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Friday, July 29, 2011

African-American Women ‘Go Natural’ Online

Maeling Tapp models her two years of natural hair. (Photo Courtesy of Maeling Tapp)

Maeling Tapp models her two years of natural hair. (Photo Courtesy of Maeling Tapp)

Hair is a loaded topic for many. As Chris Rock’s 2009 documentary “Good Hair” shows, in the African-American community, the subject is especially tumultuous because women and some men must make the choice of whether to let their hair go natural or to chemically straighten it.

Now young African-Americans are rebelling against hair straightening through online blogs and websites, where they’re also sharing advice on how to manage their natural hair.

Maeling Tapp, who writes a blog and posts video tutorials at Natural Chica, told Here & Now‘s Robin Young that going natural was a bumpy process.  At first, she was so frustrated that she went back to her stylist and “begged her to put a relaxer back in my hair.”

But when a friend told her about the online forums and groups, Maeling felt more confident. “After that I felt really empowered, like, I can really do this, all these people are doing this as well, so I feel like I can do it too,” she said.

Maeling Tapp lives in Atlanta, and her blog gives advice on how to prevent hair loss, recipes for shine spray and tutorials for how to wear trendy turbans.


  • Maeling Tapp, blogger and natural hair advocate

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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