as mentors, empowering other black women who are novice to wear their hair in its natural toxic-free condition. This ‘safe space’ has enabled Black women to not only educate themselves on the ways to treat their hair but also to tackle deeper inequalities that black women face every day by voicing out their experience in those ‘safe space.’ Black Women have rebuilt their ways of thinking in order to not only fight for women ‘s liberation and empowerment, but also to challenge social inequalities targeted to black women that feminism does not tackle (Harrell, 2015). Web 2.0 has changed the way Black people build safe spaces to connect around asserting Black aesthetics and hair care over the past ten years (Rowe, 2016). YouTube has become a ‘secure space’ where, voicing out, asking and giving advice and embracing the identity of black natural hair, can easily be done without any judgement from anyone.


To conclude, YouTube vloggers and the natural hair communities found on various YouTube channels have greatly empowered black women to embrace their identity and their unique hair type. These online communities have enabled black women around the world to voice out and to show the true beauty of their natural hair whereby stopping to hide behind the typical euro-American beauty standard of having straight hair. Black women are finally accepting and reconciliating themselves with their black identity while also, with the help of the vloggers, promoting and educating people on black natural hair. Finally, the safety aspect that vloggers create through communities have also made black women to feel unjudged and, for the first time, they feel listened and understanded. Additional research and analysis on this subject should look at how the natural hair movement has spread globally, as well as how Black female’s work online contributes to raising awareness of the identity politics perspectives of Black women around the world. Natural hair movement has started before digitalisation but it is certain that with social media platforms such as YouTube, the community will never stop flourishing while empowering women while making them embrace their identity.

Reference list:

Brown, B. N. (2014). More Than Just Hair Talk: The Kinks, Curls AND Dueling Feminisms in YouTube’s Natural Hair Community.

Davis, D., Mbilishaka, A., & Templeton, T. (2019). From “About Me” to “About We”: Therapeutic Intentions of Black American Women’s Natural Hair Blogs. The Journal of Social Media in Society, 8(1), 105–123.

Ellington, T. N. (2015). Social networking sites: A support system for African-American women wearing natural hair. International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, 8(1), 21–29.

Harrell, Y. (2015). The Development of Microaggressions in the Online Natural Hair Community: A Thematic Analysis [Master’s Thesis, Georgia State University].

Jackson, C. (2017). YouTube Communities and the Promotion of Natural Hair Acceptance Among Black Women. Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, 8(1), 10.

Love, T. (2019a). Broadcast Yourself: Redefining Black Beauty Via YouTube [University of Illinois].

Love, T. (2019b). Broadcast Yourself: Redefining Black Beauty Via YouTube [M.A., University of Illinois at Chicago].

Mithembu, S. N. (2017). Black women’s beautification practices in South African press reports: A discourse analysis [Master’s Thesis, University of Johannesburg]. file:///C:/Users/Cam%20Carcasse/Downloads/Black%20women%20s%20beautification%20practices%20in%20South%20African%20press%20reports%20_%20a%20discourse%20analysis.pdf

Phelps-Ward, R. J., & Laura, C. T. (2016). Talking back in cyberspace: Self-love, hair care, and counter narratives in Black adolescent girls’ YouTube vlogs. Gender and Education, 28(6), 807–820.

Randle, B. A. (2015). I Am Not My Hair; African American Women and Their Struggles with Embracing Natural Hair! Race, Gender & Class, 22(1/2), 114–121.

Rowe, K. (2016, Fall). Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America. The Griot, 35(2), 203–III.

Synnott, A. (1987). Shame and Glory: A Sociology of Hair. The British Journal of Sociology, 38(3), 381–413.

Tate, C. J. (2016). Loving blackness: Black women digital content creators and the transformative healing powers of the contemporary natural hair movement [M.A., Wake Forest University].

Versey, H. S. (2014). Centering Perspectives on Black Women, Hair Politics, and Physical Activity. American Journal of Public Health, 104(5), 810–815.

Williams, M. R. (2016). Transition: Development of the Online Natural Hair Community and Black Women’s Emerging Identity Politics [M.A., University of California, Davis].

68 thoughts on “Black Natural Hair Vloggers on YouTube Are Empowering Their Audiences’ by Encouraging Them to Embrace Their Black Identity.

  1. Hi Rachel,

    First thing , I love your topic and how you have brought this to attention.

    When I do watch YouTube, I have always been interested in how women with black hair and how they are not afraid to literally experiment on their hair. Once I saw this clip ( can’t remember who) but it was African American girl who had pure black hair and she dyed it it orange. When I first saw it, I taught it was risky as not everyone can rock it and plus I thought it was dangerous to bleach hair that much. The girl looked amazing and I was kind of jealous.

    I agree that women who are hair vloggers are not afraid to try the most impossible ideas but they also teach others how to embrace it. I think most of their audiences are young teenagers who want to look pretty and want to fit in with their classmates. To me, this allows the person to their identity. Having a hairstyle and colour helps to make them feel they are their true person.

    I don’t know if you have noticed but male African Americans recently are also sporting new hair styles that are very similar to those that the women wear. Instead of braid their hair they twisting small sections of their hair. It was interesting to see men trying new hairstyles. I haven’t been able to find any male hair vloggers as I don’t they have a page yet.

