May 13, 2014

DISCUSSION: That's not NATURAL! Dealing with Natural Hair Bullies

IG Natural Hair sensation, @Mz_Tammy, rocking a great blow-out
Sigh! I'm writing this post with all the attitude of a teenager asked to wash the dishes during a Love and Hip-Hop marathon. Let me set it up:

I was enjoying a wonderful lunch at the Farmer's Market and I noticed a very cute couple. They were eating lunch as well. Sidenote: Yes, I was ear hustling, don't judge me. The young lady had a cute natural 'do. It was pinned up and kinda looked like a Janelle Monae style. I could tell her hair was quite healthy.

The guy, her boyfriend, commented her hair and asked what she'd do with it "since it's getting hot outside. He asked, earnestly and honestly, "Would you straighten it anytime soon. Like with a flat-iron?" Poor thing. He didn't even know he was dating a Natural Hair Nazi. Ol' girl went OFF!

"Listen, girls who say that they are NATURAL but they use heat to straighten their hair are NOT natural. I am not one of those people. You will NEVER see me use heat, color, or anything that takes away from the hair that grows out of my head." she trailed on and on. The boyfriend kinda looked glazed in the eyes. I was feeling . . . Some kinda way.

This color isn't 'natural' but it sure is NICE
I cannot take it! I get so tired of the argument of what's natural and what's not:
  • If you wear a weave as a protective style - you not really natural.
  • If you straighten your hair - you're not really natural (and you are subscribing to the white aesthetic- SIGH)
  • If you color your hair - you're not really natural - unless you have locs then that's ok . . .
So let's get real - the most natural anyone can be is the baby that's being born as I type this post.

If you use shampoos, moisturizers, conditioners, and the like, that you didn't MAKE in your own kitchen, you are already stepping away from the natural line. And, if you don't have a 100% natural diet, straight from the ground, that you grew yourself, then you step a bit further from the natural line. So, technically, if you ONLY stop using relaxers, then you aren't as natural as your sister who is 100% organic in EVERYTHING she does (what she puts on her head and what she puts in her mouth).

My friend, Tonya, rocking her flat ironed hair.
What I hate is when people want to JUDGE the next person for the choices they make with their hair. The glory of letting go of the relaxer life is seeing what your hair can do. It's also about finding an identity that you never knew existed. Letting go of the relaxer is a journey in patience, education, and diligence.

What I hear when someone starts talking about what's natural and what's not is someone who is trying to tell me what's BLACK and what's not. This is the ongoing convo with black women and our hair decisions. If you can't see the kink then I'm not that natural. If she has a lighter complexion, then you'll hair commentary about how her natural hair journey is 'easier' than our kinky sisters. The point of the matter is - IT'S JUST HAIR and it's a personal decision. The way I wear my hair doesn't define my BLACKNESS nor my association in the Natural Hair community.

The new natural, reading this post, doesn't need a Natural Hair Bully telling her what she can and cannot do with her hair. I'm not gonna say that using constant heat, dyes, or chemical filled products is the BEST thing you can do for your relaxer-free hair. But, if you wanna do it, I'm not going to judge you. I'm not going to be the one to condemn you, but I will be the person to help you find a healthy route to dealing with damage - IF it happens

So ladies, if you are the 98% natural wonder, don't turn your nose up at the lady with the blue hair, weave, or the straightened 'do. You can be there for her when she trying to up her natural hair percentage.
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