Shyte Natural Hair Girls Need to Stop Saying and Doing…

56 comments
January 11, 2012 ‐ By Charing Ball

I get it, really I do.  I know how frustrating it is for a sister to be loved and appreciated for exhibiting an alternative form of beauty, which is outside the scope and standard accepted form touted in the mainstream. Likewise, I imagine that those sisters that are natural hair police become frustrated themselves by the level of snide comments and mischaracterizations from both men and women within the Black community, who look down on our natural state. In our community, relaxing one’s hair is encouraged and embraced easily and straight hair is considered more beautiful.  We learn those messages earlier on as little girls and as adult natural hair wearers, we stand against the stereotypes that the beautifully coiled texture growing out of our heads is somehow unacceptable.

Nevertheless, there is a right way and a wrong way to hold court.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how this bickering over hairstyle choices is a lot like the whole good hair versus bad hair debate we’ve been having since our ancestors left the confines of the plantation.  We have to stop characterizing all women, who wear perms and weaves as adopting “slave mentality.” And, we have to stop all this divisiveness of who can be considered natural and who isn’t before we even begin to think about lecturing other women about what they can and cannot do with their hair. More importantly, we have to recognize how our tone in communicating our love and appreciation of our natural hair can come off as judgmental as the messages from mainstream society, which we seek to not be bound by. Think of it as Dr. King versus Malcolm X, W.E.B Dubois versus Booker T. Washington, Decepticons versus Transformers – I think you get the picture.

It’s just like that old saying goes: you get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. As someone who has been rocking dreadlocks for over four years, I can tell you that the curious questionnaires by some straightened head or weaved sisters have sparked more interest in natural styling than the direct “you hair is going to fall out from all that creamy crack and lace fronting” approach has ever done. Not that I have ever taken that approach because it’s not my business what other folks do with their hair.

 

Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.

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  • Taahira Mcgee

    My hair is natural, and i believe you can do what you like to it.

  • Beezy

    I agree with what your saying but I’ll also leave this, as a black man nothing is sexier to me than when a black woman is natural. The western idea that beauty has to look European cant be further from the truth. So leave that weave and perm at the store. No black hair grows like that yet we have accepted it as normal.

    • kelly

      Beautifully said Beezy! THANK U

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  • LiveWire2012

    It sounds like folks do a lot of projecting. When exactly did someone say “You have to (insert natural hair routine here) or else (insert terrible consequence here)”? Or is that what YOU are choosing to hear? I’ve done a lot of youtube and natural hair blogging in my day and from the most disciplined to the most chill ones, all they are doing is sharing information with the public. You decide what to leave and what to take. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, that’s ok and understandable, it happens to everyone. or if someone is actually being a “natural hair nazi” (whatever that really means) then nicely let them know you disagree. Or just ignore them, they’re clearly being unreasonable. News flash! Unreasonable people exist in the world-afro wearing or not. Weave wearers and relaxed folks are no better sometimes. And seriously, give people a break. I mean, there hasn’t been a lot of guidance about natural hair and like any “new” thing, there are a lot of things to discuss and debate and talk about. Let’s ALL just woosah and take it down a notch.

  • LiveWire2012

    It sounds like folks do a lot of projecting. When exactly did someone say “You have to (insert natural hair routine here) or else (insert terrible consequence here)”? Or is that what YOU are choosing to hear? I’ve done a lot of youtube and natural hair blogging in my day and from the most disciplined to the most chill ones, all they are doing is sharing information with the public. You decide what to leave and what to take. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, that’s ok and understandable, it happens to everyone. or if someone is actually being a “natural hair nazi” (whatever that really means) then nicely let them know you disagree. Or just ignore them, they’re clearly being unreasonable. News flash! Unreasonable people exist in the world-afro wearing or not. Weave wearers and relaxed folks are no better sometimes. And seriously, give people a break. I mean, there hasn’t been a lot of guidance about natural hair and like any “new” thing, there are a lot of things to discuss and debate and talk about. Let’s ALL just woosah and take it down a notch.

  • canadian man

    as long as it looks good and you take care of your hair, it doesn’t matter how you wear it!