    Thanks again for your paper it was a great read

    1. Hi Amber,

      I totally agree with you that hair vloggers are not afraid to try every idea they have on their hair! I think that is mainly because they are here to test everything for us so that we don’t need to. Youtube is indeed a great place for ‘participatory culture’ where you can learn a lot of tips and hair care for curly/afro/ kinky hair.

      Moreover, you made an interesting point on the fact that black man also going towards a more natural style when it comes to their hair. While there are no official male natural hair vloggers on YouTube, there are many female natural hair vloggers that do hair tutorials but for men. Here is one that I found out on YouTube:
      However, I would be super happy to see men doing hair tutorials on YouTube. It would have helped a lot of men to really take care of their hair without feeling judged or put in a box.

      Thank you one more time for participating in the discussion,

  2. Hi Camille,
    I hope that you are fine.
    Well, I’ve found your topic very fascinating. I really enjoyed reading it. Black natural hair forms part of the identity of black women and it is in fact true that Black natural Vloggers on YouTube are simply empowering their audiences and are encouraging them to embrace their identity. And not only that but they are also able to embrace and enjoy the natural characteristics of their kinky, curly, hair texture.

    Your paper has me thinking that social media has a positive impact towards the Black hair communities. Since the influencers have the opportunity to accept themselves as they are and even to encourage the audience.

    1. Hi Noodhish,

      Thanks a lot for taking your time to read and comment on my paper. Indeed, these communities have helped a lot of black women transitioning to natural hair and to thereby accept their black identity.


  3. Hi Rachel,
    I found your paper very interesting and it makes me happy to see how women with curly hair helps others online. The topics you talk about contained also a lot of interesting information that might help others who didn’t know about those communities and this might help them.
    But do you think that these places which are online thus accessible to everyone is really safe from racist who still believes in these stereotypes about curly hair?
    Thank you for reading my comment

    1. Hello Romain,

      Thank you for taking your time to read and comment on my paper.
      And thank you for your interesting question!
      Indeed, those communities are accessible by everyone online which could be an advantage or a disadvantage. It is an advantage in the sense that every woman interested in transitioning to natural hair is welcome to visit the online community but on the other hand, haters can still come and spread hate in the comment section.
      To avoid this, a lot of content creators can filter certain words using their own custom list in the creator studio which will mean any comment using one of the filter words will be held for review. Moreover, since the black natural hair community is one that is very united, hate comments are often ignored by the members of the community or just responded with peaceful words. As we say, “Haters will continue to hate!”

      Thanks one more for participating in the discussion,

      1. Hi Rachel,
        Thank you for your interesting reply and yes this comment made me more aware of these options on YouTube to avoid such unwanted issues.

  4. Hi Camille,
    I found your topic about Black natural hair very interesting and I totally agree that Black natural Vloggers on YouTube are simply empowering their audiences and are encouraging them to embrace their identity. I think acceptance and assurance is something very important and this is why I support these Vloggers whenever I see their videos on YouTube.

    Moreover, I totally understand what you said as a safe place to question about advice and doubts without feeling judged. Personnaly, being women of coulour ourselves with Sister, we learned a lot of things about curly hair on YouTube and there are some tips that we even adopt in our daily routine.

    Thank you for writing about this topic which was very interesting and thanks to these communistes that have helped a lot of Black women accepting their natural hair.

    1. Hello Hillary,

      I am glad that my paper has enabled you to know more about the curly hair communities on social media especially Youtube. Indeed, black natural hair forms part of the identity of black women and natural hair communities have help in the embracing of this black identity while empowering black women.
      Youtube is indeed a great place for ‘participatory culture’ where you can learn a lot of tips and hair care for curly/afro/ kinky hair.
      Thank you for having read and commented on my paper!

  5. Hi Camille,

    thank you for covering this topic which was very insightful! As a woman of colour, this paper resonated with my own experience with natural hair vloggers on YouTube. The community has been pushing for the normalisation of different hair types for a long time and has led to more and more women embracing their hair and the cultural value it holds.

    I totally agree about reclaiming femininity and womanhood in relation to hair, especially with the continuous masculinization of Black women. It is definitely refreshing to see femininity being performed differently and not have a specific look.

    What are your thoughts about featurism in the community? Many people have pointed out that looser curl patterns are prioritized in the community, leaving no space for type 4 hair for example. A lot people also talk about ways to have more ‘defined hair’ which only equals to looser curl patterns as if type 4 hair is not defined enough? Personally, it seems like a part of the community is trying to go for looser curl patterns instead of healthy hair in general.

    Thank you for this piece, it was very interesting and engaging. Well done!

    1. Hello Elodie,

      It is nice to know that you enjoyed my paper and more importantly that you could relate to it!
      Do you consider yourself as being a member of the natural hair YouTube community?

      To answer your question, I think that the right word to describe it is ‘texturism’ as it is according to Shepherd (2018), “colorism in the natural hair community; as overwhelmingly praising a certain type of natural hair, and clearly ignoring another and the belief that a particular curl pattern is better than another”
      While writing this paper, I noticed that in the majority of the scholarly articles, the limitations were that looser curls were put more under the spotlight as compared to 4C hair texture for example. My honest thoughts on that would be that since it is a relatively new online community, natural hair communities still have some Euro-centric influence which may explain why looser curls are seen as ‘good hair’. However, as the community grows larger, we can see more and more 4C hair vloggers online that talks about their 4C hair without wanting to ‘define’ their curls. I think that as time goes by, black hair will be fully independent of Euro-centric influence.

