I appreciate the increasing growth of/admiration for the natural hair movement. It’s what inspired me to try it for myself and I love encouraging other people of colour to do the same. I recently attempted a list of ‘the pros and cons of being natural’ and realised there were quite a few things that others do or say in response to my hair that annoy me…
Asking if your hair is real and why. I get that we grew up with stereotypes that have conditioned us to believe that the texture of your hair is dependent on your ethnicity. Fair enough that is partly true. BUT, as with everything there are always exceptions. I also get that people are curious and I love answering specific questions about natural hair but I cannot stand when someone asks whether your hair is real. You say yes. THEN they have the cheek to ask ‘why?’ or ‘how comes?’. You might as well ask me why I have two ears!
Touching my hair before asking me. I don’t mind people touching my hair but why ask me AFTER you’ve just rolled your hands through it and made it all frizzy?! Then afterwards, they’ll look at you super confused when their hands are sticky/shiny with styling products #sorrynotsorry #donttouchmyhairlove
Criticising naturals that dye/cut/straighten their hair. The great thing about natural hair is that it’s a versatile blank canvas to play with. I cannot stand when others (including other naturalistas) condemn or criticise naturalistas for experimenting with their hair. Not all naturals are hippies and therefore against chemical hair practices such as dyes or relaxers. Let me do with my hair what I please and if I don’t like the result, I’m very happy knowing that I can cut it all off because it will grow back again eventually.
Commenting on protective styling. When I chopped off my relaxed ends and my natural hair was ‘short’, people would straight up ask me when I was looking to book a hair appointment to get extensions put in. This made me very self-conscious and aware of my huge head, facial features and the fact that short hair clearly didn’t suit me. So since year one (of being natural), with the help of YouTube, I taught myself how to do a variety of styles such as faux locs, marley twists (okay maybe not so many lol) and I made a conscious effort to do them as often as I could. Fast forward to now and my hair is much longer, people are so confused as to why I still feel the need to do protective styles and say ‘just leave it out!’. I can’t please everyone and at the end of the day, it is my hair. Natural hair is not only presentable when it’s ‘long’ but then again that’s up to the person’s preference. Keep your opinions to yourself.
Have you experienced any of the above? Are there any that I’ve missed out?! Let me know in the comments. Feel free to leave any recommendations for hair posts or any questions about my natural hair journey below. If I get a more than a few, I might film a vid answering them!