  • Cindy

    This is a truly refreshing  and inspiring piece and I thank -you for saying exactly what i have felt and wanted to say for a very long time.

  • iiammoon

    Uh as a woman who is happy to be nappy & have been for over 45 years do not at least from the large amiunt of women I know are “natural nazis who purpose & mission in life is to adjust the thinking of those who choose chemicals.

    Its neither here nor there way of lfe.

    Maybe a minor thing but using the word “nazi” evokes a different connotation; nary a natural hair woman would commit wholesale genocide to wipe away other women because they use chemicals!

    I say that somewhat tongue in cheek that while one may dislike what’s perceived coming from a few perhaps over eager naturalist,are some the comments here the opposite side of the same coin?

    Just as our beautiful part of cultural humanity is not monolithic,that would also include our hair. It is,our hair, part of an expression but how one ‘spresses oneself is as individual as anything else we do.

    • iiammoon

      Sorry about typos: “amount of women of women I know, are NOT “natural nazis”…. thanks :-)

  • Angryblackchic675

    great article! I can’t stand self aggrandizing of any kind, particularly something as trivial as hair style choice.

  • Lani

    To me, It’s all HAIR and we as black women people have such versatility to our hair…Frankly, I don’t care about natural, relaxed, dyed, texturized….If I chose to relax MY hair…it doesn’t make it any less MY hair…It still grew out of my head! Every.single.strand and I love it either way!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1216375047 Ang Pryor

    AGREED!!!!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3AWENQJ4MGWSAPSGCJVD7TTCEY barbie

    Black women need to STOP hating on each other! Damn. Maybe thats why I always had other races of friends when it came to women because we are so damn petty. Leave the natural sistas-ALONE. Their videos have helped me and maaannnnyyy other women feel more comfortable with being natural as well as learn more about their hair.

    Sounds like relaxed sistas a just a bit insecure to me-as they should be. That creamy crack isnt doing anything but destroying your body. Stop burning your scalps ladies..it WILL come back to haunt you.Embrace what is yours. 

    • Nicole de Lancret

      A little contradictory, aren’t we?  “Black women need to stop hating on each other.”  A true statement, but then you go on to say, “. . . relaxed sistas [are] just a bit insecure to me – as they should be.” 

      How is it that someone who makes a conscience choice on how to present themselves an-end-all-be-all indication of insecurity?  Want a strong example, Michelle Obama.  A black woman who went to Princeton Undergrad, Harvard Law, and becomes an attorney at a top Chicago law firm is anything but insecure.  As an attorney who is walking in the First Lady’s shoes, I can assure you that only a black woman who is strong and secure can make it through that gauntlet.

      My suggestion:  You should practice what you preach and stop hating on other black women. 

  • promethean_dreams

    I so agree.  I am one of those processed hair haters and its taking a lot of work to get over it.  I love my natural hair because it is somewhat easier than having to worry about all of the issues around maintaining processed hair.  Other than that its nothing special. 

  • Privatedancer

    This is the second article by you that I’ve read and once again, you are so on point!  

  • Fuzzy Frisson

    People with afro hair may stop being apparently ‘judgemental’ once those with straightened/relaxed/treated/extended hair stop being that to them.  I understand non-Blacks being naïve about afros, but when that naïvety comes from fellow Blacks – added with latent snobbiness from some – it becomes troubling.

    Nowadays, if you have afro, you must have a concrete, ‘valid purpose/justification‘ to satisfy the bizarre curiosity from others, such as: artistry; nonconformity; pedagogy/intellectual discipline; [self-]empowerment; ethnocentrism/neo-Nubianism; even religion – as witnessed seeing a Nigerian asking another Nigerian if she was a Jehovah’s witness. After all, it’s just too peculiar to be natural simply out of volition.  Then if you are natural because you feel like it, the inquisitive floodgates open even more widely: ‘how long have you been [natural]?‘, ‘ever thought of getting extensions/it straightened?‘, ‘you’ll look even more beautiful with your hair relaxed back‘…