      I hope that I have been able to answer your question and bring even more light to this topic.
      Thank you for your very interesting discussion on my paper. I am looking forward to more discussion if you want to. I hope to hear from you soon,

  6. Hello Camille. I am so glad I found your paper. It is such an interesting paper, and it feels very encouraging to actually see its effects in our everyday life. To be honest, I do see a lot of women who are not just Black women, to embrace their identity by showing up their hair naturally. I think, it is a form of self-acceptance to our identity. Straight or curly (and the rest of other hair types), are created for a reason. I feel so glad to see brands such as ‘Shea Moisture’ and @gisou . Those companies dedicate themselves to provide its consumers, specifically Black women, with a range of natural products that span all hair types — from loose, bouncy curls to tight kinky strands (Not only for black women, but to any women). Each women has its own journey with hair and identity, Despite not originating from the black community, my mother has ‘super’ curly hair, close to ‘fro’, she told me that when she was a little girl, she used to get bullied and often cried with her mom that other friends were mocking about her hair. She had to use all sorts of products to keep it straight as possible. As she has grown up, she had enough of this and decided to go natural. Today i am proud to see her like this, she looks very gorgeous and reflecting all of her cosmopolitan features.
    When I read your paper, this song came to my mind, (Solange – Dont Touch my hair).
    According to 1 Corinthians 11: 15, “but for a woman, if her hair is abundant, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering” (Huffpost, 2020). This shows that hair is the crown of an individual, and it is both a personal and public ‘asset’, since it is seen and touched by the public (hairstylists) and it forms part of your body. And I believe that one should never be ashamed of their natural hair, since it is a self-representation of themselves. However Camille, I want to ask you about your point of view on companies and brands delving about hair care products, in what ways are they encouraging to break this stigma (as your paper suggests), from their products to the consumerism?

    Great work Camille.

    Best, Hoping to hear your response asap.

        1. Thank you !

          Keenly awaiting for your response to my paper, since I talk about how instagram promotes wellbeing in the lives of young women.

    1. Hi Mageswari,

      I am very happy that you liked reading my paper. I agree with you that a lot of women in general sometimes face difficulties in accepting and embracing their natural self. I personally think that it is all this beauty standard pressure which is present daily in women’s life. As you said, whichever hair you have, was created for a reason, and embracing it at its natural state is becoming more and more normal nowadays.

      Indeed, those brands that you mentioned, and there are even more of them, are fighting to liberate the hair in all its textures whereby encouraging women, especially black women, to embrace their natural self. As you mentioned, each woman has her own journey with hair and identity but while writing this paper, I really understood that for black women this journey is, even more, fill with obstacles. From the time of slavery to even now in modern society, it is still difficult for some black women to actually embrace their hair and black identity. Fortunately, with the help of brands, youtube vloggers, influencers, and even some black women celebrities, there is a lot more representation of black natural hair especially while using social media and the communities they provide.

      Moreover, I am so inspired by your mother’s journey with hair and her identity. I can relate so much to it since it also happened to me when I was younger. Criticism and bullying are often the main reason why many women would abandon their natural hair whereby affecting their identity, in order to fit in the boxes of the beauty norms that society has imposed on us. I am also so proud too that your mum really stood up for who she is in her natural state and hope that now she feels fulfill and happy with her choice.

      I didn’t know this song! Like you said it is very relevant to my paper and the lyrics are really inspiring. You can really feel the pride that they have in their hair in all kinds of textures. You said very inspiring words by saying that hair is the crown of everyone. We should cherish this royalty aspect of our hair as we are all queens and kings of this planet. Hair forms part of identity and it is time to embrace it. Thanks a lot for sharing this with me.

      Finally, I will answer your very interesting question.
      Black natural hair products are an integral part of the digital natural hair community and have a significant role in the lives of black women. Brands that were once only known to the black community can now be seen in massive retail and beauty shops, reaching a much larger audience and thereby being mainstream and popular. Even after being mainstream, black natural hair companies continue to portray beauty in a manner that opposes Eurocentric beauty stereotypes and instead emphasizes the diversity of black women’s hairstyles and textures. Natural hair is validated not only by the appearance of natural hair but also by the attitude shown in accordance with natural hairstyles. The women featured by the brands are always seen laughing or posing proudly, highlighting natural hair in a positive way. Influencers are used by haircare brands to demonstrate how their products work and to associate themselves with a certain image (Mitchell, 2018). Rather than distance themselves from their main audience of black women, the advertisers reach in to emphasize the elegance of black women and black hair. The connection between black women and natural hair brands is important.
      Since Eurocentric beauty standards predominate in the mainstream beauty and hair industry, black women need brands that affirm and reinforce their identities. Natural hair companies have cosmetics that are uniquely designed to meet the demands of black women’s hair and use their voices to campaign for the beauty of black women and natural hair. According to Mitchell (2018), “By participating in the online natural hair community, the natural hair brands position themselves as entities that are central to furthering the promotion of natural hair in the beauty industry.” Therefore, brands such as Shea Moisture and their advertisement are a way to normalize and popularise black natural hair which eventually affects the identities of black women.

      I hope that I have been able to answer your question and bring even more light to this topic.
      Thank you for your very interesting discussion on my paper. I am looking forward to more discussion if you want to. I hope to hear from you soon,

      1. Hello Rachel! Thank you so much for your response. It has clarify my question and I have loved the way you have explained to me about the history behind black hair. I feel that since the general public is ONLY aware of black hair and slavery, they disregard and disrespect this topic, and sadly, the black community mostly in the West, grew up with such beliefs from their neighbors. I am happy now due to social media, things changed and revolutionized in a better way. More and more people are understanding and embracing all of their body parts, thus presenting their authentic self online,

        Great job!

        Mageswari Sreepaul

        1. Hello Rachel,

          (I was recently talking about your paper with my friend who has Black-thick hair, and we came to a consensus which opposes the idea that Black women and thick hair were not embracing their hair enough because of internal discrimination, stereotyping and shame.)

          On a realistic outset, the society do not know the struggle of styling and maintaining long and thick black hair. They think that it is only because of stereotyping and related obstacles, whereby Black women feel low to embrace their crown to the world. However, my friend refuted this perception, as she told me that thick black hair takes a good amount of time to style it/curl it. On the other side, she even told me the reasons why she prefer wearing straight wigs, so that she can it in various ways. She do not want to damage her actual beautiful hair with heat. An easier and cheaper solution is way better than maintaining the thick hair.

          Do you think black women wish to embrace their natural hair globally or they just want to be free of any judgements, with wig or not, there is no need to make any opinion on them?

          I hope to hear from you.


          1. Hello Mageswari,

            I hope you are well!
            I am so happy that my paper came into one of your conversations outside of the conference; it proves that it really caught your attention. 🙂

            You mentioned some great interesting points!
            I would like to add that when a black woman is wearing a wig, she is still wearing her natural hair. Wearing a wig can be seen as a protective hairstyle for black natural hair since the definition of natural hair is one that is free from chemicals of relaxers to make it straight. Wigs are the perfect alternative for women who find themselves more attractive with straight hair and it doesn’t mean that they do not embrace and accept their black identity.
            Some people may think that black women wear wigs because they are ashamed of their natural hair but the reality simply that they want straight hair but without damaging their natural hair. As you mentioned with your friend, she wears a wig because of the way it is polyvalent and requires less maintenance. Yet, she is still wearing her natural hair since she does not put any toxic products in her curly hair.
            Once more there is a lot of assumptions around black women and their hair. How a Black woman likes to wear her hair, or whether or not she wishes to wear a wig, is entirely up to her. Moreover, regardless of whether the hair we wear grows from our own scalp or was bought in a shop, we’re long overdue for the right to do what we like with our hair, whenever we want, without the assumption or judgment we’ve become used to accepting.
            To answer your question, whether wearing their curly hair, braids, or wigs, black women are still embracing their natural hair and just wish that society could accept and embrace their natural beauty thereby stopping the constant criticism around their hair. I think that the two things work together like they wish to embrace their hair but to fully achieve this they wish (I copy your words)”to be free of any judgements, with wig or not, there is no need to make any opinion on them.”

            Once more I am truly happy that you continue to discuss this with me on this subject and I hope that I was able to answer your question. I will be more than happy to know your opinion since I have had only the point of view of your friend! Thank you for the discussion and participation.

            Hope to hear from you soon 🙂

  7. Hello Rachel,

    I trust that you are fine!

    Your paper is a very informative paper, you mention a type of community that I wasn’t aware of. In today’s generation we can see that people are more open of how people reacts and how people express themselves in the online environment. In our generation, with education people are growing and via social media, they are able to empower themselves to embrace their beauty. Your paper reminds me of my hair, I have a curly hair and my mum has straight hair. While growing up I didn’t like my hair but today I can proudly say I’m proud of my hair.

    I really like your paper. I feel connected and related to it.

    Tooshtee G

    1. Hi Tooshtee,

      How are you?
      It is such a pleasure for me that you could relate to my paper and found it informative. In fact, a lot of people do not know the existence of such online communities since identity is not often related to hair. Empowering oneself with the help of social media is the new way to go! It is easy and more people can help in the process.

      Thank you very much for taking the time to read and comment on my paper. It is much appreciated.

      Kind regards,

  8. Hi Rachel,

    I found your paper to be such an educational read, I hadn’t really thought much about the impact of hair on identity formation for women of colour, so it was interesting to gain an insight into another community’s perspectives. As someone with naturally straight hair, inherited from my Asian genetics on my Mum’s side I always grew up wondering why people would compliment me on the ‘straightness’ of my hair. When I was younger, I felt that my straight hair was flat and often slept in plats just to have wavy hair because isn’t it just human nature to want what we don’t have?

    Your paper highlighted how much importance we as individuals and as a society place on hair, and the historically negative and racist stereotypes which have been projected onto black women regarding their natural hair. I find it really sad that women of colour have been made to feel they need to change their hair texture and the lengths these women have gone taken to do so, as you pointed out often damaging their hair to conform to society’s expectations. It is great to see the shifts in culture that you have explored, which have given black women a sense of pride in their hair and identities. Some examples that come to mind of black celebrity women helping encourage others to embrace their natural hair are musical artists Lauryn Hill and Alicia Keys, as well as American actresses Gabrielle Union and Kerry Washington.

    This made me wonder, do you think the increase in many women of colour now embracing their natural hair has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic? For example, the closure of salons due to lockdowns seeing black women accepting their natural hair and sharing images or videos of them doing so with others online.

    An interesting piece of reading, thanks!

