Is Your Hair “Neat”?

So I was having a conversation today about hair as I was fawning over my curly fro. I exclaimed to my boyfriend, “I’m so happy, I think my hair is going to grow into the big curly fro I wanted!” I expected a half hearted man response like, “Oh that’s great!” But instead, I was greeted with the following…”So it’s not going to drop?…Like big ass fros are cute to a point, then it’s like ok can you get that under control? I think I want it to fall; I like the ones you show me that fall.” PAUSE. TAKE DEEP BREATH. ELLE. STEP BACK GIRL! But then…he went on to cite Jurnee Smollett’s hair as an example. Uhhhhhmmmmp! Yes, Jurnee’s hair is pretty, but my hair is way too dense to end up looking like that. Sorry, boo. After I let him know that, he wasn’t disappointed per se, but did say his preference was hair that is “not too high off your head or too far in front of your face.” I mean okay, I can see that. There is nothing wrong with having a preference for neat hair…but what exactly is neat?

This apparently is an example of hair that is not neat (his opinion):

Really though? Let’s take a look. Although her hair looks a bit disheveled, it is obvious to me that a) the picture was taken at an angle and b) the wind is clearly blowing in the picture. So, it looks great to me. What do you guys think?

Okay, now this is a picture of hair that is apparently neat:

I agree, and I love her hair (even if it’s a texturizer, I don’t care, lol!). But what makes one picture so different than the other? Can you tell? Because I certainly can’t. Apparently (and I keep saying apparently because this is not my opinion) the difference is that one is more “symmetrical” than the other. Say what? While we’re on the subject of symmetry, by that definition, is Jurnee Smollett’s hair symmetrical?

Hmmm…you can clearly see that she has some varying curl patterns and lengths in her hair. So is that still neat? Apparently it is, because it has a “general direction.” Suuuure, okay.

And let me state for the record that I LOVE all THREE heads of hair. Just yummy hair porn!!! 🙂

But back to my original point – when do we go too far? When do we fall outside of the societal norm of what natural hair should look like? When does it shift from natural to “I don’t give a f**k” hair???? Ponder with me, ladies. Things that make you go, “HMMMMMMMM….”


25 thoughts on “Is Your Hair “Neat”?

  1. mynamesnotalice says:

    i think that esperanza spalding’s hair is a perfect example of what many would consider an “unneat” hair style. i dig her hair though and wouldn’t mind my tresses taking on that shape. i love my curls too though. i try to mix it up every once and a while. either way, i just have some messy hair whether its curly or fluffy

  2. MAL says:

    Ok, so I looked at all three hair pics & I don’t like any of them all that much. Not because I don’t think they look neat but I think they look a little styled & fake. To me, neat hair is just natural hair that can be styled but not within an inch of it’s life, taking away the real natural look of it, if that makes any sense. If I had to choose a pic, I would have to choose the 1st pick. I think as long as natural hair is healthy & maintained it’s neat period but this is just my opinion & of course when people see the different textures & curl patterns of African American natural hair, the opinions & preferences comes out, lol. Lastly, I have to comment on Jurnee’s hair pic, her hair looks damaged to me, like from straightening or maybe overprocessed. I remember her hair texture from the movie Roll Bounce (2005), & definitely didn’t look like this.

    • HB says:

      Lol! Thank you, just funny how people have different opinions. And Jurnee’s hair definitely looks damaged – every time I see her with straight hair on Friday Night Lights, I cringe like, “AH! Stop ruining that girl’s pretty hair!”

    • HB says:

      While I appreciate your um, “feedback,” this post was not meant to be a bash session regarding my boyfriend. Perhaps you could have said something of value, rather than simply call him a name. No, his choice of words were not the best, but he did not mean any harm by them and was referring to a hairstyle, NOT curl pattern. So what’s so idiotic about that? In the future, I advise you to think about your comment before writing it. But thanks for reading!

  3. Lidi says:

    In my opinion all this thing of what a hair (or a skin, or u name it) SHOULD look like is a totally mess bc it is all a matter of genetics. Your (or my or their) hair will look like what it is like and basta. We can all decide to change it accordingly to our tastes or just take a breath and try to get the best of what it can do.

    Cute blog btw.

    • HB says:

      Well, sort of. I agree that whether your hair falls or not relies on the texture/pattern/etc of your hair, but the conversation I was having also referred to more of the style of the hair. For instance, the hair in the first pic looks a little more disheveled than the 2nd and 3rd. Likewise, a larger afro may not look as “neat” as a TWA, ie there could be hair going in different directions while a TWA is more compact and can have more of a general shape. My bf knows better than to try to tell me how the hair should grow out of someone’s head! 🙂

  4. Xhalted1 says:

    Okay I’m seriously going for the first hair picture. I realized over the years that me and straight hair work as long as it’s cut in a short style. But me and big hair is WONDERFUL curly fro or not.

