New Book ‘Hairlooms’ Documents the Natural Hair Journey

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SACRAMENTO -- We know beauty comes in all forms but we're also often taught that it must conform to certain standards. Increasingly women are rejecting this notion--- and opting to embrace their natural hair instead of straightening it.

The hair salon is a beauty sanctuary for many black women and many faithful followers make pilgrimages at least once every two weeks. For decades that was mostly in service of the ritual chemical or heat straightening but that’s changing.

 “I placed so much worth on the fact that I had long straighter hair, what I didn't realize is that was actually a crutch,” said media professional Michelle Tapp Roseman.

Tapp Roseman straightened her hair to fit a European standard of beauty.  She, like many black woman, had been made to feel her natural kinky curly hair texture was not beautiful.

“I realized I was spending so much money to get my hair to do something it was not genetically disposed to do," she said.

Michelle decided to make a change and chronicled her “hair journey” along with those of 32 other prominent black women in the new book "Hairlooms." But one only needs to step into a local hair haven to hear similar stories.

At Salon Entro in downtown Sacramento, teenager Yani Melendez gets a Caramel hair treatment. Usually a deep conditioner would be done to help protect and revitalize the hair after and before a straightening process but Melendez was getting the treatment to define and enhance her natural curls. 

Her mother, stylist Monique Vchar says natural hair styles have been a growing part of her business for the last several years.

Even at Margaret’s Hair Gallery, where they specialize in non-natural hair such as extensions, weaves and straightening, owner Margaret Rudolph is starting to see a change in the perception natural hair is messy or unprofessional.

“I think people tend to believe that but we're starting to embrace our naturalness," said Rudolph.