It’s Just Hair: 5 Thoughts on this Natural vs. Creamy Crack Stuff

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We should have a tv show. Call it the Bald and the Beautiful.

Hahaha. That would be interesting. Do you think people would watch?

Men would until they realized it was about a bald dude and a natural hair chick. Women would because you’re natural and I like it. You know how yall get your Voltron on.

You are so dumb.

For real.

I never thought about all this natural hair hoopla until I started blogging. When I was in college, I saw afros, locs, curls, perms and just about any other hair style you could think of. I just thought people were expressing themselves and exercising their freedom. I mean hey, that’s what I was doing.

When I was a freshman, I grew my hair out; not because I wanted to be part of any particular movement, but because I’d just graduated from a military high school where I had to keep the caesar and a bare face.  College was my first opportunity to be completely “free.” Nobody could tell me to get a haircut or that my belt buckle wasn’t perfectly aligned with the buttons on my shirt. In retrospect, I probably looked like a walking mugshot, but it didn’t matter. It was my choice.

I didn’t realize how significant a black woman’s hair was in the grand scheme of the universe until I started writing in 2008. Prior to that, hair was just hair unless it looked a mess. You know what I mean. People walking around looking like Nubian Medusas. But when I started writing, I discovered all these blogs and online communities. Topics like Good Hair vs. Bad Hair and Light Skin vs. Dark Skin were (and continue to be) normal discussions. I discovered the many layers of Ning and heard about more niche sites like Fotki. It wasn’t too long after that that Chris Rock had a movie rocking out in theaters. Since then, the hair movement — iddy biddy curls to 6 foot, 7 foot, 8 foot fros —  has picked up steam and become a media and advertising mainstay. I don’t like it or dislike it. I just accept it for what it is.

This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion on hair courtesy of the good folks at Curly Girl Collective. When I accepted the invite, I didn’t know what to expect. I remember thinking to myself “I’m not a hair expert, nor do I have any controversial opinions on what a woman should do with that which grows outta her head. So how the hell am I gonna contribute to a discussion on a topic that doesn’t sway me strongly in one way or the other?”

I found a way and I made it work.

I’ll spare you the overall event review (it wad dope), but I do wanna share five random thoughts on this whole hair discussion. They are in no particular order.

1. Not being natural or pro natural doesn’t mean you hate yourself or your culture.

A gentleman in the crowd stepped to the mic and commented on how natural is the way to go. I was fine with that. Then he started talking about how non-natural hair women are ashamed of their culture. My head did the Stewie Griffin tilt. He continued on for a bit with similar rhetoric and I found my eyes parallel to the wall and my systolic/diastolic on an elevator.

This whole conversation irks me. Being natural does not convey any more love for oneself or their culture than any other type of hair style or texture. I have no stats to back it up, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I really wish we’d stop telling people they hate themselves or their Blackness when they don’t do what we think they should be doing.

2. You should not make any significant change to yourself without talking to your significant other.

We spent some time talking about “The Big Chop.” More specifically, the question of if a man should have any say in what his woman does with her hair? This turned into a bigger discussion on major changes in appearance in general. Franchesca Ramsey aka Chescaleigh aka Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls commented that she wouldn’t feel required to consult with her boo before making a significant change to herself (At this point we were talking hair and tattoos). To paraphrase, it was her decision not his, and he should be able to accept it.

See, I agree that a woman (or man) can do whatever they’d like to their body. I don’t agree on the idea of “This is my body so I’m just going to do what I want, not tell you, then be surprised when you’re upset by the change.” If you’re considering a significant alteration, you need to talk about it with your significant other. You don’t have to do what they tell you to, but they at least should have their opinion heard. Even if you know they’ll be fine with it, communicating the change beforehand does wonders for making him or her feel included.

3. Most men don’t care until it looks bad.

Whether it’s weaves, perms, half wigs or whatever else, most men don’t care unless it looks bad. I say this because I think about the times I’ve pointed out an attractive woman only to have the woman next to me point out that the attractive chick is rocking someone else’s hair and provide an analysis of how she knew. I don’t care about all that! Now you’re appearing unattractive!

