Sometimes the way people take hair so seriously baffles me to be honest.
I’m not talking about haircare here. Let me explain what I mean.
I’ve seen posts about how the natural hair community discriminates within itself based on hair type i.e looser, silkier curls are preferred to tighter kinkier coils. The posts said this is evident in the way women with looser curls(think Type 3a-4a) are featured more on hairspiration posts/Instagram pages and even on product containers/ads. They also state that people tend to want that kind of hair and refer to it as “good hair”. Some even say this is because the hair looks more like caucasian hair and they will begin to give you a lecture on slave trade in the post.
To be honest, I have pictured myself with looser curls and imagined how pretty they would look. This doesn’t mean I have low self esteem and I hate my God-given hair as some posts go on to state.
Then there are the ones who say that texturized hair isn’t natural(I actually have no opinion on this but would like to hear yours), those who do twist outs, bantu knot outs and co are trying to mimic looser curls and thus have low self esteem(na wa), those with dyed hair are no longer natural(Please oh, my hair has been dyed), those who heat style their natural hair aren’t proper naturals, those who don’t use only organic, all-natural products also aren’t proper naturals etc
You would think being natural is like having one invisible panel somewhere inspect your hair strand by strand then stamp on your forehead “Accepted” or “Denied”.
Another angle is the ‘war’ against Team Natural and Team Relaxed. To be honest this is the most ridiculous one.
The “natural hair nazi” as they are often called will say people with relaxed hair are relaxing their hair to be beautiful based on the white man’s standard of judging beauty or they are trying to look like the white man or they have low self esteem and hate their heritage etc.
At the beginning of my hair journey I was almost pulled into the natural-hair-nazi hole because most of the sites I went to for help looked down on relaxed hair. Later I came to realize that it was some form of hypocrisy if I did the same. I mean I had relaxed hair! To me it’s kind of like having an abortion then later becoming pro-life and then proceeding to vehemently look down on and bash those who are pro-choice. The fact that you’ve experienced it should make you understand and allow you to empathise(for lack of a better word). I was never relaxing my hair because I hated my heritage and wanted to be like the white man. So why would I, now being natural, turn around and say that those with relaxed hair hate their heritage and want to be like the white man.
Then there are the people with relaxed hair who think natural hair is tacky and rough and ugly and unprofessional and every other negative word in the dictionary. They are quick to comment on posts about natural hair and state their ‘opinions’. They will say stuff like “so you think because your hair is natural, you are closer to heaven abi. Please get over yourself” or “all of you claiming team natural don’t know how tacky and unkempt you look. Go and slap a relaxer on that ugly head of yours and shut up”.
I believe whether relaxed or natural, it is about one’s preference so please can we all park in our lanes and mind our own business. To each her own. Leave it at that.
Another new twist I saw recently was the opposite of the looser-curls-preference situation.
I recently joined this natural hair group on Facebook. Sometimes when I’m bored, I go there and read through posts and comment as much as I can. I also have a good laugh because there are some really funny posts I see there e.g “Please I am in the market right now. I need to know the Yoruba name of glycerine. Urgent answer needed”, “Av nor use realizer for 2 month nw because I use Protective kit but my hair is still strong. Which realizer can I buy for my hair to realize well”, “Where can I buy olive oil, egg oil, glycerine oil”, “what is BC and who are those that do sell it” etc.(Lord forgive me for posting these but I had to).
So I saw a post on the group by someone and the person had a picture of their natural hair. She had loose curls like say 3c. And of course I knew she would be bombarded with at least 10 comments saying “hmmm this is not natural hair”(This happens on the group a lot when people with looser curls post pictures). Lo and behold the this-is-not-natural-hair comments poured in and the lady was patient and polite in replying them saying it was her natural hair. You see the problem is that there are a lot of Nigerian members and most of them only know natural hair as the kinky, 4c, thick, no-shine hair; they have never encountered 3b,3c or 4a hair and do not categorise those as natural hair.
So the comments kept pouring in and there was one who went on to say that the lady did not have the right kind of hair for the group and that she was jealous because she didn’t have kinky hair and that the group only celebrates proper natural hair. I’m thinking “errmmm but this is her natural hair”. The admin of the group tried to remedy the situation and explain that the group had members from different countries with diverse hair textures and that natural hair comes in textures besides 4c which Nigerians are used to.
Babe no gree oh. She finished the whole group with insults.
I don’t know if it was the same post or another but someone else said “this is not natural hair” then people explained that it was and that the lady in the picture wasn’t Nigerian and that natural hair comes in different textures. The person now came back and said “I know but this hair is not natural”. More people posted and explained further that she could be mixed or she could be African American and the person still came and said “I’ve heard but I say this hair is not natural”. LOL!!
Without digressing too much, I’m just showing you that there are actually people out there who consider natural hair to only be proper kinky hair. They don’t classify looser, silkier curls as natural hair.
The whole hair thing is a hot complicated mess.
I believe we should all live and let live. Everyone is entitled to their own preferences. To be honest you won’t catch me preaching the natural hair gospel to someone who didn’t first ask me about it or ask for advice(When last did I follow my church for evangelism that it is hair I want to be preaching).
No matter how your hair grows or how you choose to wear it, do you! Don’t let anyone bully or intimidate you. Don’t look down on your own self too; love the hair you have and rock it with confidence. The goal should be healthy hair because healthy hair will always look good.
It’s just hair. Don’t take it so seriously. There are more pressing issues e.g They have not still brought back our girls oh, I don’t have power supply half the time and PHCN is still bringing ridiculous bills, N50 rice at the buka you frequent is now too small to belleful a baby, when is Shea Moisture going to be affordable for the masses in Nigeria etc
Do share your thoughts; I would love to hear them.
P.s: Eid Mubarak in arrears to my Muslim readers; I hope you had a good one(even though you didn’t send me some juicy fried ram meat)