    I agree with many posters here expressing their perplexity, saying it’s ‘just hair’ – but if it was just that, the rampant ‘good versus bad hair’ contention wouldn’t exist in the first place.  It’s a supposed character definer, conditioned heavily by the inveterate complexes among the Black community stemming from the West’s empirical, reductive and erroneous perceptions of physicality and beauty.  Therefore, I also understand the potential overprotectiveness of some afro-haired people.  We’ve still a long way before afro is deemed ‘acceptable’, ‘good’ or even ‘natural’ to have.  In the meantime, within communities still saturated and pressured by media’s definitions of Black ‘beauty’ especially, those who dare deviate from those norms are subjected constantly to either questioning from others or presumptions/assumptions of their characters… and if you are one of those subjects, you too will feel self-protective eventually.

  • LissaC

    Thank you!!!!! I have had natural hair and now I’m back to relax hair…it depends on what I feel like doing with MY hair. What I dont understand is why we judge each ithers hair….if your not paying for my hair and I’m not paying for your’s it none of oiur business!!!!!

  • http://soundcloud.com/kottikadotti Kotti ︻╦╤─ KaDotti ™ ©

    WOW, BLACK WOMEN WITH NATURAL HAIR. I THOUGHT THAT WAS AN OXYMORON, YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THEY REALLY EXIST?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3AWENQJ4MGWSAPSGCJVD7TTCEY barbie

      are you serious bruh? For the last three years, each day I see handfuls of natural black women. 

      I dont know where YOU BEEN, but natural hair black women have been steadily rising for a long time now.

      Of course if you are in the ghetto or hood-you wouldnt see this as much

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3AWENQJ4MGWSAPSGCJVD7TTCEY barbie

      *handfuls daily

  • ClassyInHtown

    Wow! I must live under a rock.  I didn’t realize this was going on.  I decided to go natural in Jan. 2010 b/c I just got tired of the chemicals, but I don’t go around telling other black women what to do with their hair.  That’s nuts!  Who has time for that?

    We’re so gorgeous and exotic that we’re gonna look good regardless…effortlessly.  Do you!

    • http://hizzandherzorganics.com/ nelson

      Yeah, a lot of these are disturbing because I didn’t know they really existed either. I decide to go natural in July of 2010. Since they I have converted to All Natural and Organic hair products, BUT I STILL where sew-ins, Braids, AND wigs. I follow a lot of NATURALS on youtube, but nave never heard any speak these feelings. BUT THERE IS ONE that says, many NATURALS have accused her of a FAKE B/C since she did it the way I did. I DID IT SIMPLY BECAUSE I wanted healthier hair & a healthy scalp. AND IT WORKED. So it doesn’t matter how you b/c or how you where your hair as a natural. IF YOU AREN’T USING CHEMICALS, then you ARE NATURAL. Its as simple as that.

  • Raine

    I love this post. So funny and true! I had my big chop in July. And when I was at work this lady followed me around (I was a supervisor @ a dept store) asking me inane questions.
    Crazy Lady: ZOMG! ur hair is gorgeous!
    Me: thanks
    Crazy Lady:When did u get ur BC?
    Me: Last week
    Crazy Lady: and omg. How did u feeeeel?
    Me. Ummm, idk. Bald?
    Crazy Lady: wow! I bet it was life-changing! How was ur journey?
    Me: Uh, no. Not really. I just wanted to get my weave out. Uh what journey? I walked here. Can, I help u with something?
    Crazy Lady: wow. Ur an inspiration!!! Death to all perks and weaves!!! Let the revolution be televised!
    Me: Security!!!

    • Raine

      Damn iPod I typed n perm and it changes to perks. Geez.

  • MelKel

    Very good read… I just started transitioning. But years ago I remember reading a book (maybe Black Hair Matters or something like that) where a Black woman who was natural stated that she “lost respect” for women that she saw with relaxers. THAT was a little extreme. Whether it’s hair or anything else, people will always feel the need to mind others business. It’s not “just” hair in the Black community unfortunately. But it’s YOUR hair.