    1. Hello Melissa!

      Thank you a lot for having taken your time to read and comment on my paper. I am glad you have shared your hair journey with me. I totally agree with you, humans are made to want what they don’t have. I remember that all my straight hair friends always tell me, “I wish I could have your hair! It is so beautiful and fluffy! My hair is just flat…” And I always tell them that they don’t know all the social issues that can come along with having curly hair and how a lot of girls would spend an enormous amount of money just to have hair like theirs.

      Indeed, the new popularity of afro/kinky/curly hair has boosted up black women’s self-esteem thus creating more acceptance towards their black identities. You are totally right! Having more and more celebrities embracing their natural hair and beauty under the spotlight, encourage other black women to do the same which they tend to start on those online black natural hair communities.

      Well, to answer your question, since many salons are closed due to the lockdown, many black women are unable to do their usual hair relaxers and are forced to keep their natural hair. Therefore, they have more time away from society to really start to embrace their natural hair. Yes, it may be very difficult and create anxiety in black women but still, it can be a start in their journey of wearing their natural hair. In fact, The natural hair vloggers on YouTube and the online communities that they created, have really helped these women during the lockdown by providing them a space to learn how to style their hair but also a space for them to voice out any doubt or insecurity towards their natural hair.

      However, on the other hand, black women who are already wearing their natural hair may face some difficulties in the lockdown since they cannot go out to buy all their usual hair products which can result in damage to their natural hair. But, if they have their stock of products at home, the lockdown may be the perfect time to “saturate (their) hair with oils and butters and conditioners and twist it up”(John, 2020).

      If you want to know more about how black women with natural hair are living the pandemic, you can check this article and video:

      Anyway, I hope I have been able to bring light even more on this subject! Thank you once more for your discussion and don’t hesitate to come and continue this informative discussion!
      Hope to hear from you soon. 🙂

  9. Hi Camille,
    The topic you chose was interesting as well as one that should be in light. Black natural hair has been a theme for a long time. Before, as you mentioned, it was portrayed as ‘dirty’ and now, it is being accepted as it should. Offensive comments have been thrown on people with black natural hair deeming it as ‘controversial’. This conference paper is an eye-opener. I enjoyed reading it. The movie ‘Nappily Ever After’ comes to mind when I read the paper. It shows how people were struggling to accept their own identity because of the normalisation of the straight hair.

    1. Hi Vejetaa,

      I am so glad that you learned a new thing while reading my paper. I also watched “Nappily ever after” which portrays the story of a black woman struggling with her black identity. It is exactly what I wanted to demonstrate in my paper while showcasing how black natural hair vloggers on YouTube are successfully empowering those black women to actually embrace their black identity.

      Thanks a lot for taking the time to read and comment on my paper.

  10. Hi Rachel!
    Wow, this was a very fascinating and eye-opening read for me as I wasn’t aware of these communities. It really indicates how times have changed and how people are using their platforms and the platforms provided by social media to empower other individuals to embrace their natural beauty. I know hair is a significant part of one’s identity and it’s amazing to see people embrace their natural beauty/hair. This paper really highlights the positive impact social media has on people and how influencers are able to encourage people to embrace themselves and their authentic selves.
    This was a very interesting paper and it was something I’ve never really thought about. well done! 🙂

    1. Hello Saranya,

      I am glad that my paper acted as an eye-opener on the black natural hair communities for you. Indeed, my initial aim was to show and highlight “the positive impact social media has on people and how influencers are able to encourage people to embrace themselves and their authentic selves”, but especially for black women since they are not often portrayed in the cosmetic and beauty industry. Those black natural hair vloggers on Youtube really changed the game where they popularise and provide a safe space for black women to exist with their natural beauty.

      Thank you for taking your time to read and comment on my paper. I appreciate it.

  11. Hi Camille,
    This is definitely a topic that I hadn’t thought of before, but I’m glad I came across. Now that I think of it, no one should feel pressured into spending a vast amount of money on hair products and/or makeup to just to conform to a “norm”. I’m glad that their are communities online that help people with this transition and to accept their cultural identity.

    Thank you for this good read

    1. Hi Luc,

      Thanks a lot for taking your time to read and comment on my paper. Indeed, these communities have helped a lot of black women transitioning to natural hair and to thereby accept their black identity.

  12. Hi Rachel!
    What a good read! I love how online spaces can be so helpful to so many groups of people. I have seen a few Black influencers embracing their curly hair such as Drew Dorsey. It was insightful reading your paper and the comments as well.
    I wonder if hair care brands, or curly specific ones, will come forward and show their support for embracing natural hair.

    1. Hi Alicia,

      Thank you for taking your time to read and comment on my paper.
      I really think that haircare brands such as SheaMoisture, Kinky-Curly, and Cantu are more and more getting popular, and therefore, this popularity brings forward the beauty of kinky/afro/curly hair. This of course is their way to show support for embracing natural hair.

  13. Hi Camille! I hope you are doing fine!!
    First of all, I really enjoyed reading your paper! It is very well structured and you did an excellent analysis of your topic.
    It is true that with the evolution of Web 2.0, more communities have been build up to embrace authenticity and realness!
    However, you mentioned that YouTube vloggers created online communities to provide a secure space for black woman, can you please name some of these YouTube vloggers?
    These communities are also present on different platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook also. Do you think some influencers are using these communities which therefore results in “cultural appropriation”? for example adapting hairstyles like box braids, dreadlocks etc..

