Monday, May 26, 2008

I'm not just being bitter here

To all you natural hair Nazis:

First of all, shut up. This is not a post to bash natural hair, but it would be nice if the information out there on natural hair styles was more balanced, at least so that idiots like yours truly who know absolutely nothing about maintaining natural hair were forewarned that having natural hair has its own disadvantages, as much, if not more than relaxed hair does.

We could start by admitting that there’s such a thing as “pretty” natural hair,

and then at the other extreme, the not so “pretty” (guess which I have?)

It’s the coarsest, most unmanageable curliest hair texture imaginable. Short of braided styles, there isn’t much I can do with my natural hair since I live in a hot humid climate, the sort Houston has. The humidity causes the hair to frizz up and shrink to nothing, while creating a tangled unsightly mess sitting atop my head. So here in good old H-Town you’d be hard pressed to find someone with this hair texture wearing their hair out in afros, twist-outs or one of the many widely touted natural hair styles. And if so, the person has a lot more time on her hands than the average person. Or maybe a particular area in her life is being severely neglected (kids probably think she’s the nanny or something). The point is, there’s a trade-off: You can do so much more with your natural hair, but it comes at the expense of valuable time.

I’m just asking for more honesty, where the current consensus out there in books, online, word of mouth—that natural hair is oh so easy—is exposed as fallacious. I know I’d definitely appreciate natural hair being seen as an alternative, as neither better nor worse, just another option. I know we want to encourage more black women to let go of the use of chemical products on their hair, but please, let’s not sugarcoat the truth.


  1. Wow, um, I'd say that maintaining it is just different, not any harder. But I hope that you start to see your own hair as pretty. But hey, diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks.

  2. Oh I like my hair. It's just not a very practical style for me at the moment. I'm sure I'll get better with practice though; here I was just venting :)

  3. It took a decade for me to learn how to handle my natural hair. I'm still learning.

    If you want to get a relaxer though, hey, feel free.

    Member of the National Natural Hair Nazi Association (NNHNA)



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