4. One of the best things about natural hair styles is that they are distinct. Not that they are natural.

Men like visually appealing and distinct looks. They are easy to remember and describe when we’re talking to each other  - – particularly in public. Example: “Do you see shorty over there with voluminous curly goodness?” “Yeah fam, you gonna holler?”

And when we’re dating a woman with a distinct look, it feels pretty good when you’re out and about and see both sexes looking… and women doling out compliments and asking style questions. It’s a little bit of an ego boost.

5. The beauty of a black woman’s hair is that she could wear it a 1,000 ways on 1,000 days and still look good.

Aight, so maybe not 1,000, but you get my drift. You have options. Plenty of them. Everybody may not be a fan of every style, but at the end of the day that doesn’t really matter does it?

These are my thoughts on this hair stuff. What are yours?

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  • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan.

    I agree with all your points, I've dated permed, weaved, dreaded, big haired women. Their hair wasn't the reason i approached (okay maybe the big curly haired one because of my Beyonce bias) and it wasn't the reason i lost interest. I don't want to control my girl but i would like to be considered on random appearance changes, just like i wouldn't randomly shave my head or grow a Rick Ross beard without at least asking what she would think. #3 is key, i'm fairly oblivious if its done right i cant tell if its weave, permed or just pressed and i don't want to know. I won't notice when you get your eyebrows done but i will notice if they're not. Keep it done, be able to financially support the upkeep and dont go Issa Rae'ing without some kinda warning and we good
    My recent post Today’s Word is… DATE

  • BlueSteele

    I'd like to +1 this entire article Slim. Hopefully we can dead that whole "natural=self love, permed=self hate" mess, kinda disturbing. I love my hair, and being able to switch up the look, but I'm sooooo over the conversations about it.

  • http://www.singleblackmale.org/author/wisdomismisery/ WisdomIsMisery

    I agree with every word of this post.

  • http://herlilblackbook.com HLBB

    #5 – THANK YOU!

    I recently did the big chop and while certain brothers have been quick to say “you looked better before” I give ‘em a side eye and move on. My mom put me on the creamy crack at 9, because she thought it would be more convenient to take care of mass of hair I had. So for 25 years, I wore it texturized, straight, woven and occasionally in cane rows (West Indian heritage) for convenience and versatility.

    But yes. There was the underlying belief that my natural hair was “difficult”, “hard”, “unruly”… But with my straightened hair, I always envied the girls with the curls. Thinking my “nappy head” couldn’t do that.

    25 years later. I saw this piece: http://video.nytimes.com/video/2012/05/31/opinion/100000001579773/transition.html

    Again, I wished that I had hair like that.
    (lightbulb)
    “You probably HAVE hair like that”

    Chopped it a week later.

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jermaine-spradley/a-millennial-manifesto-jobs_b_956053.html Most

    I'm bout to throw a chair … I know.

    But. why not. So here's my question…

    Can we, as a people, come to a consensus on what constitutes "natural" hair? I know a lot of women who use a hot comb or flat iron, but don't use any chemicals who walk around saying their hair is natural. I also know a lot of women who put products in their hair to make it all loose and curly.

    So my question is: When we say 'natural' do we mean wearing your hair with no chemicals. Or do we mean wearing your hair in its natural texture. I'm just tryna get some clarity here.
    My recent post It’s Just Hair: 5 Thoughts on this Natural vs. Creamy Crack Stuff

    • http://www.iamrichjones.com Slim Jackson

      I was informed at the panel that it means chemicals weren't used that changed the texture. But I will defer to the ladies for further definition.
      My recent post How I Used LinkedIn As My Career Consultant

    • Lioness Rising

      that is actually a discussion which is debated among naturals. I have seen it get heated. There is a message board where they WILL NOT allow talk about using a flat iron. They say you should only wear you hair in its natural state. Last time I went on there was in HS. I'll reserve my thoughts on some of the women on there. I saw if you don't have a perm you are natural, others think different.