    If you are interested about identity and online advocacy, check out my paper: Instagram used as a tool by influencers to perform an “authentic” persona among users.
    Here is the link:

    Overall good job Camille!!
    Take care!

    1. Hi Lakshana,

      I am very happy that you enjoyed my paper.
      If you are interested to know more about natural hair YouTube vloggers please check out these beautiful women’s channel:
      1. Naptural85, AKA Whitney White
      2. Sheacocoaluv
      3. Ijeoma Kola
      Moreover, to answer your second question, I think that these natural hair communities on Youtube are especially here to break the stereotypes on black natural hair and that the Natural hair vloggers are here to educate people on black hair and its history and identity.
      These communities are fighting against cultural appropriation such as caucasian girls wearing African box braids which are meant to be wear to protect black hair. I do not think that some influencers are using these online communities which therefore results in “cultural appropriation” but instead I think that those influencers that appropriate themselves with culture are the ones who were not educated by these online communities and natural hair vloggers.
      I hope that I answered well your question. Do not hesitate to come back if you want to discuss more.

      I will be more than happy to read your paper. Just with the title it already seems very interesting.
      Hope to hear from you soon.

  14. Hi Rachel! Read your paper from the link you left under my paper! This is a great read, engaging from start to finish! Definitely sheds light on how times have changed, and it now for everyone to embrace themselves for who they are! I can actually kind of relate to this, growing up with extremely curly hair (had an afro until I was 4) and as I went into upper primary school and the beginning of high school, I began to not love it. With this I was constantly braiding, placing my hair in a bun or even straightening it straight or straightening it then curling it – crazy I know! As I got into year 9 I started to come into my own, and began to love my hair again! Gradually overtime my curls have gotten looser so its more beachy waves and although I love it, I do miss my tight ringlets – its just different to everyone else and I love that!

    Great to read your paper, especially when I can relate to many points!

    1. Hi Macy!

      Wow, it really makes me smile to see that you can relate to my paper and shared your story with me. I myself was bullied at school because of my kinky hair to a point where I wanted to relax my hair permanently. But fortunately, my mother has strictly forbidden me from doing it as she said that, “You have beautiful hair. Your hair forms part of your personality and one day, people will be jealous for not having curly hair like yours!” I am so glad that I listened to her at that time because now I really can’t see myself without all my kinky hair on my head.
      There are a lot of girls that have the same story as you and that decided to do THE BIG CHOP. Did you ever think of doing it? And do you consider yourself as a member of any natural hair community online?

      Thank you a lot for reading my paper and giving your views on the topic. It is much appreciated.
      I hope to hear from you soon

      1. I definitely never considered the big chop as the one thing I always liked was my long/thick hair and it the curls also dropped as my hair grew longer/thicker so never considered a chop as then my curls would be tighter! I’m actually not apart of any online communities to do with natural hair, but I do follow quite a few Tik Tokers in regards to maintaining your natural hair and the best products and all that! I’m glad you listened to your mother in regards to your hair, as I’m sure it would be so beautiful and it definitely plays a role in who you are!

  15. Hi Cam, Thank you for this very interesting, as myself i was struggling with my identity when i was younger as i have curly hair. Even that the paper talks more about women, it is very interesting to show that it is not a bad thing to have curly hair and to be black and that people must stop these stereotypes

    1. Hi Jean,
      Knowing that a curly head boy can relate to my paper, please me very much. Indeed, many men also struggle with wearing their natural hair, for example, dreadlocks or afros.
      Do you think that there should be more natural hair communities on Youtube vlogs for men?
      I will be very interested to know your point of view on that.

      Hope to hear from you soon.

  16. Hi Camille,
    I find that you made some really good points concerning your topic. I think like me that are a lot of people that would not have think that hair play an important role in the identity representation in the society. YouTube increasing popularity of curly/kinky/afro natural hair by creating content that breaks the stereotypes of those types of hair illustrates how beneficial online communities are for the society and minorities.

    1. Hello Ignesh,

      I also find it interesting that there is a lot of people who do not associate hair with identity. Social media, YouTube, is the perfect platform for this kind of online community to where it allows the concept of ‘prosumers’ where any natural hair woman can create content on her journey transitioning to natural hair while also being able to consume other tips from other content creators.
      Do you think that social media is a good tool to break stereotypes?

      Thank you for reading my paper. I hope to hear from you soon

  17. Very well written article. Sheds some light on how the society is slowly changing and the importance of diversity.

    1. Hello Burty,

      Thank you for having read my paper. I am glad that you could learn a new aspect of the black natural hair community created by Black natural hair vloggers on youtube and their way to empower black women to embrace their black identity.

  18. Hi Camille,
    i like your topic as it addresses an issue that girls have been going through. It is indeed a fact that those types of hair was considered as ugly or non-professional and girls had to face a lot of trauma/criticism but do you think its still an issue ? Should people still raise awareness about it ? Because i feel that in this digital era, the majority understand that all types of hair is considered as beautiful, and as your paper stated ‘due to social media platform, black natural hair is more accepted’; nowadays everyone is on at least one social media platform.
    Also, influencers talk about the beauty of afro or natural black hair but don’t you think that it is better to normalize natural hair in general and normalize the fact that if a woman wants her afro hair to be straight, it is also considered as okay; do you think that somehow all the amount of talk about black natural hair have an impact on girls who just prefer straight hair but doesn’t do it by fear of someone saying that ‘she is not embracing her natural hair’ ?