  5. Ms.A says:

    I think pic #1 is BEAUTIFUL. Gorgeous curls.

    Pick 2 looks like those afro wigs in party city lol. I’m sorry…just saying.

    Pick 3 is not Jurnee’s best photo.

    Pick 1 is definitely neat and well defined. I think because of the music videos and magazines, “neat” and what is considered attractive is perceived as the most common thing (straight or long in a downward motion). It’s silly.


    Personally for me..I would like my hair to “drop” or grow down only because my round 360 face shape wouldn’t look good with too many circles going on, especially with the circular I don’t know.

    • HB says:

      LOL @ afro wig in party city! I like hair that falls and hair the fros. It’s all pretty to me. Do I want my hair to fall? Honestly, I’m not sure. Sometimes when I use certain products it falls when wet and I hate how that looks on the top of my head!

      • Ms.A says:

        You’re hair looks perfect on you 🙂

        That’s one thing I respect about the natural circle is the “do you” mentality. Certain things work for different people

  6. Ronda says:

    So I want “I don’t give a f*** hair. I love that girl who is in the beach commercial. When I saw her hair I wanted to bumrush her, hold her down and whack off that hair and ever so neatly tape it to my head. I covet hair that just goes wherever..which is where your hair is and its great. But let’s be real, the only reason their hair looks so fabulous is because they had a team of hair people attending to its every need. So I wouldn’t take it too much to heart. Its great hair if YOU think its great hair.

  7. skeeta says:

    I love neat hair that looks like I don’t give a f%ck.

    I don’t love the 2nd pic, its so neat it looks like a wig.

    The 3rd pic is alright but my hair would never fall that flat, and she has a rack of curl patterns and I spy some possible heat damage.

    I love it big, fluffy and wild, but my hubby is the same as ur bf, he’s not into the big hair…but I DONT CARE! lol.

    • HB says:

      Preach! I mean I’m not trying to generalize men…but sometimes I’m like…wtf are you looking at? How is that “bad” and that’s “good”? When my hair was super short the first pic was like one of the ones I feel in loooove with; her curls just look so luscious and I love curly bangs! I don’t even know that chick and I felt like he was dissing my girl!

  8. ModelMomMD says:

    The first picture would have to be my favorite! I feel like that picture is the essence of going natural, just enjoying your hair in it’s natural state not matter how the weather may interfere is absolutely the best 🙂 Regarding Jurnee’s hair, I think it looks pretty limp, and stringy almost, it’s not my favorite AT ALL! I want the big “don’t give a f**k hair”, if thats what you want to call it…I want to call it my hair doing whats natural 🙂

    • HB says:

      THANK YOU! LOL! I love the first pic! Jurnee’s hair is pretty but it also looks like the curls have been damaged by straightening. Give me the first one any day! 🙂

  9. cassadie says:

    how can I get on that “un-neat” girl’s style. super cute.

    its like the black-girl version of the “bedhead” style that has become so popular. messy-chic is quite in.

  10. Valencia says:

    I don’t know about “I don’t give a f**k” hair but I like a little wildness to my hair. I like it on others as well so the first pic is my fav with Jurnee running second. Interestingly enough I hated to have my hair doing crazy stuff when I had a relaxer. I liked all my strands pretty much in place (which is why that cow lick in the front drove me nutso and wind was the enemy). That may be why I like my hair a little wild and windswept, makes me feel a bit free.

    • HB says:

      I agree about the relaxer thing…I think because of how our hair falls if it’s out of place it just looks like you slept on it wrong. I used to have a piece of bang that stuck out and it pissed me off sooo bad! BTW, “I don’t give a f**k” hair is not my term!!! 🙂

  11. Fiona says:

    For me, neat does not have to be symmetrical, though I have heard that it is instinctual for us to be attracted to a more symmetrical face…perhaps the same goes for hair?? The older the style the more I prefer it. I just love it when my hair naturally evolves throughout the day. I say as long as your hair is healthy let it do its thing and set trends 😉

  12. Ree says:

    Is he fearing something Don King-ish? Not that it goes up, but it goes up all flame-like. LOL
    That sorta matches Don’s personality.

  13. kingsmomma says:

    I don’t know. They all look pretty neat to me. But i must say for some reason I AM partial to the second picture. I’ve been trying to scroll up and down to figure out why I prefer that more. Haven’t reached my conclusion though.

    I think there is a cookie cutter image of what natural hair is supposed to look like and it’s been generated not by natural women but by outsiders who deem that the acceptable norm and leaves all others standing by the wayside with some curl pudding a pick.

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