      • Muze

        i was on that board and that's actually the reason i stopped visiting it. though i did make a lot of awesome friends prior to my departure.

        i feel like it's not that deep. as long as you don't have a perm or texturizer then you're natural. i dare someone tell me i'm not natural on a day because i choose to press my hair out. lawd. lol
        My recent post Boomerang

      • http://twitter.com/inomallday Shamira

        i find this to be so ridiculous, because the amount of product that curly haird people, or fro'ed out people put in to make their hair just right….sheeeeit, some put heat to make their "natural curls" set better! (bowl dryer deep conditioning, anyone?). I wear my hair straight fairly frequently, but the second a drop of water hits my head it goes to my natural state. I don't have to grow it out to fix my curl pattern.

        Sidenote: a lot of these so-called naturalistas never want to admit that they have bias to what constitutes "good" natural hair…but I'm sleep. *takes chill pill*

        • Muze

          !!!!!! lol.

          i used to be a "product junkie"

          until i realized that water and coconut oil love my hair long time. and you're right. i went to a natural meetup once and they were all talking about how they all expected to have tracie ross curls when they went natural. lolol
          My recent post Boomerang

        • http://twitter.com/inomallday Shamira

          lol. I realized how full of crap people were when they blasted her for her nappy short afro but fawned over her 'big hair, don't care' "natural" curls that was clearly a big-a** sew in. I don't know why people just don't live and let live. I don't care what you put in your hair (unless I want my to look like yours) so stop being so pressed about what I do to mine.

          Some chick tried to tell me I was conforming to a European standard or whatever b/c i applied heat to my hair and I gave her the biggest side-eye in life. I don't have an extra hour every day to make my curls look right. Keep it straight and I can just walk out the door every day for a week. There's no other thought process to it. Smh

        • redlady821

          I admit that natural hair is a lot of work, but as long as it looks good, I say go for it! Blow it straight, let it go curly, deep condition it, wash n' go, whatever works, but I do think that black women have evolved past perms. Something about putting that hot lye chemical on your scalp does seem rather morbidly conformist.

    • Young Heaux

      Everybody uses product. I will agree with Slim's response that chemicals/heat treatments used to change the texture is not natural. I press my hair out all the time and I know that ish aint "natural." Sorry to all the chicks thinking you're natural…but you aint.

      • Muze

        straightening your hair with heat and straightening it with a perm are two different things. if you primarily wear your hair straight and it won't revert back to it's natural texture, then maybe you have a point. but i know mad naturals that straighten their hair maybe four times a year (as do i) and they're definitely natural. i will say that people who have been natural for many years don't really bother with worrying about if straightening their hair makes them "less natural." it's just a style change like anything else.
        My recent post Boomerang

        • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jermaine-spradley/a-millennial-manifesto-jobs_b_956053.html Most

          Nah son nah son. Natural is natural in my book. If I grew my hair out and hot combed it and then people were like… "Yo Sprads, WTF is up with your hair?" and I was like "Oh, I decided to grow it out and be natural" y'all would look at me like I was crazy … because … no matter how I got my hair to be straight … y'al would know that my hair is not naturally straight. That's the point to me.

          Now… I don't care how anybody's hair is as long as it looks good. I don't prefer anything over anything. I just want people to keep it real. Natural is natural. I said this on FB:

          You can't be lukewarm in the kingdom of natural hair.
          My recent post It’s Just Hair: 5 Thoughts on this Natural vs. Creamy Crack Stuff

        • Muze

          no. nah son to YOU. lol

          i've been natural for eight years. i don't know ONE natural person (and i know a whole lot) that hasn't straightened, or braided, or dyed their hair at all.

          dying your hair is more unnatural than pressing it with a hotcomb. when you're chemically altering your hair permanently, then yes you have a point. you put a perm in your beard then yes.

          most of the naturals you see used some product to alter their texture to make it curlier or "defined" that day. so… by your logic… no one is natural.
          My recent post Boomerang

        • redlady821

          no. nah son to YOU! *dying laughing*. I have heard this conversation before, you know, if you color your hair are you still natural? I say YEP, because I am not altering the actual texture of my hair. *sigh* I need to go to class, but I have had fun on here today.

        • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jermaine-spradley/a-millennial-manifesto-jobs_b_956053.html Most

          I think that's my point – that nobody … or … very few people really wear their hair natural. We've just altered the definition as to what natural really is to fit what we want it to be.

          The word "natural" is not ambiguous at all. Natural is natural.
          My recent post It’s Just Hair: 5 Thoughts on this Natural vs. Creamy Crack Stuff

        • Lioness Rising

          See, this puts more limits on being natural, when being natural is supposed to be freeing. If I want to temporaily change the look of my hair, I shouldn't be stripped of my "natural" label.

          All races of women change their hair, they straighten and curl it how they feel and you would still call them natural, so why can't we do the same? Lets not put boundaries up where they don't need to be.

        • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jermaine-spradley/a-millennial-manifesto-jobs_b_956053.html Most

          If you view "not-natural" as pejorative then my statement is limiting. But if you view it ambivalently – as I do – then it doesn't change anything accept the semantics of it all.

          That's the greater point I'm trying to make that neither is better or worse, neither is more culturally aware or less culturally aware, both are often filled with stereotypes and neither are truly accurate.

          You hear the phrase "I am not my hair" often. If one really is not their hair, there's no need to worry about whether you fit into the natural hair click. It's just hair. And if being in this natural hair clique wasn't important to people, people wouldn't expand the definition of natural as it has been in order to encompass whatever non-natural things they do to style their hair in a way that is acceptable to whatever segment of the world's population they feel a particular kinship with or need to conform to.
          My recent post It’s Just Hair: 5 Thoughts on this Natural vs. Creamy Crack Stuff

        • Young Heaux

          Well when I said that, I meant your hair ain't natural like as a state. In my opinion, You can be a "natural girl" I guess if you only straighten a few times a year, but if your hair is currently pressed out–in that moment, its not natural.

    • BlueSteele

      In my book, If you throw water on that ish and it curls/kinks/waves/naps back up…you're likely "natural". Lol

      • http://www.iamrichjones.com Slim Jackson

        lol at the water test. Why can I see someone intentionally splashing a chick's hair with water and being like "I knew it!" hahaha
        My recent post How I Used LinkedIn As My Career Consultant

        • BlueSteele

          LMBO!

        • BlueSteele

          Ok, real question; how do I stop the self voting every time I post something? I don't need an auto +1 on every comment. #newbie

        • http://www.iamrichjones.com Slim Jackson

          I didn't know that was automatically happening. I thought people were just voting for themselves to get things rolling. Now I'm intrigued.
          My recent post How I Used LinkedIn As My Career Consultant

  • Lioness Rising

    I have been natural almost my whole life. Had one perm at the age of 9, thats it. The way Slim described his experience with his hair is how its supposed to be, personal. My senior year of HS, I decided to stop using flat irons, cut off my hair, and started over on a "healthy hair journey". There were a few blogs and message boards around but the "natural hair movement" had barely started. I was on my own. And I liked it that way. It was a personal choice to wear my hair the way I did. People asked me questions instead of just assuming things about me. Now, this whole movement means that you have tons of voices speaking for you. People assume I subscribe to CurlBox, watch XYZ youtuber, when I may or may not. People assume that because I am natural I would never wear my hair straight or wear a wig/weave– I have done both. Funny thing is just as there is harmony and unity around hair, there is arguing and bickering as well. Its gotten to be too much.

    • http://www.therealslimjackson.com Slim Jackson

      "People asked me questions instead of just assuming things about me. Now, this whole movement means that you have tons of voices speaking for you. People assume I subscribe to CurlBox, watch XYZ youtuber, when I may or may not. People assume that because I am natural I would never wear my hair straight or wear a wig/weave– I have done both."

      It's interesting talking to people who have been natural their whole life or for a number of years about all the hoopla. I find most to be underwhelmed and not inclined in the least to be a part of any movement.
      My recent post I Refuse to Live the Internet Life: So What’s The Real Slim Jackson Anyway?

