If Black women are taking back what is rightfully theirs and asking society to accept their natural hair then why do some women challenge other women about what it truly means to be natural?
We fight corporate America to have the freedom to “BE”, yet some of us still have to defend ourselves with one another when it comes to our natural hair. The reality of what defines natural hair differs from woman to woman. In fact there are three types of natural hair wearers: Naturalists, Mainstream Naturals and Relaxer Free Naturals.
· Naturalists—Use all natural products and never straighten their hair.
· Mainstream Naturals–Use whatever products they deem necessary for their natural or ironed-straight hairstyles. These women alternate between various styles.
· Relaxer Free Naturals—Wear ironed-straight hair regularly. Some may even mistakenly think that these women have chemicals in their hair.
So why is there so much fuss about who is really natural and who is not? Some Black women embrace the literal definition of natural which means “to exist in or caused by nature, not made or caused by humankind”. So literally, unless you wake up every day and walk out the door as is, all natural hair has been altered in some state.
The reality is that even the most natural of naturals probably have something unnatural in their hair. In our world today, many things are synthesized. Just think about it: If something were truly 100% natural, wouldn’t it expire quickly? Even products that claim to be natural have unnatural shelf lives or long expiration dates.
Even though we have come a long way from over processing our hair with chemicals, nothing is 100% natural, not even our natural products. Now, if you want to crack an egg and use raw fruit juices in your hair, “Go for it”! The reality is that most women who opt to go natural just are not able to do this.
Like our unique beauty, our hairstyles often are a reflection of our lifestyles or attitudes. This is an artistry that should be embraced, respected and encouraged. Since natural hair is liberating, let’s not create bondage for others by saying that someone is not natural enough.
Natural means being free of the unhealthy and negative views that bombard many Black women on a daily basis. Embrace your natural hair and all of the creative flare that goes along with it. Whether you are into being a Naturalist, Mainstream Naturals or Relaxer Free Naturals, the key is to just “BE!”
Angela Constable is a licensed cosmetologist with 22 years of experience. Her main objective is educating women of color on proper hair care that is personalized just for the individual as well as creating products that give our hair the needed health benefits for preventative maintenance. To learn more information about Angela and healthy hair, see www.majestyhaircare.com