After an hour dance class, my hair is dripping wet with sweat. After about twenty minutes of running my mouth with my friends in the lobby, I notice that my hair starts to dry. A lady walks up to me and says, “Oh wow! What do you put in your hair to get it to do that curl pattern?” As straight forward as I am and as tired as I can be of this question I answered bluntly, “Sweat!” She laughed, not immediately catching my sarcasm, and asked again, “No seriously, how do you get your hair to curl this way, I mean you’re obviously black… so how do you get “good” hair?” So offended by her assumption and ignorance I just walked away leaving her with my friend to go put on my shoes and leave. I overheard her say to my friend, “She doesn’t have to lie to me, and I just know there is NO dark skin girls who have a curl pattern like that who don’t put something in their hair.” Normally this kind of debate would anger me. However, I’m starting to see that there is a serious disconnect among black women when it comes to natural hair and I’m confused.

I thought natural hair what was naturally coming out of your scalp. Pardon me for thinking that it didn’t matter what products you put in your hair, but your natural hair was whatever state your hair was in without any enhancements, curling puddings or soufflé’s, or any treatments, etc. With all the natural hair modifications that some women purchase to get that perfect curl pattern, is it really considered natural? I long for the days in the 70’s, 80’s, and even the early 90’s when nappy was awesome. It wasn’t about some shining curl pattern, black women were proud to wear afro’s that may or may not have frizz. Nowadays, some of these natural sisters throwing shade on other naturals for being too kinky and too nappy and not enough body and shine. GTFOH!

GaptoothDiva discusses the expensive natural hair communityI know currently the natural hair community is a money making business, profiting off some women who want to feel included in the club and seeking knowledge about it. I get it. However, for me going natural wasn’t only about accepting myself for who I am, but also for convenience. If I have to shell out $10 for curling products, $10 for ant-frizz, $10 for curl refreshers, $10 for twisting gels or oils, and more money on other crap, then I might as well go and get that $5 box of relaxer because the natural hair community is stressing me the hell out.

I literally don’t have the best curl pattern in my hair and with a lot of manipulation my hair gets frizzy and nappy just like other people. However, I have never had to shell out a lot of money to achieve the best wash & go for my hair. I don’t see myself getting that involved in the community because I choose not to spend a whole lot of money, to be something that is already natural to me. Many of my friends feel the exact same way. Like how could the industry mess yet another awesome thing up as black women accepting themselves for who they are? Going natural is hard enough, then to have your fellow sisters judging you and telling you the best style for your God-given head, the way to achieve the perfect curl according to the majority. Why would black women approach me and say they can’t go natural because their hair will not come out like mine? Who is feeding them this garbage? I think a bunch of insecure naturals are gathering trash tips and making other insecure naturals feel bad about their naturals. Some black women are delivering a message of self-hate in a community that is supposed to be just the opposite.

My hair is an accessory, my beauty is from within. Therefore whether I’m natural on Monday, weaved –up on Tuesday, and flat-ironed on the weekend, it doesn’t take away from who I am and what I believe. God made me just the way He intended me to be, no amount of products and enhancements will change who I really am. Don’t allow people to make the simple things that we enjoy so damn complicated. You can always tell the insecure from the confident, because the confident could give a damn if they were like everyone else or not, they walk to the sounds of their own music and live without looking back… naturally. 

For more of the Baddest Creative Motivation, follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva

5 Comments

  1. I’m soooo happy you brought this subject to light on your blog queen. I myself feel EXACTLY the same way. We need to wake the Eff up and stop letting others (industry, media, anyone outside of self) determine our own self worth! In the words of Duron Chavis “It’s Bigger than your Afro”

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    1. Yes it certainly is. I feel that women, especially those that are insecure will and have done any and everything to feel like they belong. It’s a shame! I’m fed with certain people just wanting to make natural hair a trend, when it is anything but. I feel like it was my right of passage, my graduation from being a woman society wanted, to being the woman I know I am. It’s not to say I may never touch a weave or wig, but I will NEVER join a cult aimed at ostracizing black women for having the wrong texture hair.

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  2. I have very tightly coiled hair and just the way the media portrays natural hair, I hardly see my hair pattern. It makes me sad sometimes but like Angela said. We need to determine our own self worth.

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    1. Absolutely! If more women celebrated their coiled hair, instead of saying “I can’t wear my hair like that” than the world would be a better place. We as women need to stop allowing the TV to dictate to us what is beautiful. If we fail to find value in ourselves then we fail period.

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  3. I cannot agree with this article any more. I have been relaxer free for almost 4 years now. I have recently been battling the decision to cut my hair off completely (I’m talking like 3-4 inches, twa), go back to a relaxer, or to remain curly. I still am struggling dramatically with caring for my hair, styling (which I never cared about or did before) and keeping it healthy. It wasn’t until I read this article that I realized I have been feeding into the “curl pattern typing” and “perfect curly styling for length retention” subconsciously. I have always wanted to experience having long hair since I was a pre-teen, not realizing that the cycle of judgement and self-esteem issues were already starting. The fact that we as (blacks/people of colour) continue to segregate ourselves by things like hair length, curl type, choice of styling and the fact that we call our hair natural is deeply saddening . All hair is natural unless you wear weave/extensions or you waer a wig. So why do we separate it more by naming it natural instead of using the word curly (which has a more clear definition)? I dont get it? I have been literally shaming/questioning and asking why my own hair that God blessed me with is so difficult to learn to do because of something so simple and superficial. Feeling self-conscious at work and while out on the town instead of confident because my didnt “curl right” on a specific day and thinking that I don’t have good hair or look feminine because I still have shorter hair after four years. THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS ARTICLE AND SPEAKING THE REAL TRUTH THAT EVERYONE ELSE IS IGNORING. This has really helped me see and come to terms with a lot.

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