  • The CPT

    I find #3 your most relevant statement.
    Although I have sisters and have heard and seen it all…I still don't understand why so much of a woman's identity is tied to her hair and that is only because men don't have to worry about it.
    With that said, I like sistas that look comfortable rocking what they rock. I do like the naturally curly but styled looks I see nowadays and I still abhor anything "Added on" like weave and wigs. The main thing I dislike about the weave and wigs is the poor selection in texture in color which so many attempt to do. It also gets to be a bit disheartening when I'm looking at a sista from behind and she has this long flowing hair that I know ain't hers hanging to her butt and then a white woman walks by…Yeah…I'm going to get some thumbs down for that but think about it…that's so imitation is the best for of flattery type ish. Last thing: somebody give guidance to the under 25ers please. Hot mess is becoming the new fly.

    • redlady821

      White women rock weaves on the regular. You think all white women can grow their hair? They can't. If a white woman is rocking hair down to her butt, more than likely she has a weave just like the sister.

  • RedLady821

    This was the most blatantly middle of the road liberal article I have ever read about a black woman’s hair. Slim, to me it was written as though you didn’t want to offend anybody and most certainly you did not, but I truly believe that men are more vocal and opinionated than this about a woman, her hair, how she wears it, whether it’s long, short etc. Hell, men have broken up with women for cutting their hair short or losing the perm and going natural. It’s a lot bigger than what you’re portraying in this article.

    I’m not trying to create controversy, but hit me up when you REALLY want to talk!

    • BlueSteele

      "Hell, men have broken up with women for cutting their hair short or losing the perm and going natural."

      I call bullsh!t.

      They were probably more offended by the shock factor than the actual hairstyle. That whole "It's my body and I don't need to ask for permission" line implies that you don't give a d*mn about his opinion.

      • redlady821

        Why are you calling bullshit over the fact that I know men who have broken up with women for cutting their hair short or going natural? I know men who have done that. Some men have very strong opinions about what they like and don't like. I didn't give the ït's my body and I don't need to ask for permission"line…you did. I call bullshit on your bullshit.

        • BlueSteele

          I certainly believe that there are men who care that much about a woman's looks (I hope I don't meet one). What I'm saying is that I believe men are more put off by being surprised by a sudden change than the look itself, especially if it was cute. Too many women forget that men really just want to be a part of the conversation and throw out that line. Personally, when I've done something major, I primed the guy a little just so he wasn't completely caught off guard.

          Notice I didn't say ask for permission, but a simple heads up that goes something like:

          Hey babe, I'm thinking of cutting/coloring/whatever my hair soon

          -Oh really? Like what

          Insert hairstyle here..

          -Will I still be able to touch it?

          Sure

          -Ok, cool. (Returns to watching the Steelers game)

        • redlady821

          OK that makes perfect sense.

  • http://www.therealslimjackson.com Slim Jackson

    Bullsh*t. I'm gonna need you to read better.

    "I’m not a hair expert, nor do I have any controversial opinions on what a woman should do with that which grows outta her head. So how the hell am I gonna contribute to a discussion on a topic that doesn’t sway me strongly in one way or the other?"

    I don't know how much more obvious I could've made it that I am indeed a Hair Liberal. Thanks for helping me come up with a term to describe myself when asked about this topic though.

    Saying I didn't want to offend anybody is just as bad as saying I was dishonest. My girl is natural and wears a bunch of styles. My last girl had the female equivalent of a caesar. The one before that had permed hair, the one before that had long straight hair. I can tell you that one of the last things I was worried about in those relationships (or current) was/is hair.

    I'm fine with disagreement. If the fellas think I'm wrong, they can call me out. If the ladies think there's more to it, they can respond. I just don't see or hear men (at least not the ones I'm around) going off about women's hair…unless it looked a mess.
    My recent post I Refuse to Live the Internet Life: So What’s The Real Slim Jackson Anyway?

  • redlady821

    You know I busted out laughing when I read your response.

    OK so you don't care about hair, but I really don't think that most men feel that way. I think that most men DO care about hair and have actual preferences on what they will and will not deal with when dating a woman and the way that she wears her locs.

    Saying you didn't want to offend anyone was NOT calling you dishonest it just meant that you wanted to make a statement while keeping the peace, that was how I interpreted what you wrote and I am entitled to interpret your writing in my own way am I not?