  • Smacks_hoes

    I hate the natural hair nazi who attack other black women for not being natural….its great that your natural good for you. That still doesn’t give you the right to come down on other black women because we prefer our weave/extensions etc. It’s hair people not a freaking political statement

  • Guest What

     SO WHAT. If women with natural hair wanna have their own heyday and be proud more power to them. Were you out there on a crusade against the women who scoff at those black women who have finally accepted themselves and call them nappy headed and show absolute loathe and disgust towards them?? I don’t think ppl should purposely and blatantly put others down for wearing their hair straight but there is nothing wrong with the sigh of relief of being natural. Hell, I guess you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. And hopefully the natural movement will STICK, since we are STUCK with hair. LOL

    And this article has a very strong and borderline malicious tone and its rather lengthy. Why so much energy being put on black women who are simply a little over zealous with their rediscovery of themselves which will probably fade with time…..

  • Tanner

    Very well written, Charing. A girl I met at a friend’s birthday party looked at me with disdain because I chose to straighten my hair that day. I didn’t know this girl from ADAM and she told me I hated myself and that I was a very unhappy person. Que? I was so taken aback. People should do what makes them happy. As long as you’re styling and profiling, it doesn’t matter what the heck you do. The only thing I don’t like to see is a woman with a horrible ‘do. Unhealthy hair is bad hair. If you like it straight, straighten it. If you like it curly, twirl away. You want a bob? Chop it. But in all things, keep it moving and keep it fly ’til you die.

  • Ker0ppi_2001

    Tell it girl!  I went natural in 2004.  I had a girlfriend that was natural with a full head of hair and my hair was break a lot due to relaxers.  Eventually I just went to the salon and cut it.  It wasn’t some epic calling from the hair gods. It was what it was.  No pictures of the journey at every stage. No length checks.  I went to a salon every three weeks and had my twist done because like you I did not have the patience.  Never heard of a length check, BC, APL, etc. until like a year and 1/2 ago.  Then all of a sudden the bashing begins on relaxed hair.  I got rid of my relaxed hair not because I had some how overcome my “eurocentric” straight hair complex but because it didn’t work for me.  Some of the nastiness towards women who use chemicals in their hair is over the top.  Get over yourselves people…its just hair! 

  • Candacey Doris

    There’s no one crazier then a recent convert. That goes for both religion and hair freaks! I had this crazy woman with a TWA try and cut my hair  on the subway a few years ago! Talking about how i was brainwashed by Europeans. Can’t hair just be hair?

  • http://twitter.com/harlo harlo

    “nappy-jihadist” is a domain name you should register, lady!

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  • Moon-lyte

    That was too funny and sadly true!… I have met several women who thought just because I have natural locs I am some how part of their hair cult… Unfortunately even though I love my hair (most days) I do not think that those who wear weaves, have perms or other chemically based enhancments are in any way less beautiful (unless their do is just not done). …You made some really good points!

  • http://www.womenaregamechangers.com/ WomenAreGamechangers

    I agree the newbies are getting out of control. I’ve been natural over 9.5 year. It wasn’t even really a term and no one was doing it in 2002. I just got tired of perms. That’s all. No awakening for me. I love being natural and I don’t tell others they need to lay off the creamy crack either. To each her own. I just feel being natural is the best decision for me. period. But now I get questions all the time from newbies on what to do. I answer them and move on. Being natural is not a trend or fad for me. It’s a decison I choose to commit to for the rest of my llife.

  • http://www.womenaregamechangers.com/ WomenAreGamechangers

    I agree the newbies are getting out of control. I’ve been natural over 9.5 year. It wasn’t even really a term and no one was doing it in 2002. I just got tired of perms. That’s all. No awakening for me. I love being natural and I don’t tell others they need to lay off the creamy crack either. To each her own. I just feel being natural is the best decision for me. period. But now I get questions all the time from newbies on what to do. I answer them and move on. Being natural is not a trend or fad for me. It’s a decison I choose to commit to for the rest of my llife.

  • mscoco04

    love this article…lol!!!…I am a black woman who doesn’t wear perms, and do try to eat and live as healthy as possible for ME and not anyone else…I have never tried to push my opinions on others as far as how sistahs should wear their hair…to be honest, some women NEED perms…my sister is one…if she doesn’t have her hair permed then she is not happy and I hate to see her unhappy…to each his own but we need to stop trying to make everyone fit our mold of what people should be (beauty in variety!!!)

