What is Natural Hair, Anyway?!

This is by no means a new debate, but one I never seem to get tired of. People are always coming up with really good points about what natural hair is exactly. Yes, we all know that relaxers and texturizers are not natural, no debate about that, but what about straightening with heat? Personally, I still call the folks who use heat natural, no matter how often they straighten. Some have argued that if the heat changes your curl pattern then you are no longer natural, but that can happen after ONE instance of straightening, and many women do not straighten with the intent to alter their natural texture? So why do we have to kick them off of the island?

The always entertaining Vida Starr addresses the issue further at Life Star Beauty, and I’d be interested to hear your thoughts as well. For me, the whole thing gets to be a little complicated, and I don’t like to tell someone they aren’t natural unless they are trying to loosen their curl pattern on purpose and express that to the masses. To be frank, the whole thing gets to be a little “natural nazi-ish” to me – feel free to confront me on that. I mean think about it…I’ve never straightened my hair, but what if I decide to ONCE in order to do a length check, or to trim my ends, and my curls aren’t quite the same? At the same time, what if someone wears their hair straightened ALL the time, but took great care of their curls and kept up with deep treatments and protein treatments, so if they chose to wear their hair curly, the pattern had not changed? How can we say they aren’t natural? Admittedly, I would say they are natural but often wear their hair straight, which is not a natural state obviously, but they’re still sippin’ pina coladas on the island with me.

So what say you?

xoxo….ps, go Netherlands!!!

3 comments

  1. i agree with your definition of natural hair… i have a friend who has been natural all her life &NEVER has she EVER wore her hair in its natural state. it kinda throwed me when she washed her hair &said “please don’t disown me as friend when i show you my hair”

    her head was full of beautiful coils and she seemed ashamed of them o_0… my question was: what is the point of being natural if you don’t like your hair???

    in no way was i trying to encourage her to chemically process her hair but i only wanted her to think about that question for a second…apparently she likes her hair but is afraid of being judged for it

    rae’s feeling: [confusion]

  2. My definition of natural is pretty basic. Natural hair refers to hair that isn’t treated with chemicals for the purpose of modifying its texture. On the other hand, there are people (like me) who are natural and wear their hair naturally…meaning in its virgin, curly state. I wouldn’t knock a person for being natural and yet straightening their hair most of the time or wearing a lace front wig/weave. If nothing else it probably takes them more effort to keep their curls healthy so more power to them. I’m just more content with letting my hair “be”.

    And as for the “natural nazis” I think they are focusing too much on the mindset that if you do anything to change your curls to make them more “european” looking you are somehow violating some sacred curl pact. Umm…no. I think the NNs should be happy that more people are accepting their natural hair…as in, not killing it with harsh chemicals. Though some times I too get sad when I see girls with natural hair who straighten it a lot…why not celebrate your curls girls?

    Also..interesting that you mention curl pattern. Over the years my curl pattern has changed slightly, probably as a result of growth and different products used. Now I use henna and I’ve noticed more change to my curl pattern. My curls are a bit looser, shinier and easier to manage but the reason I use henna is to condition my hair and strengthen it, not to change its chemical structure. For that reason I still consider myself to be completely natural (aside from the fact that henna itself is from nature). Now I wonder if a “natural nazi” would think so…

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