    If the ladies think there's more to it I wish they WOULD respond because the conversations that I am hearing on a regular basis are a lot more opinionated, a lot more direct and a lot meaner if you ask me. Black women have always been a target, so I don't see this particular topic any differently.

    • http://www.singleblackmale.org/author/wisdomismisery/ WisdomIsMisery

      Idk Red, I definitely don’t think men care as much about women’s hair as women care about women’s hair – including theirs and other women. Men like what looks good on a woman, whatever that look may be. I really don’t know any men that care that deeply other than moderate preferences and I’ve never had a convo with my homeboys about women’s hair types and I’m 30 years old (mind you we’ve spoken at length about T&A). Also, how are you going to tell men what men think? Of the many topics Slim or we could lie about, hair preferences doesn’t seem like one of them.

      • redlady821

        @ WIM I'm going to have to get back to you on that one because I'm in class…but I do have a response.

      • redlady821

        @WIM I will say that I live in a house full of men and their male friends are always over so I get hit upside the head with the male thought process on a regular basis – OK back to work.

        • http://www.singleblackmale.org/author/wisdomismisery/ WisdomIsMisery

          I would only offer that men’s preferences usually aren’t exclusionary. Meaning if a man prefers long or natural hair or whatever doesn’t mean he’ll turn down an attractive woman that’s the exact opposite. If a man prefers “natural” hair or “long hair,” I assure you hell likely just as quickly entertain a Amber Rose looking bald woman. I observe this a lot. A man says he prefers “X” and women seem to assume that means he dislikes “Y” and that is usually just not the case. I still maintain that men like attractive women, period. And as Slim said, what lies on top of her head is a minimal factor unless what lies atop her head that makes her unattractive – whatever this look may entail. Thats my 2 cents anyway.

        • http://www.iamrichjones.com Slim Jackson

          "A man says he prefers "X" and women seem to assume that means he dislikes "Y" and that is usually just not the case."

          Barack voice & translation: "That's just not true."
          My recent post How I Used LinkedIn As My Career Consultant

        • Rhenewal

          I agree with Slim and WIM on this one. As someone who once had a perm to mid-back, rocked a two-foot for, did massive bouncy curls, and now has locks to my shoulders, men care, but they don’t care all that much. A guy who thinks you’re attractive will approach despite you not having his “preferred” hair style/texture.
          I will say, though, that one of the most irritating things an ex used to do wad try to convince me (in the fro/curls days) to relax my hair because “it would look so good, so long and beautiful”.

    • Shelly

      Yea I don't think it's that deep. Wis actually hit the nail on the head. Just because he prefers X does not mean he won't like Y. I am natural (no perm). I dye my hair. I may cut my hair. I straighten my hair. Any changes I decide I want to make I discuss with my man. He says he prefers when my hair is big and curly. But he doesn't hate me or wanna leave me when I get my Dominican blowout. He liked my hair when I had blonde highlights. He liked when my hair was red. He was skeptical on the current black color but now he loves it. I think the guys are just trying to say that hair isn't necessarily a deal breaker. That would make them incredibly shallow and I refuse to believe the majority of men are gonna say screw you boo if his girl changes her hair.

  • Muze

    i'm so over the natural vs perm thing.

    probably because i've been natural for so long. and let me tell yall. having a perm was WAY easier than the first 3-4 years of me being natural. i like being natural because of the diversity of styles. i can braid it, press it, loc it, straighten it, wear a puff, wear a fro, wear a curly fro wash n' go, etc. other than that… i think the longer you've been natural, the less you worry about these natural v perm debates.
    My recent post Boomerang

    • http://twitter.com/inomallday Shamira

      +1 man. my curls literally dry a different way every day. Everytime I find a routine and stick to it, deez strands be ackin' up. My straight hair just sits there with little to no maintenance (except when I work out. welp.) Convenience alone just makes it not that deep to me. one of these days I'm just gonna slap a weave on it and call it a day.I don't have time to stress over my tresses. Lol

    • Lioness Rising

      I'm natural because 1. I hate the smell of chemicals 2. The perm made me go bald, my hair is too fine for that. If I had thick strong hair and didn't worry about chemicals in my brain, I would go for it.

