Those two words probably provoked some immediate thoughts:
- Not for me
- Black women
- Just a trend
- Way of life
In a world that is supposed to be accepting-of and forward thinking, I find there to be many controversies within the natural hair community, as well as the black community as it pertains to natural hair.
Why is natural hair in the workplace and the educational system still an issue?
- Don’t get me wrong, the world has come miles as it pertains to accepting natural hair, but there is still a stigma when it comes to professional and/or educational environments.
- Why are black girls being kicked out of school for wearing their hair in natural hair styles?
- In a gym full of people, how did a referee get away with forcing a kid to cut his dreadlocks?
Let’s mention “cultural appropriation”.
- While wearing dreadlocks, Zendaya is dubbed as “probably smelling like patchouli” or “weed”, yet the Kardashian-Jenner clan can slap whatever they want in their head and have it dubbed a “trend”. Why?
Speaking of trends…
I feel strongly that there’s a line of separation within those in the natural hair community having natural hair as a lifestyle vs those having natural hair as a trend. True Story:
- While in the hair store, I was asked about which products I use and what I do to my hair to get my curl pattern. The questioning person could not accept that I’d used a combination of leave-in conditioners for a wash-n-go to achieve my look. After some back and forth on the matter, it came out that this person was using chemicals to loosen their naturally kinky curl pattern in order to have a Type 3 curl pattern…and have the nerve to call it “natural”.
- Which leads me to wonder: is the point of the natural hair movement lost?It’s about accepting yourself as is and being proud of your roots (most literally). It’s not about achieving seemingly “good hair” by any means possible.
What’s the deal with “black hair” being marketed by fine, curly hair textures?
- Why is it that the natural hair community is still largely represented by multiracial people or those with looser curl partners and…dare I say… “more acceptable” hair textures? (And NO, I am not saying that multiracial people don’t belong in the natural hair community. It’s about representation.)
- I know you’ve noticed pictures of big, fluffy curly and wavy hair with print next to it claiming a product is for Type 4 (kinky, coily) hair. Don’t women with Type 4 hair deserve to be used as the faces of products meant for them, rather than be fed unrealistic expectations?
By the way…
Why is there a portion of the natural hair community that hold a stigma against women of color with processed hair, or even against those who are natural but choose to wear protective styles more than their natural hair?
- It’s sad that this is even a thing, because at the end of the day, women need to be uplifting each other, PERIODT.
The amount of arguments and debate to be had about the controversy within the natural hair community is near endless. I want to have and honest, open discussion about the matters with you.
Join me Wednesday, March 20th at 7:20 PM at McNeese State University in the La Jeunesse Room, where we’ll discuss all the above and then some.
This free event is open to the entire community. (Men, that includes you, too.)
A product swap will also be taking place. Bring in gently used hair products that didn’t really work for you, and swap them out with other products.
Guest panelist include:
Dave Smith, Jr.: Philanthropist
Kenya Thomas: CEO of Koncrete Rose Health and Wellness
Barbara Hardy, RN, BSN
Sasha Hollomon: Graphic Designer
Ashley Rankins: Hair Enthusiast
Are you one of my out of town followers? No worries! I’ll be following up with another article to solidify all my personal opinions on the controversies within the natural hair community.
“Natural, Or Nah?” Promo:
“Natural, Or Nah?” Panel:
“Natural, Or Nah?” Product Swap: