Monday, September 12, 2011

Relaxers Vs. Naturals IV: Stop the Hate; Remember the Truth

These days there's so much talk out there about who's truly natural, based on who's been natural their whole life, who has color treated hair, who doesn't use all organic/natural products, and/or whatever other bogus rules people seem to keep coming up with. Who died and made them the Natural Hair Gods who get to decide who is a natural hair puritan and is allowed into the curly gates anyway? Lol
As someone who's been through everything when it comes to hair, both physical and emotional, I've learned that there are lessons far more valuable behind being natural than shunning someone for straightening their hair occasionally or having color in their hair.

After natural hair blogging for a little over a year now, I see that a lot of the same discriminatory issues I see in the black community are occurring in the natural hair community; People discriminating against different hair types, those discriminating against other's choices with their hair. Deciding to return to being natural, and especially being introduced to the online natural hair community, really taught me the real reason behind why I was going natural this time around and the reason why I at this point felt that most other ethnic women should embrace their natural hair too: It's all about acceptance; Learning to accept yourself for who you really are, and accepting others for who they really are ...or who they really aren't ...or for whoever they choose to be. We were and still are discriminated against the most by other races, being the most different, so it really hurts me to see when we continue to break each other and ourselves down when we should be supporting each other and all the differences around us that make us the beautiful and most exotic ethnic people that we are. 

If a woman is natural and decides to straighten her hair for a week, what makes her any less natural? She is indeed natural, and obviously secure enough with herself to love wearing her natural hair and can be outgoing enough to try different hairstyles, straight ones included.
If a woman is natural and decides to color her hair, are her braid outs and twist outs now inadequate because she is color treated? When you're working with frizz and humidity or shrinkage or dryness, is she not still going through the same journey as you just because her hair is color treated? 

If a woman decides to return to or try using a relaxer, obviously she is no longer natural, but even so should we discriminate against her? What are her reasons behind relaxing, and why not learn something from her experience that you can pass on instead of joining the ignorance in bigotry?
If a woman is natural and wants to try or return to relaxer for a different hairstyle for a different period of time, its okay. Regardless of whatever chemical alterations she does to her hair, it will still continue to grow from her roots as glorious as our creator(s) intended and that, she will never be able to fight. There is nothing wrong with wanting to switch it up every once in a while and for the most part, she will more than likely go back to natural sooner than later. Learn from her reasons for relaxing her hair.

Now for example, if you took a moment to understand where the 4zzz (for hairtypers) is coming from, you would understand that a texturizer may be a better alternative for her lifestyle to keeping her hair healthier and from breaking and tangling since the curls are tight. Are you there in the morning to help her moisturize and style her hair? Now as we would all say there are other alternatives and why turn to chemicals, but if that's her choice, that's her choice.

Just for a hairstyle change... Cool, catch you back on the natural side!
Because she hates her natural hair... You should help her to learn that she should learn to appreciate her natural hair for what it is and to accept and love her true self, regardless of how she decides to wear her hair.  
We are no better than those who discriminate against US when we discriminate against each other.
The truth is we need to stop the hatred that goes on among us.
Let people be who they want to be and continue to be you for the right reasons. 
If natural is who you are, then let that natural show love and compassion for fellow people and understand that their journey may be different, but we all cross paths for a reason. Pass on the good word of being natural, self love and love and respect for all things and living beings, instead of passing on negativity and fueling the issues we're still struggling to overcome.
We should continue to promote health for the hair, the body and soul.

Going natural this last time around to me meant learning an even deeper love for myself and a deeper appreciation for the differences and similarities in others, and promoting that all people should do the same.
Don't be a Natural Hair Hitler.
The Beginning:


  1. Stop the hate; remember the truth. I love it. I went natural for the first time last year. Why did I make such a change? I was DISGUSTED! I would arrive at the salon on time each scheduled visit; gave at least a ten dollar tip for my retouches; sat a waited for hours on end while the stylist would take her time eating her meals &/or sneaking in the back to take a load off. I NEVER COMPLAINED. This is not just one stylist mind you, this is a few different stylist throughout my years of creamy crack. I FINALLY WOKE UP! I had to stop giving my time to disrespectful folk who wanted my dollars. Nope couldn't do it anymore. Gone half the day sitting and waiting for hours on end; granted my hair was tight when I walked out the salon but I couldn't never recreate the look like the stylist. Why do I go through this long drawn out story? I'm doing me. I'm free. I no longer let anyone have such a strong hold on me & for what! Hair? It's really not that serious (not for me anyway, anymore). I don't hate. I remember the truth. To each his own.

  2. @Ang - Exactly, to each his own :) I was never a slave to the salon seeing as how i am a hairstylist but i definitely was always on time with slapping the relaxer on whenever it looked like i "needed" a perm. I liked my hair natural too, regardless of the fact that i was always teased for it but it just showed me how people really are and the real people who were my friends because it wasn't about my hair. If all worried a lot less about whats "Wrong" with each other and just spent more time understanding, learning and caring, the world would be a much better place.

    @phenomenalHS - Thank you, and we appreciate the love and support.


Share your thoughts!