      I agree after being natural for a long time, you get over all this BS.

      • RPrice

        I'm tired over that natural vs. relaxed saga myself and I've been natural for a year. Of all the problems in the world, people having strokes over hair texture.

  • redlady821

    You're just saying that because you have "good hair" LMAO! (Only teasing Muse). I'm leaving now.

  • Streetz

    You say no to ratchet hairstyles, Vaughn Streetz Caint!
    My recent post Morning Motivation: Overcoming The Most Annoying Week of 2012

  • Dr. J

    "Aight, so maybe not 1,000, but you get my drift. You have options. Plenty of them. Everybody may not be a fan of every style, but at the end of the day that doesn’t really matter does it?"

    Next question.

    "These are my thoughts on this hair stuff. What are yours?"

    Next question.

  • cynicaloptmst81

    I went natural to save money and time! I was working, in school, singing in a group all with a kid on the way and the last thing I had time to do was sit for 4-6 hours in someone's hair salon!!! And since I'm always behind schedule, I knew I wouldn't have time to deal with a newborn and do my hair in the morning. Something had to go…so I gave up permed hair. Nothing spiritual or "back-to-Africa" about that, lol.

    I keep the style cause it looks really good on me. I've already discussed it with the bf…he's totally against me cutting my locs off but cool with me cutting them shorter. And for as long as I continue to have a say-so concerning his wardrobe, I'll give him that, LOL. #FairTrade

  • BabyLeeGurl86

    Personally, I’ve been natural for a little over 2 years. I went natural because my permed hair was really damaged due to me always using a flat iron. And when I went natural, I big chopped… as in I had a fade. So, my reason for going natural was to get my hair healthy. Ultimately, I don’t care how anyone wears their hair. If you like perms and weaves, I’m like ‘do you boo’. Wearing your hair that way does not mean you have self hate issues. And me rocking my fro does not make me afrocentric. It’s just hair! Now, as far as men go, the only ones that I’ve had say something negative about me being natural, are older black men in their 50s. But men in my own age group? I’ve never heard them say anything bad about my hair. I think with most men, it boils down to whether or not a particular HAIRSTYLE looks good on YOU. I don’t think they really care whether or not its in it natural state or chemically altered or hidden under fake hair…

  • WisdomIsMisery

    +1

  • http://twitter.com/undefined @undefined

    I'm going to say that there is a really big chance that the views I am about to share are because I'm Hispanic. Because honestly, this post is the largest collection of hair-liberal men I have ever encountered. Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows I repost the running commentary on my hair, and it varies, but generally runs the "when are you gonna fix your hair so you can get a man/ it looks so nice when it's pressed gamut. But again, that's me. I'm not going to lie and say that I don't get completely different responses when my hair is curly vs pressed or that it doesn't bother me at times.
    What I have found is that the responses tend to vary by where the gentleman is from, and how high he is on the corporate ladder. Below the DMV, no issue. City slickers, "but it looks so nice straight!". Entrepreneurs/artists/general creatives? No issue. Lawyer/Finance/Entertainment on the corporate side? "I'll pay for your salon trip, just GO." For moi, it has more to do with what the visually expect from me once I tell them my last name than anything else.

    • Amaris

      well, my comment would have made a lot more sense had it actually posted my handle!

  • Sue

    Question of the day: Why is being natural only limited to hair texture and not color? Natural girls are usually the first ones to go and dye their hair but complain about chemicals. Last time I checked hair dye was a chemical. Anyone who does not see this but advocates otherwise is clearly a hypocrite. lets get to the bottom of this debate. Most women who profess being natural and down those who perm their hair are doing it to fill a void and join a trend. If you really did not use your hair to compare yourself to others, you wouldn't even need to classify yourself as "natural because I dont" or "Natural because i only…".

