African American women have found that going natural can be costly on their pocketbooks, but more on their self-esteem- a cost that, in turn, reveals their identity and beauty. 

Women in the African-American community have been "going natural" meaning they no longer use chemical products such as perms and relaxers in their hair. Natural styles include braids, weaves, twist-outs, and other styles. African-American hair is known to be frizzier, coiled and thicker than Asian and Caucasian hair. 

The history of styles is deeper to African-American roots than what most people know. In the early 1500's, Africans used hairstyles to symbolize religion, economic status, age and other demographics in a community. Even during slavery, slaves who worked out in the field had to cover their hair while those who worked in the house wore wigs that looked straight like their Caucasian master's hair. 

Four hundred years later and African-American women are still using their hair to identify who they are. Somewhere in history African-American women were made to believe their hair is ugly, unmanageable or just needs to change.

Freshman at Savannah State, Maia Stewart, 18, said she believes society has told African-American women that their hair is ugly. Always having natural hair, she was taught at an early age to embrace it, but that didn’t mean that those around her felt the same. In middle school she was teased about twisting up her hair. By high school the natural hair trend was going around and girls that didn’t acknowledge her before began to come up to her, asking how many years she had been natural. Stewart's advice for women going natural is, "Have confidence because you know who you are." 

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