While I may be preaching to the choir here, I thought it necessary to articulate the connection between sustainability and the natural hair community. In particular this article speaks to the unprocessed hair of women of African decent. Sustainability according to UNESCO “means consuming goods and services without harming the environment or society. Living a sustainable lifestyle is essential to overcoming poverty and conserving and protecting the natural resource base for all forms of life.”
For the most part style and sustainability are arc nemesis. The pursuit of all things stylish , conventionally promotes waste, consumerism and usually harms the environment.
The folks over at Hair.lovetoknow.com writes, “As society grows more conscious of the effect chemicals have on the environment, trends like natural hair care become more popular. While it may not seem like a few bottles of shampoo or other products affect the environment, each time those products are washed down the drain they have the potential to contaminate water supplies and harm the surrounding ecosystem.”
Here are my top 5 reasons why your natural hair, in addition to its fashion forwardness and fierceness, promotes a healthy environment and why our kids will thank us . This list is no way scientific and based on my own observation, research and conversation with peers.
1. Reduced use of Aerosols. Many aerosols such as hair spray, spritz contain CFC that are proven ozone depletory.
2. Reduced Toxic Runoff- Reduce use toxic chemicals passing into drains– relaxers etc
3. Potential to Save Energy - Due to reduced heat styling, fewer hood, drying, hot curling etc
4. Greater demand and use of natural and organic products. Most of us have tried honey, shea butter and other home concoctions thus reducing consumption. (Raise your hand if you have made your own treatment)
5. Promotes greater conscious for social justice. It starts with our hair, our search for natural products, pursuit of community building (I am blogging on the page of a otherwise stranger) and eventually greater conscious of issues related to products, consumerism, health and the environment.
What are your thoughts? Are you even aware that your hairstyle choice can have an impact on wildlife and potentially climate change?Okay….indirectly!! But as the Jamaica adage goes “One, one coco full basket!” (Translation: Every small gesture makes a difference)
Be good. Do better. Look your best.
Tamika has been wearing her hair natural for the last four years. She recently transitioned from locks. A native of Jamaica, currently residing and pursuing a Masters of Arts in Sustainable Development in Massachusetts. She struggles with balancing her passion for style, sustainable development and conservation. Tammyanka blogs athttp://sustainabilityandstyle.blogspot.com/.