  • Imoteda

    THANK YOU!!! I get teh natural hair struggle I really do but it’s such a personal thing that I don’t understand how someone can feel comfortable looking you up and down and then annoucing that your relaxed state is detrimental to your well being and your future unborn babies. And now men are joining the Natural Nazis (sorry this is what I call them). I shaved my head yesterday and one fo my guys friends had the nerve to look at me and say “WOW! You finally look like a beautiful black woman!” Like what? Yesterday when I had my relaxed mohawk what did I look like? Some Hybrid woman from MArs. GTFOH

  • Lovetakeover

    Im trying to go natural.  I dont like it and it’s too much work.  I will be going back to the perm next month.  And Im an African American who lives in Europe.  Black hair care products are not readily available, but I will make do. With that, Im tired of the naturals calling us permed and weaved folks less confident or that we’re trying to be other than black. If your confidence stems from your hair then you are the one with the problem. 

    • Meagan

      I’m natural and I live in Europe too! It is hard to be natural if you don’t have a clue how to maintain your hair. The MN site helped me a lot! I now use natural products like chamomille shampoo, pure coconut oil conditioner, amla oil, pure shea butter etc. etc.. You can find these products at your local weave store, an asian store (toko) or a green store. And if you want a protective style without stress, you can always braid your hair. It’s winter anyways

  • FAMURN

    I think the issue comes from the term “natural.” It starts the divide. Just because someone has a relaxer does not make them “un natural.” I currently have locs, my sister wears weaves, and my mama gets a relaxer and goes to the salon every two weeks. We are all black women. It’s just hair. To each its own.

  • Mrsadkiah

    OH MY GOODNESS THANK YOU! I have been saying the same exact things. I am SO annoyed w/the naturals that are hell bent on defining what a “real natural” is & what it takes to be really natural. Sure everyone has their own thoughts & opinions about what natural is but why does it matter? Also I find myself having to constantly remind some other naturals that going natural means different things for people. “Like most ladies, I love my hair.  However unlike most natural converts, I am not, nor have I ever been, sentimental with my hairstyle choice” you took the words RIGHT OUT of my mouth. While I do call mine a journey, it’s more to me like changing up my style, so I document the changes and adjustment to that style. I understand the struggles that our people have had & still have w/accepting our our own beauty, I don’t downplay that. But these preachy women get us nowhere. If a girl want’s relaxed hair let her do her. As long as she comfortable w/herself. Besides I know plenty of women who are doing the natural thing just b/c they feel as though they should. They feel that being natural is showing that they love being Black, all the while they’re just honestly not feeling the natural look. DO YOU PEOPLE. Do what makes you feel pretty and ignore all the crazys! 

  • Natural Sista

    YAASS!! I have been “natural” since WAAAYYY before it was widely accepted (when ppl still talked ish about Maxwell’s style, lol) and it honestly came about because I moved to a neighborhood that did not sell “ethnic products” (real story.). I just chopped it off rather than relax my own hair, and I didn’t cry, or lecture people, or felt different in general. I am so glad they have better products now, because all they used to have was S-curl spray/get!! I feel bad sometimes because I can’t join the choir when they start preaching, and for some reason I get attacked alot by weaved up girls (I. Have. NO. Idea. Why.), and I get some of the most rediculous comments at work, but I just can’t get that worked up about the issue.I imagine there’s a girl right now with a weave or relaxed hair that feels exactly the same wondering the same thing.LOL

  • Msmykimoto2u

    I compeletly agree. I could not stand when women tried to tell me that going natural is where it was at because before I did my big chop, and still getting relaxers, my hair was still very healthy, thick, and did not shed hardly and i hardly wore weaves because it was long enough. When I did make the decision to go natural it was because i did not have time to go to the salon or the money and honestly even though i wont be going back to the the relaxer, i felt my hair was less of a hassle straight. But I have learned to love my hair the way it grown from head but that doesnt make it any better than any other way someone else chooses to wear their hair

    • Msmykimoto2u

      And also, some styles that I wore when my hair was straight I will not be able to achieve with my natural hair and vice versa but that is the beauty with black hair. Its like art. No one looks the same and we can shape and mold our hair however which we choose and have people in awe. I just think people need to get off their high horses.

