Real Talk…kind of long but it needs to be said
So I’ve been slightly obsessed with natural hair stuff for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been watching a lot of youtube videos, reading tumblr post, hair websites etc etc. Following and bookmarking and subscribing to all the people I think give good hair advice, or places I can find good solution and it’s been fine and dandy and definitely helped with the encouragement to start wearing my hair naturally.
BUT, I’ve also read, and seen a lot of things about this “movement” that I don’t like, and that I definitely think contradict what people say it is.
First I’ll tell my story…
I’ve never had a perm or anything so I guess you could say I’ve been “natural” my whole life, but I have gotten my hair pressed every 2 weeks for the most part of half of my life (starting like middle school). I love curly hair, regardless of who it’s on, and I always have before this “movement”. The only reason I got my hair straightened a lot was 1. it was easy to manage and maintain especially in middle school before I really knew for real how to do/take care of my hair, and 2. because I didn’t really know how to style my hair in a way that I would like in its natural state. In high school I experimented and wore curly fros and figured out some stuff that worked and some stuff that didnt but I still got it pressed a lot because bad hair days suck lol and there’s no time in the morning when you have to go to school or catch a school bus to really deal with that (I had to be to my school bus stop by 7:00am, and I liked sleep and most of the time woke up at 6:30am lol). Straight hair meant I wake up maybe brush my hair or part it and go. No long combing out process or wetting my hair to get it how I want it…etc etc.
I went to college up north last year (I live in california) and it’s cold and rainy up there so straight hair never really lasted. It’d last like 3 days then it’d get foggy and it’d be poofy, and I didnt like flat ironing my hair everyday because I knew that was bad for it and caused split ends and heat damage and I had been trying to grow it since I cut a lot of it off during senior year to get rid of a lot of the damaged ends. So I just gave up and started doing nothing to it. Everyday I just wet it, put conditioner on it maybe some oil and put it in 2 braids or a bun, and if I was feeling brave I wore a curly fro. During that time my hair grew a lot and got a lot healthier, and it kinda struck a light bulb in my head about how to get my hair to grow.
In my natural hair obsession lol in watching videos and what not I’ve learned some new ways to do my hair that mean I can wear it curly but also be able to control it and tame it and not hate it after a couple of hours. Additionally I saw a lot of people who’s hair has grown tremendously and I want that. I also want to just get to know my hair better and learn how to wear my curls in ways that I like, just experiment and try different things. So here I am just really trying to figure out my hair, while simultaneously helping it grow.
I’ve seen a lot and read a lot and one big problem I have is this whole separation thing, Natural Haired black girls vs. Relaxed girls or whatever.
I think that shit is so absolutely ridiculously dumb.
I think the idea that “natural girls” are trying to push that if you straighten your hair your no long natural is bullshit. I don’t deny that the reason people of color began to straighten their hair was based on an idea that they were less than and that they needed to do all they could to be closer to the image of a blond haired fair skinned blue eyed person (be a lighter skin tone, have long straight hair etc.). But I don’t think that’s the idea behind it for a lot of people these days. For example me, I love curly hair if I knew how to really tame my hair and define my curls I’d wear my hair curly a lotttt more, but I also love straightening my hair. But the fact that I love curls makes it clear that it’s not because of some skewed view of beauty. To me it’s just another hairstyle. If I wear my hair curly for a long time, I mean there’s only so many hairstyles you can do, then I may get tired of it so straightening it is a change. Then when I get tired of that I can do something different braids or twist, or even just back to curly.
The die-hard “natural girls” who shun “relaxed girls” and people who press their hair or dye their hair really contradict themselves. They say “I am not my hair” blah blah beauty and acceptance and love for self and culture and ethnicity, but really they claim and preach the title as if theyre superior to girls who like straight hair. And they act like theyre hair makes them, like without wearing their hair natural they wouldnt be who they are when the whole point is supposed to be that in spite of their hair they are who they are. It’s supposed to be encouraging and uplifting and inspiring because people are accepting and moving beyond society’s european beauty ideals and towards their own, but I see a lot of people just making it as if natural hair makes you more beautiful than all the people with any other kind of hair. And not just supposedly more beautiful than unnatural black women, but than other races who don’t have the same type of hair.
On a lighter note, I think a lot of people are really fronting about natural hair lol. Like seriously, I see some post and see pictures and all that jazz and people jus praising and praising natural hair. And that’s cool but people make it as if all things “natural hair” is like the epitome of greatness and beauty when, lets be real, it’s not.
I love that people have started this and gained more confidence in themselves and theyre appearance and all that jazz. But speaking strictly aesthetically all things natural aren’t neccesarily cute. Like people post and like pictures of people with fros just because theyre fros but not acknowledging anything else about it.
Like these fros that look dry and brittle and like they dont even take care of or condition their hair but since it’s a fro and it’s “natural” its gotta be great lol.
Or like this sudden embrace of super messy hair at the most inappropriate places, like people at work like “heeyy this is how I wore my hair to work today” and it’s like some lop sided unsuccessful braid out but since it’s their natural hair people are like oohh thats so nice…but NO lol, you are at work, and that is not neat or presentable. And it’s not about it being fro, it’s just about neatness. Some natural people are making it as if neatness and brushing your hair are bad omens and horrible things to do because then your not really embracing your true self and what ever else bs but it’s not true.
Sweats are one of the greatest inventions ever lol, they are comfortable and warm and sometimes even cute (because they have all different kinds of styles these days), BUT you should never wear them to work. And it’s ridiculous how these people wear these untamed, disheveled looking, messy hair styles out and then get mad and scream racism and prejudice if someone says something or talks about their hair.
And once again I love curly hair, and I even like some messy hair styles, but I’m not naive and I’m not going to front as if every person can rock every “natural hair style”.
Wear your hair natural or relaxed or in braids or a weave, whatever suits you, but if your going to own it make sure it’s presentable and don’t just think cause your black with a fro everything is all good.
Okaaayyy so, that was really long and I highly doubt a lot of people are actually going to read this whole thing, BUT if you did then thank you nice of you to read my opinion on the situation. I think a lot of people feel this way and it’s coming out more and more as more and more people catch on to the movement. The main point I wanted to make was that as natural hair becomes bigger and what not people shouldn’t lose sight of the real reason the whole “movement” began. It wasnt to add separation to an already slightly separated culture, but to bring unity and encourage and inspire confidence and to add to the list of what’s beautiful.
I think the greatest thing about natural hair is it inspiring confidence in people to put themselves out there and rock something different than the norm, and having a willingness to experiment and inspire change and an expansion in the current idea of beauty.
Anyyy way if your not following me, YOU SHOULD lol, not because I have a bunch of long rant post like this lol but because my blog will be beneficial and helpful to the curly haired community…I have post of my experiences and successes…as well as videos and links and pictures etc I found helpful in making this transition to wearing my hair curly more.