Why we need to stop using the word ‘normal’ within beauty

normal beauty look Notting Hill

Would you describe yourself as ‘normal’?

Ever since I first discovered the world of beauty, I knew I would need specific types of products to cater to my skin and hair type. From the first products I ever bought, to the ones I use today, I don’t think I’ve ever picked up something that’s been described as being suitable for normal skin or hair. It’s something I’ve been thinking about recently, and the question I was left with was this – Who on earth buys products that are for ‘normal’ hair or skin types?!

There’s so much diversity in the types of skin and hair we all have, to me it seems a bit bizarre to label one type (arguably the minority) as ‘normal’. It implies the other types of skin and hair are abnormal, or difficult, which is so far from the truth because the majority of people have certain things about their skin or hair that they need to cater to in order to look and feel their best.

Diversity within hair textures

There’s so much diversity in the type of hair textures we all have, it’s amazing that the beauty industry has caught up with this and now caters to such a wide variety of hair types with a multitude of products. Thankfully, I do think that we’re past the stage of describing certain hair types as normal compared to others, but that said I do sometimes still see shampoos and conditioners for ‘normal’ hair and think ‘Is anyone really buying this?!’

Whether your hair is fine, curly, afro, thick, straight etc. you’re going to want products that work with what you’ve got and leave it in the best condition. The word normal is never helpful when describing hair products, because it makes you think if your hair type is different then it needs specialist products, which never feels great.

I remember when I was a teenager it was a real struggle to find hair products that were formulated for my curly, thick hair and after washing I would quite often be left with a dry, frizzy mess. I wish we had the same diversity within our hair products back then, I think it would have really helped to make me feel more comfortable with the hair type I had and I probably would have embraced my curls a lot more instead of seeing them as different and difficult.

Is normal skin really a thing?

I have to admit, I’m often told that my skin is great so you would think if anyone was to use products tailored to ‘normal’ skin it would be me, but you know what I never have! When I was younger I always went for products tailored to combination or oily skin because I felt they would be great for tackling my blemishes (I wish I hadn’t because they really dried out my skin!)

Now I only ever use products for dry skin, without them my skin resorts back to it’s combination self and I find myself with dry patches and the occasional spot. To be honest, I think most of us have some sort of skin issue we would like to tackle, or at least reduce, so again I can’t ever see anyone using a product tailored for normal skin.

The problem with this is that when you’re first discovering the world of beauty, it does make you think there’s something fundamentally wrong with your skin that you need to fix to get it to look ‘normal’ but for most people this just isn’t possible and it doesn’t help us to embrace the skin we’re born with.

We shouldn’t be made to feel we’re abnormal because our skin isn’t flawless 24/7. I think it’s much better to start from a place of understanding that everyone is different, and has different skin concerns, but that ultimately we should be feeling good about ourselves regardless.

I’m hoping in a few years time we will no longer see products for ‘normal’ skin or hair, we definitely don’t need to feel like there’s one standard for beauty that we should all be aiming for, and we need brands to actively play a role in celebrating diversity.