  • TJ

    Thank you so very much for writing this article. I wish every black woman who is natural could read this to gain a bit of sense. I can not stand reading some of the comments women write about other women who prefer to wear a weave or get a relaxer. Umm boo just because you have been natural all of 5 minutes does not give you the right to criticize others. It’s their damn hair why you so pressed about it? I am natural myself but I don’t feel the need to preach to others or put them down for the choices they make. Natural hair is not for everybody trust I know because it can be a beast to manage. You do whatever you want with your hair and let others do the same.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LPDQRWCX4UVPVSXFDRE2CNE4BQ Jessica

    I am natural and I love being natural, but I don’t use my hair to make a political statement. And I am not one of those “hair nazi’s” that are always judging other women because of their choice of hairstyle. But I do get tired of the remarks from those sistas who choose to wear their hair bone straight. I have heard “she know she need a perm”, or her hair looks like she stuck her finger in the socket”….ish like that. Sad thing is, it’s always another sista making the messed up comments.  Some of us have such a low opinion of ourselves that we have to have everyone elses approval.  I don’t care who don’t like the way I wear my hair, you can either hold your tongue or turn your head.

  • Harlemangel114

    Preach!!!! i’m so sick of the natural hair nazis. These woman go crazy over being natural- “you gotta go poo, dc, abcdefg” “whats ur regimen” “omg u use mineral oil, u crazy”. Its like there are so many “rules”. and lets not get into the products aspect of it. Its just too much. All of that mess can be really confusing, discouraging and overwhelming for someone who is thinking of going natural. I do what the hell I want to do to my hair. I went natural over a year ago and for me there is more upkeep to it than with my relaxed hair.  

    • Nyclovesletisha

      I agree with you. I’ve been natural for years and I believe hair is just hair!

    • LaLaLaMeansILoveYou

      I agree…it’s overwhelming! Find something that works for you and keep it moving. I went natural a couple of years ago and I always said if I ever get to the point where the upkeep is more than my relaxer days i will be back in CVS with a box of olive oil relaxer in my hands before you can say “silky smooth” :)

      On another note…while I had been relaxing my hair for years, I was NEVER a fan of weaves. I never talked badly about women who wore them, I just hated them for myself and always said that i would never get one. While this seemed ok to say when I was relaxed, I find that I get jumped on now for saying that as a natural haired woman. And yes, I have gotten the “natural nazi” remark thrown at me. It seems as if natural women can no longer express themselves about a different type of hair without being referred to as one.

      Why is that? I’ve ALWAYS hated weaves whether I was natural or relaxed. Hated them for MYSELF…but to each his own. I’m not a “natural nazi”, I’m a woman who (like every other woman I know) has an opinion about hair. Last time I checked, that was allowed. This is not directed at you either HarlemAngel, I just get tired of being called a nazi for having an opinion when everyone else I know has one as well. And theirs are just as condescending as people say the natural girls are…

  • Nia

    Thank you! I am a YT fan and I see the comments people leave on the natural or permed hair channels and its absolutely idiotic. Stupid people just finding another reason to claim superiority to others. SMH

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003085266535 Courtney Small

    while in the past we were taught that our natural hair was something to be ashamed of. It’s now taking on a whole new meaning, anyone who hair isn’t natural is less of a black woman.  Hair is just hair. there are lots of woman who have cancer and are bald. India said it best, Im am not my hair

  • Laura

    Preach! It is just hair… and while I understand how natural was ostracized in the past b/c we were taught to hate ourselves, it is time to place that stigma to the side and get over it. I love my hair. I am currently natural but I have been down pretty much every route (except dreds). I will never get on somebody for not being natural. Black hair is all about versatility. Do you!

    • Gerri G

      I totally agree! I have rocked just about every styly excpt locs. I love being natural. But in no way do I condem people who rock weave relaxers and wigs! 2 words YOUR CHOICE!

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