Say What? | The Natural Standard

“All black people are born natural but some are more natural than others!!!”

If you’ve read animal farm then the statement above will make sense, if you haven’t then check out the book, it’s a great read. I came up with it after I read a comment on FB the other day which got me thinking about the ‘natural hair community’ and the divisions or cliques within it. More specifically the mean girls of hair care who reckon that you are only natural if your hair is completely chemical free and/or you only use natural hair products. Yo ladies, this is me kissing my teeth and giving you the side eye!! Now we don’t tend to get too controversial on this blog but today, Imma open a big ole can of…

WHAT THE FRAGGLEROCK???

I am not down with people using blogs and forums that are meant for sharing and learning as a way to perpetutate cyber bullying. I mean seriously why do we need to set a standard for what is natural? Why does that even matter and what conceivable bit of good does it do to have these rules and classifications? Whoever set up this division of the natural police needs to serve them notice pronto! For me personally, going natural denoted a decision to stop the permanent alteration of the natural texture of my hair via relaxers. When I think of natural hair I think texture, kinks and curls. Hells yeah I colour my hair but I don’t do it to change my curl pattern, I do it as a creative expression and because I like bright hair. Am I a natural blonde? Nope, but do I still consider myself a woman with natural TEXTURED hair…..Yessireeee! I have kinky curly afro hair don’t I? Now to someone else, being natural may mean something entirely different and I respect that. I do however take exception to someone trying to impose their rules and perceptions on me. What does putting a label on me do for you?…can you still feel my side eye???

Black people have a hard enough time without us turning on one another. The bigger picture is this; for the first time in over a century, a large proportion of black women no longer feel that they NEED to chemically alter their hair in order to successfully care for it or be considered beautiful. We are now fully recognising and exercising our right to choose. Against that, all else is secondary and quite frankly petty!!

I’m natural…now what? | What I’ve noticed since going natural

I’ve noticed that I really like straight hair…..not what you were expecting huh??? Y’all thought I’d be singing the praises of my lovely curly tresses didn’t ya. Well the truth is that since going natural, the thing I notice the most is everybody else’s straight hair. I think it’s mostly because it reminds me of what I used to have and it’s also a touch of that whole grass is greener thing (when I was relaxed all I noticed was natural hair). Don’t get me wrong, I’m LOVING having natural hair and can’t see myself changing any time soon but every time I see an old picture of me with my relaxed hair I do get a kick of nostalgia especially for my length. That old saying that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone really is true.

Whilst I’ve been missing my straight hair I have also been enjoying my curly one too. I keep touching my hair in wonder that I spent so many years running away in blind fear from such a harmless thing. Each new day, I’m learning something new about my hair, for instance I have like 5 different textures and curl patterns going on in my barnet. There are some areas where the curls are luscious spirals of curly goodness, others are more beautfiully kinky and coily and then there’s this section that’s just confused.

The best word I can use to describe the texture there is indeterminate!! It really doesn’t know what it wants to be so it sort of starts curly then goes all wavy and finally just gives up at the end. It’s actually kind of cute, if a little annoying to style. I’m also still astounded at how much water my hair chugs down, it behaves like a long distance runner in the middle of a marathon!! but it’s discovering these little foibles peculiar to my hair that I’m most enjoying and though they can sometimes be challenging, they are actually quite rewarding. That sense of achievement when you finally perfect the twist-out or that inevitable moment when shrinkage kicks in and your length disappears into the magical land of missing fros. It’s fun, different and like all new things, very exciting.