Natural hair doesn’t make you ‘Blacker’


via S2S Magazine


I didn’t think a word could be more overused and annoying than “swagger,” until I heard “natural.”

In case you somehow don’t already know, going “natural” is the latest trend among African-American women who are saying goodbye to relaxers (also known as perms), which chemically straighten their naturally curly or kinky hair.

Going natural was on the rise many years ago, but it virtually exploded into a movement following the 2009 Chris Rock movie, Good Hair. In the movie, Rock highlights the extremes Black women take to achieve so-called “good hair” ““ be it in the form of weaves or relaxers, which he famously coined “creamy crack.”

For many African-American women, the film was an inspiration to overcome their addiction to relaxers, not just because of the sometimes damaging effects it has on their hair, but also for a sense of African-American pride.

To the latter, I say bullcrap. I never believed in the silly notion that Black women who straighten their hair are trying to resemble their White female counterparts with long, silky smooth tresses. My hair is super thick and gets extra frizzy in the rain. I don’t like that, so I have a perm. Period.

Yet, for some reason it seems there’s this new sense of shame or judgment against women who rock a relaxer or weave. Recently, an Atlanta club promoter even offered discounts to women with natural hair and who don’t wear weaves.

Enough already.

If a relaxer is making your hair fall out, then by all means, get rid of it! But please don’t think you’re making a statement in the process. I’ve been getting relaxers for over 20 years now, and my hair is still healthy and I am still very much Black (gasp!).

It’s called individuality. Do you! Going natural doesn’t make a woman any better or “Blacker” than one rocking a weave down to her behind. If that’s the case, how do you explain when White women wear “extensions” and straighten their naturally curly hair? Who are they trying to be like?

Besides, if we’re talking about going natural, I say go all the way! Get rid of your makeup, nail polish, deodorant… heck, even get rid of your Spanx! But please don’t try to pressure me to do the same.

I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum, and that won’t change, no matter how many movies Chris Rock makes. If I’m a fiend to the creamy crack, then fine. Call me Pookie.

What do you think? Do you agree that women with straight hair are judged harshly? Do you assume women with natural hair have more Black pride? Leave your comments below.

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About Tamara

Tamara is the Founding Editor of Natural Hair Rules!!! Natural Hair Rules (NHR) was originally created as her personal hair journal. Since its creation in 2008, it has grown to one of the top natural hair/beauty blogs online today.

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  1. I agree. My hair was long thick and healthy with perms for years. My hair is natural now but I just sort of happened to not perm it for pretty much my whole senior year of college because I was busy and didn’t think about it. But I wouldn’t try to convince people that it was any better.

  2. First I dont care if someone perms their hair or not. I have two daughters who do. Not to be white, but to manage their hair their way. I went natural for me, not because of some movie, that by the way I did not see. It’s a personal choice. I wear nails, no makeup, deodorant always, I am the same black I was before. Even when I perm I was still me. Who ever told chris or anyone esle that perming your hair meant trying to be white was a fool, nothing done to our hair will make us white. Personally I prefer my hair natural, braided, straighten, curly, in a ponytail, or just my Angela Davis fro benefits of my hair is I can change my look to fit my mood. Do you, its not a issue of natural vs perm, it seem more an issue of us learning to love ourselvesno matter the state of our hair . Stop making it seem white women is the goal look. Why? Are beauty is not the same. Beauty is not one set look or style. But, one think for sure to be hating, non supportive of each other’s choice of style is not beautiful in anyway. So perm on my black sister, there’s nothing unblack about it. A perm is a choice, we are free human now to make whatever choice we want.

  3. I agree with the author. I have been natural for 15 years and I am also a hairstylist. I get so sick of natural hair people and their take on ones self image and choice of hair texture. It is a hair style not a lifestyle!! The texture of my hair does not determine my self image or self worth. Some people relax for convenience, some because they are tender headed,some so they wont be judge in the work place, and some just because they simply like the look and feel. There are two ways to change the structure of ones hair chemical ie.relaxer,perm and color, the other is physical ie. direct heat or indirect heat. So that being said when you two strand twist, comb twist(and sit under dryer),flat iron,blow dry and press comb, you are breaking down the disulfide and cystine bond and altering the structure of your hair. Also when you use those so called natural products with all that silicone that makes your hair more manageable. Can you still call yourself natural? I say this because natural people need to take it down, hair texture is a personal choice.

  4. @Ashanti360Wisdom
    THANK YOU. very well written and to the point. Asinine indeed to compare removable & temporary accessories, such as contacts, spanx, nail polish and make-up, to corrosive chemicals which permanently alter your unique texture such as perm…..

  5. I got tired of my hair on sides of my hairline breaking off. I think you’re missing the fact that it takes “black pride” to go natural and to stick with it. If you’re worried about other black women making fun of you, get new friends. What’s funny is that I get more compliments from white people. When you get more compliments from other races besides your own, then that means black women still have alot of growing up to do when it comes to their hair.


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