    1. Hi Shruti,

      Firstly I would like to thank you for reading and commenting on my paper. I will now answer your questions.

      1)While the black community and especially the black women community is more and more emancipating themselves from the various stereotypes that used to describe them, movements such as the ‘natural hair movement’ have slowly empowered black women to embrace their black identity. However, even though in 2021 more black women are wearing their natural hair, sometimes they convince themselves that their hair is not professional enough for a workplace.
      For example, black women still relax their hair for an interview for a job even though they wear their natural hair most of the time.
      To answer your question, I would say that, yes, it is still an issue in the sense that black women themselves often have this fear that an employer will not hire them just because of the way they wear their hair. It is unfortunate to say it but black women still got trauma from the past decades when talking about their natural kinky/ afro hair.
      However, some powerful black women have shown that wearing their natural hair and succeeding professionally is not impossible. I, furthermore, partly agree with you as, indeed, social media and the various online communities have normalized and popularised black natural hair. But as I stated above the process is a long one and even though black natural hair is considered beautiful, due to past trauma, it is important to continue raising awareness for black women who still don’t feel accepted in society due to their hair.
      If you want to read more about it, check this blog post with different experiences of black women with natural hair:

      2) Wow your point is a very interesting one. I think that when we talk about embracing black women’s hair, its aim is to give CHOICE to black women to actually do whatever they want with their hair without having to be forced to apply to a certain beauty standard. Girls who prefer to wear straight hair, are actually not doing it because they are forced to, but just because of the aesthetic. While, before, black girls were kind of forced to wear it in order to be socially accepted and considered. The online ‘natural hair movement’ in the virtual community of YouTube kinky hair vloggers, is a movement that encourages self-love and provides a ‘safe space’ for every black woman whether they are wearing their natural hair as straight or kinky.

      I hope that my answers were interesting for you to read. Don’t hesitate if you want to talk more on the subject.
      Thank you for your feedback

      1. Hi Camille,

        Thank you for replying and I must agree, your points were really clear. It was indeed very interesting to read. Raising awareness about the black natural hair should continue but I think the struggle now is more about taking care of the different types of hair instead of just accepting it. Vloggers and bloggers are putting more emphasis on how to take care of the hair types which somehow lead people to start seeing the beauty of their natural hair. As per what I’ve seen, in the model agencies – people are looking for girls who have natural afro hair and advertisements are proof that those types of hair have already been accepted in the community, so do you think that girls are still facing a lot of issues because of their hair? Is it in minority or majority? As I mentioned above, I think that the struggle is more about how to maintain the hair and as per what I’ve seen in this digital era, the natural black hair is known and accepted, and cannot be discriminated by any companies. Well this is what I’ve seen so far but I have no clue if somehow somewhere there’s still a major discrimination for people with natural black hair and if there is, why do you think those people who’s still facing discrimination – don’t bring it up by saying something like ‘as per company x, my hair is not professional enough’. By doing so those people will bring more light on the truth of some companies and other companies will think twice or thrice before saying something against certain types of hair as they know that it will impact on the company’s reputation around the globe.

  19. This is not only powerful but it clearly conveys the right message in precise words. Indeed, embracing natural curly hair is viewed and projected as a harsh beliefs in society but in today’s era, things are changing for a better cause. Normalization of natural hair is the way to go! Once again, interesting and fruitful research. I personally believe that more research could have been done to support you argumentation in various concepts. Keeping this aside, good work!

    1. Hi Maryam,

      I totally agree with you, normalization of natural hair is the way to go! Do you think that social media and communities actually help in this process of normalization?
      I am glad that you enjoyed my paper and found it powerful.
      Thank you for checking and giving feedback on my paper. It is much appreciated.

  20. Hey Camille!
    This was such an interesting paper. I specially appreciated the time you took to explain why such a ‘safe space’ was needed.
    I believe there is a greater conversation to be had around hair texture and the beauty hierarchy.

    1. Hi Beatrice,

      Thank you for your feedback.
      Indeed, a ‘safe space’ is very important for black women to really exist and embrace their black identity.

  21. Hi Camille,
    Your paper is very interesting and informative as well. I like the subject you choose to talk about. This remind me of a film that I have watched “Nappily ever after”. I think it is very important to pay attention to your paper specially to the recent events related to the black community.
    Good job, I can see that’s there is a lot of research.

    1. Hi Jean-Luc,

      I also watched “Nappily ever after” which portrays the story of a black woman struggling with her black identity. It is exactly what I wanted to demonstrate in my paper while showcasing how black natural hair vloggers on YouTube are successfully empowering those black women to actually embrace their black identity. Thank you for your feedback.

  22. I loved your article! So interesting and enriching! What is interesting is the fact that it concerns a modern topic where many still don’t know about. Your writing really demonstrates the empowerment of those women. I am impressed by so many things that I was not aware about. Thanks for teaching me new things! keep it up!

    1. Hello Giulia,

      I am very pleased to see that my paper made you learn something about the beautiful natural hair community found on YouTube. Indeed, there is a lot of people who are not fully aware of this modern topic.

      Thank you for commenting on my paper

  23. Hi Camille,
    Your paper was very informative, I personally struggle with my identity for year due to the difficulty for my to accept my natural curly hair. Now I embrace it proudly, I enjoy reading the historical part of your paper where you shared such interesting facts about black hair history. After reading you paper i was more proud that I already was to embrace my natural curly hair.