  • yellowpinkies

    Natural is how your hair grows out of your scalp the way God intended to. I've been natural for over 10 years and That's just my opinion, I'm sure there are many that will differ. To me, go for what's convenient for you Rocking a weave isn't convenient for me (or cost effective for that matter) just like, being natural probably isnt that for other people. Whatever style makes you comfortable in your own skin is what's most important and more people should be aware of that and be a little less judgey. I had to lay off many of the natural hair blogs because those "natural hair FBI" were trying to arrest and convict people for life. It's not that serious.Nice post! Keep em coming! :-)

  • Magg

    … I thought it was only hair until, ive been told by one of my friend who works in human ressources: "nobody will hire you with that hair"…
    So yes i agree with all that but somehow natural chicks are fighting some crazy battle they didnt even plan to fight in the first place (many of us became natural just for our hair to be healthier…).

    • redlady821

      That is so sad…(the HR comment)

  • Japera

    I am so tired of this "natural" hair debate. Here's my dissent: Having "natural" looking hair does not make one more conscious, Afro-centric, beautiful, more self-loving or better than anyone else. I know far too many "natural hair sistahs" that go through crazy unnatural processes and use unnatural products to get their hair to curl and kink. Further, far too many of them put on a POUND of clown makeup to go with their "natural wash and go" tresses (Not so natural looking in my opinion). These women I have typecast are the women that are the most obnoxious and loudest in this debate! And the men that support this debate, puerile! But here's the thing. I don't CARE! I truly believe that how one decides to wear their hair is immaterial to the core of their character and content of their beliefs. Don't be confused, I am just as vested in understanding myself in relation to the African Diaspora as the next "conscious" person although I like a good press (and a lot of times a little weave). Am I bound by the chains of euro-centric ideals of beauty or self-loathing because I like to wear my hair with a little less kink? In my humble opinion absolutely not! There were ancient African cultures and peoples that had naturally straighter hair. Moreover, I am part of a larger culture that does not recognize race nor creed, and certainly not hair texture as a requisite for beauty. I am a child of God, made in God's own image and likeness. In short what I am saying is, we need to stop finding ways to divide and separate ourselves from each other (especially African American women and men) and fighting over TRIVIAL things. I am convinced that God is not worried about the things you do to beautify your exterior self, God is concerned with what you are projecting into the world. God's love for us abounds and transcends all hair textures, skin colors, nations, cultures, etc. God has made so many forms of beauty that it's amazing! We should release the pettiness of arguing over what is more beautiful or culturally acceptable. While you (man or woman) are so concerned about what I am doing with my hair you may be missing an opportunity to be blessed by the wisdom that God has so graciously bestowed upon me. God's beauty (read: love) shines from within me, and what I do with my exterior is simply an artistic expression of it. If well coiffed hair is your only crowning glory (read: most impressive or most beautiful part of something), or your selection of a partner is based primarily off hair choices, you may in fact have a problem. I want my life to be impressive and reflective of God's glory, the way I wear my hair does not detract from it.

  • Pingback: Are Natural Hair Styles Better Than the Others | Beauty Blogs()

  • Dwayne

    When my lady at the time decided to go natural, I was a little worried about the ramifications that could develop(walking around with dry and unappealing hair) did not make me that happy. One thing I appreciated her for doing was taking me through the journey with her. It just wasn't a "her" thing it was an us thing. I became so educated on the benefits of going natural that when it came time for her to take that big chop we both were nervous. I was more nervous that my baby was going to have a big head and how she would look in other people eyes(shallow but I love the way my woman's hair flowed), she also had her fears, but after reading the books together, looking at how the progression would go, that when she sat in that chair to cut it. I couldn't help but be proud of her. She looked like Wonder Woman in that chair that day simply because I realized the courage it took and what she was aiming for. Her taking me along her journey made all the difference. Now I know so much about conditioning and locking twist(it scares me at time) that I now give advice to my friends who are taking that route. If she was just going about it like "it's my body and I will do what I want" I don't think I would have been so inclined to understand the initial stage of it and would have been angry. Now, she has groomed and nurtured it to such a beautiful state that she still to this day remains in my heart my empress and her hair looks amazingly beautiful and I learned that hair and how we treat it does have effects on our health as well. So my advice is that if you are going natural, take your man along the journey and don't just show up at home with your hair chopped off.