Emily Burris discusses embracing her natural hair

AM Extra

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — For a lot of people, hair can be quite the love-hate relationship. AM Extra anchor Emily Burris knows the struggle all too well.

“I wanted straight hair, and didn’t really know how else to tame the main,” she said.

Growing up with a mixture of wavy and curly hair often made for some awkward styles, and lots of frustration. But a growing resurgence of the natural hair trend is causing lots of women to embrace their curls.

It may be driven in part by consumers searching for gentler options. Hair care is a multi-billion dollar industry, and the natural hair care market is expected to grow in the next decade as many people look for products with more natural ingredients, designed to be used on less damaging, low-heat styles.

Social media also plays a role. From YouTube, to Instagram, to Tik Tok, everyone from professional stylists to beauty novices can now share tips and tricks, discover new favorite products, and find a community.

Accounts like Manes by Mell and Hanzcurls boast YouTube and Instagram accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers tuning in for product reviews and tutorials.

For Emily, it was an online resource to learn. For KOIN 6 News reporter Elise Haas, it was reassurance as she made a return to natural curls.

“Growing up I always, always wore my hair curly, but when I decided to go into this industry, I felt pressure to look like everybody else,” Hass explained. “You hear things like ‘curly hair is distracting, curly hair is unprofessional – so I did that for years and ultimately it didn’t go well for me. After a while my hair started breaking!”

More than a year and a half later, Haas has ditched the hot tools and fully embraced a natural style on air.

“It makes me feel a lot more authentic – like I’m being truly me on TV,” she said.

Emily sought out the help of Austin Kvasnikoff, her stylist at CHELSEA Salon in Southeast Portland.

He says many clients have taken a more laidback approach to beauty routines over the past year, and it’s something many people hope to continue post-pandemic.

“I think it just kind of goes in sync with a new phase of life we’re all entering,” he explained, “they’re like ‘this is what I’ve got, this is what I want to work with.'”

But even a more natural approach can mean learning a new routine.

“When it comes to curly hair, I like to cocktail products. I like one to control frizz, and one to build volume and give hold,” he explained.

Kvasnikoff believes the emergence of a “new normal” in 2021 is giving rise to all sorts of new trends.

“People are really wanting lived in texture, tousled locks,” he says. “A lot of haircuts are embracing curly hair – shags are in, those are great cuts.”

And yes, even the mullet is making a trendy return. From the pages of style magazines to phone screens, style experts will tell you a more diverse, natural summer is ahead- for many heads.

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