If you are newly natural or transitioning to natural, you may be confused with all the information out there pertaining to Natural Hair. You are probably at the phase where you are just trying to figure out how to deal with your hair, what you should or shouldn’t do with you hair and what products can be used on your hair.
If you have surrounded yourself with other Naturals, either online or in real life, everyone has their Do’s and Don’ts, when it comes to Natural Hair. Depending on the person you talk to, some of these methods or practices work for one Natural and may not work for another.
Some of these may include things like,
1. Don’t sleep without a satin scarf or on satin sheets.
2. Only use products with natural ingredients. Avoid Silicone and other chemicals at all costs.
3. Do not use heat on your hair regularly.
4. Wear your hair in protective styles religiously.
5. Don’t color your hair.
6. Do not use harsh combs on your hair. If necessary only use your fingers to detangle.
These are just some of the advice that you will often hear given to naturals in regards to how to take care of your hair. While most of these things work for some naturals, some of them don’t work for others.
To go even further, if you have been in the Natural Hair community for a reasonable period of time, I’m sure you have heard of the term “Natural Hair Nazi”. My own definition of this term is those naturals who tend to discredit other naturals by saying “They are not really natural because…” they do certain things with their hair or bodies that “they”think are not considered “Natural”.
Its hard enough that other people in the society, who are not accustomed to seeing women of color with their Natural Hair, have their own thoughts and prejudices when it comes to Natural Hair.
You may say well I don’t care what other people think! I went natural for me! Its the way my hair grows out of my head! I’m an individual and how I wear my hair has nothing to do with who I am as a person.
That’s all true and great, but you can’t change peoples perceptions and pre-conceived notions. There are people out there who will think that because you are Natural, you may behave a certain way, think a certain way, act a certain way or live a certain way of life.
So for us within the natural hair community, to judge each other based on differences of textures and regimens is just not helping the cause, but hurting it overall.
I don’t know who put the rules out there, but this is what I believe. We all had our own reasons or goals when we went natural. These reasons or goals ultimately determine how we take care of our hair and why we do certain things to our hair. Not everyone has the same head of hair. Each one of us has a unique head of hair and only the person wearing that head of hair knows how to deal with it.
What being natural means to me, may not mean the same exact thing to the next person. I think the biggest factor in determining what the definition of being “Natural” means is based on what that particular individual’s goals were when they went natural.
In my own experience, when I first went Natural, before I knew of the natural hair community, I did it out of convenience, because I didn’t want to deal with having perms on my hair anymore.
As I became part of the Natural Hair community and began to embrace and love my Natural Hair, my goals changed. My reasons for being natural were to achieve long Natural Hair. Because according to my experiences, I thought women like me could not achieve long Natural Hair and I wanted to prove to myself that it could be done.
Along my journey because of personal reasons, I also became health conscious and began a healthy lifestyle journey, where I am conscious of what I eat as well. Of course I try to give myself slack, because I am human and once in a while I will eat things that I know I shouldn’t. But for the most part I try to cook these meals myself instead of having them at a fast food joint. When I do go out, I try to look for healthy alternatives as much as possible. Once in a while I will eat something that I shouldn’t, but its not something I do daily. For the most part I try to stay conscious of what goes in my body.
When it comes to cosmetics, I don’t wear it daily, only once in a while. I do know that the chemicals in cosmetic products are harmful to my body and in the future, I would like to start swapping out some of these products for more natural alternatives. But I can’t say that I am 100% against make up.
At this point of my journey I would say that I have a holistic view of what it means to be natural. I have Natural Hair because I have embraced my hair as it is and I will continue to be natural not matter the length of my hair.
However, I am also aware everyone has their own goals and reasons for being natural, therefore I will not question what other naturals choose to do with their own hair.
For those of you who may be newly natural, my biggest advice, is to learn your hair as much as possible. Take all advice you are given with a grain of salt and a lot of experimentation. Don’t just say I have a certain hair type and it can’t do this or that, because someone else said so. Try it for yourself and see what happens, only then will you be able to know what really works for your hair and doesn’t. Also keep experimenting throughout your journey. Something that didn’t work when you had a TWA may workout for you when you have shoulder length hair.
So what do you think of this whole being Natural thing? What does being Natural mean to you? Why are you Natural or transitioning to Natural? What are your goals? Are you also adapting a Natural lifestyle in other aspects of your life beyond hair care? What do you think of the whole “Natural Nazi” thing?
Below I talk about some of my thoughts concerning what it means to be natural.
Thanks so much for stopping by,
Much love & Stay Blessed,