By Terresa Moses
The field of design research has been moving toward a direction that has academics and industry professionals asking critical questions about how design affects the experiences of the users. As a design researcher, I have chosen to center my work around the intersectional experiences of Black women who have chosen to wear their hair in its naturally curly, kinky, afro-textured state– also known as naptural (nappy + natural). I will examine how White supremacist cultural influences today’s Euro-centric beauty standards and negatively impacts the choices Black women feel they have regarding styling their naptural hair. I will then reveal how design and design research can help to improve the experiences of Black naptural women, by creating culturally accessible spaces that allow education, connection, and empowerment.