    Thank You for your paper.

    1. Hi Megan,

      I am very pleased that you could relate this much to my paper. Struggling with accepting our hair is like struggling with our own identity and I understand how it feels when you can now embrace it fully.
      Do feel you ever participate in any curly hair community? Or do you agree with my point that these communities have created a safe place for black women with kinky hair to really exist and voice out?

      I will be more than happy to discuss this topic more deeply with you.

      Thanks a lot for your feedback. Hope to hear from you soon

      1. Hi Camille,
        To answer your question yes I do follow the online curly hair community but passively, I just watch the content and learn new thing but not really interact with creators. And again yes I totally agree with online curly hair community created a safe place because we are all the ‘same’ and do not feel out standard!

        hope to hear from you soon!

  24. Very interesting paper.

    Indeed, black girls with natural hair is no more a complex and since few years, it is becoming an identity.
    I agree with you that social media has contributed a lot.

    Excellent research work done. For me, it could have been shorter but everything is relevant in your writing.
    Bravo !

    1. I am glad that my paper has enabled you to know more about the curly hair communities on social media especially Youtube. Indeed, black natural hair forms part of the identity of black women and natural hair communities have help in the embracing of this black identity while empowering black women.

      Thank you for having read and commented on my paper!

  25. Hi Camille,
    Your paper is very informative and you relate to strong arguments, it can be seen that you really went in depth with your analysis of the subject. Your writing is empowering strong ideas and concepts. I find it interesting that you highlighted the different society norms about curly hair and the history of slaves and their hair issues, how this actually shapes todays’ beliefs on the subject. Embracing ones natural hair is a relatively new concept for todays society thus your paper highlights how empowering social media platforms have been for black women in helping them to embrace their natural hair. You talked on the subject of influencers positively which is rare in studies and your work was a really interesting piece to read.

    1. Hi Tania,
      I, myself, form part of the curly hair community but when doing deep research of this topic and its relation with social media and communities, I could really understand what role it has in the creation and solidification of black women’s identity.
      Do you form part of any online community? Do you think this paper could relate to other online communities? I will be very happy to share our point of view on this subject.

      Thank you for your comments on my paper. It is much appreciated.

  26. Very interesting literature review.
    Clever combination of positive social media influencing and activism.
    The paper wonderfully highlights how social media in this case, Youtube can be an empowerment and activism tool for different communities showcasing that social media influencing can be also used positively.

    Perhaps, adding numerical data to explain the different effects and mentioning a few limitations would have given more weight to the already well presented paper.

    1. Hi Adrien,

      You are right, social media have shown its important role in our modern era as a tool of empowerment and activism. Natural hair vloggers on YouTube have been able to continue the natural hair movement in the virtual space which has empowered black women to embrace their identity.

      Could you relate to some of the points tackled in the paper? I would be glad to continue this conversation on social media and communities as a tool for empowerment and activism with you.

      And yes I totally agree with you, I could have added some graphs or pictures to portray even more my main argument and some limitations to this research but since there is a word limit it is unfortunate.

      Thank you for your comment. I hope that it has helped you to understand more the topic of Natural hair communities on YouTube

  27. My understanding is that there is an emancipation of black women in accepting their hair (curly/kinky/afro) and social media had helped to make them aware and accept their identity. On top of what you have quoted as reference I would have referred to this film on netflix nappily ever after. Then on a personal note I would have add something on the phenomenon of false hair (remember in South Africa) and the model industry such as how Naomi Campbell revolution haute couture and its impact on cosmetics industry. And finally do not put the “to conclude”-in conclusion look for a linking word. And also correct the word to read belongingness.

    1. Hi Corinne,

      Thank you for commenting on my paper.
      I find your point of view very interesting and it requires deeper research on the topic.
      However, my paper is focusing more on the natural hair community on YouTube and its relationship with the empowerment of black women’s identity. Introducing films found on Netflix could have been irrelevant to the focus of the paper.
      I, however, agree with you with the Nomi Campbell revolution in the haute couture and cosmetics industry. It could have added more weight as an example to my arguments.

      Do you relate to the natural hair community or do you form part of any other online community? If yes, I would be very happy to discuss this topic.

  28. Hi Camille,
    The natural hair movement took a majestic boom the past years. Curly, kinky, afro girls are coming forward with their natural hair and the white washed idea of straight is beautiful is slowly vanishing. I absolutely love how the put forward the movement and how to depict how social media has impacted that movement by allowing visibility. Black culture, black girls are coming forward and 2020 has been a year of great change for the black culture and black people representation in the media. Social media has empowered women around the world to come forward with their natural hair. For instance, we can see public figures like Michelle Obama rocking her natural hair or Taraji Henson empowering the community on the different social platforms.

    Nice paper !!

    1. Hi Caroline,

      I totally agree with you. 2020 has been a turning point for not only black women but the whole black community. Accepting their natural hair is also a way for black women to accept their black identity which for decades was taken from them.
      Social media and online communities have been powerful tools indeed to reach black women of all ages around the world to empower themselves and their black identity.

      Did you know that the famous singer, Alicia Keys, has also transitioned to natural hair which has also empowered other black women to do the same thing?

      I will be glad to discuss more on this subject with you. It seems like you are relating to the paper on the natural hair community.

      Thank you for having read and commented on my paper.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *