Am I A Natural Bully?

Disclaimer: WildChild is frustrated. No, it is not Izzy that has me frustrated. It’s people. People who think that certain beliefs go hand in hand with being natural, or think that wearing your hair natural is “going against the grain.” Or, people who lump all holy grails together for everyone. Or, people who don’t want to take the time to look up hair porosity and texture and figure out what kind of hair they have. So yes, WildChild is frustrated. Still love you though.

I’d like to think that I’m not a Natural Nazi, or Natural Bully, as I like to say to be a little more PC. I truly do not care what other people do to their hair, and often I am reluctant to tell someone what to use on their hair because I know that what may work for me may not work for another. I don’t “preach” to people about natural hair (shooooot, more products fo’ me), and I can’t stand it when women associate natural hair with self acceptance for EVERYONE (if that is their journey, cool).

At the same time, I often find myself giving the smirk n’ side eye to comments about my hair, or natural hair in general. Here are some examples:

“Oooh, if I had hair like yours I’d grow mine out too, you’re lucky.”

“When my hair grows I want it to look like yours, but I think mine is nappier.”

“You can’t ignore the fact that some hair textures are preferred over others.”

“How did you get your hair like that?” When I reply with, “Conditioner and gel,” I often get a “Oh excuse me miss” look or a look of disbelief.

“You’re not going to straighten your hair? Wow, good for you!”

“Well your hair isn’t really an afro…mine is just brittle; I can’t go natural, I need to be cute.”

“You can’t tell me what product to buy??? I thought you were the guru of natural hair!”

Ummm…for real? Funny thing is, you will not hear me making the “Natural Movement” argument to ANY of these people, or, in the case of the last statement, outlining a list of products. I refuse to argue with people about their hair. I don’t care if they think they need silky straight hair to be cute, or if one hair texture/type is preferred over another (maybe for them it is). But seriously, what are some of these people thinking? I need a pat on the back and a bravo because I wear my hair out the way it grows from my scalp? Are they serious? While I love my hair, one of the main reasons I went natural was to decrease the time I spent doing my hair (to me, deep treatments/henna treatments/etc don’t count because I can slap some stuff on my head and watch TV for a few hrs, or play video games, which is what I was probably going to do anyway). I am an adamant member of Team Wash n’ Go, and if I felt like I needed to do twists or braids all the time I might have ended up straightening my hair (With heat, I’m too addicted to not having a burnt up scalp anymore lol! But…probably not if I had to spend a lot of QT with my flat iron), who knows?! It’s just interesting to me that people say things like the above and find absolutely nothing wrong with these statements, which is why I say that no, going natural is NOT for everyone. If people are not going to do their own research to find out what works for them, or only think that people with a certain hair type/texture should go natural, maybe they should pick up the creamy crack. I sure as heck won’t miss them. What do you guys think?

And now…back to our regularly scheduled program…

xoxo

30 comments

  1. Amen!!! I’ve only been natural a few months (rockin’ a TWA), but I did it because I JUST WANTED TO! Not because I had unhealthy relaxed hair or I wanted to find myself or wanted to make a political statement. And if one more person calls me Erikah Badu (as if she’s the only natural hair celeb anyways!), I’m going to lose it! Thank God I don’t get the barrage of questions you do though!

  2. “I have more issue when I receive snide remarks from people or when someone asks me a question, then refutes my answer. I’m like, well why did you ask me then? Are you upset because I didn’t tell you what you want to hear? Then go look it up yourself, lol!”

    That’s my issue too. It’s like they think I’m holding some secret to curly hair that I don’t want to share or I’m lying about my natural hair.

    I actually had a lady ask me what I was using and I said gel. She then checked on my daughter who was about two at the time and so “Oh your daughter has curly hair so I guess you only need gel.” WTH…did you just verify my texture by checking out my kid? LOL

    1. SMH! Someone asked what I used once, and when I gave her the answer she kept asking me in different ways, like my answer would be any different. It was like…wait…so you used conditioner and gel, then went to the salon and they curled it? I was like NO!!! I just shook my hair out!! “Shook your hair out…then they did finger coils?” NO!

      1. LOL! Yes, I have gotten that too! Someone asked me once if my hair was the result of a straw set. Yes, my wet hair is the result of a straw set, sans the straws. Just a few weeks ago I was walking downtown and a women stopped me to ask about my twists. She said that they looked professionally done and proceeded to ask me who did them. I told her myself. She then went on to ask me what products I used to twist. I told her that it varies and each person use different stuff depending on what they like, but on this occasion I used a hair butter. She then wanted to know if she could find it in a beauty supply house.

        In my mind, twists are twists and it really isn’t going to make that much of a difference what you twist with as far as appearance is concerned. For the most part I really, really try to avoid giving out product recommendations to strangers, because most of the time they are looking at texture and trying to see if there is any product they could use to make their hair resemble my own. I hate to see people waste time and money, and then be frustrated when the results are not the same.

        As I was leaving this same women asked me if I did other people’s hair and I replied “Nope.” It is enough for me to do my own hair, and I am really uninterested in getting in a situation where someone is dissatisfied because they expected their hair to look exactly like mine.

  3. I totally agree. I’m not the Natural Hair Police or the Self Acceptance Police by any means. However, it does annoy me when people either: 1) Down their own hair or, 2) Cop an attitude because their hair “won’t” do what yours does.

    Recently, I was in the beauty supply store and this girl –who after complimenting me–kept insisting that I used rollers on the ends of my hair to get it to curl. I mean, the chick was borderline irate, lol! I just walked away because she got an attitude when I said I didn’t use rollers. Like I thought I was better than her because my ends curl. Whatever!

    I just want to tell some people, “We all have different hair like we all have different faces. Deal with it.”

  4. Girl I feel you 110% I just started the transition into being natural because I was tired of my hair breaking off and my hairline was getting thin from the perms etc etc etc….
    So, yesterday I wore my hair in two braids to work (my avatar pic) and the two older black women that work with me were like “awe your hair is so cute like that, so innocent reminds me of when I used to have to braid my daughters hair”
    I said: “thank you”
    Lady 2 (who knows i’m doing the natural thing): “so you still trying to go natural”
    Lady 1 (who didn’t know): “NATURAL (disgust) NOW WHY WOULD YOU WANNA DO THAT!?!
    Me: Yes, I am so I can keep the hair the perm was taking out
    Lady 1: Well good luck with that!

    REALLY?!? Its’ annoying and disappointing, but whateva!

  5. I’m almost 6 months post BC. Although I try not to compare myself to other naturals, I must admit that I love your texture and color.

    Anyway, when I first went natural, I got my hair cut even shorter at the salon and sported a wash n’ go for the first couple of months. People pretty much ignored me.

    My hair was no more than an inch and half long back then. Now that my hair is about 4 inches, I wear it in twists, twist-outs or a wash n’ go with a head band but have noticed that I catch people staring a lot more often. I guess cuz there’s more hair. LOL. Sometimes I wish I could read their mind/facial expression, but it’s more like gawking.

    I always say to myself, “Geesh, it’s just hair, people.” I don’t get the puzzled looks. I can’t be the first person they’ve seen with natural hair. Some people hair and there have told me they like it but I haven’t gotten any real questions beyond, “That’s your natural (unstraightened) hair?”

    1. Thank you! 🙂 I also agree about people asking/looking as your hair grows…I had about an inch of hair when I BC’ed in December, and no one ever asked me about my hair until about April. And kudos to you for doing twists and twist outs! I have started twisting Izzy a few times, and after 10 minutes I’m like uhhh yea…I’m going to bed lol!

  6. Your are just awesome! I’m pretty sure for you especially that people say things to because your so light and your hair “better” looking than the average black woman. And it just shows how uncomfortable they are with their own skin by saying what they say. I for sure have had my own issues over the years, always being the one black chick. But I love my hair even though it’s a nightmare sometimes lol.

    Basically people just need to accept what they have.

    1. Thank you, you’re awesome too! I seriously think I am a weirdo – I used to call my relaxed hair “slave hair” in its wet state, but that was due to the fact that it was frizzy and crazy looking, but I never thought about my new growth – I just kept relaxing it b/c i wanted the hair to be the same throughout or make sure it laid down (we all know what brushing kinky/curly hair does — POOF); I was just ignorant and didn’t know what my natural hair was! And yes, Izzy definitely gets on my last nerve sometimes, I wish my hair could actually talk to me (Why are you so angry today Izzy? Why are you so FRIZZY?!), but I know that it’s MY hair and I love it! Everyone has bad hair days!

  7. Thanks for this post, but please do not get frustrated. I am newly natural — just BC’d in May after transitioning for a year. I, at some point during my transition, probably asked a lot of “stupid questions”. The truth of the matter is that I REALLY didn’t know what to ask. I had a TON of questions and without personally knowing anyone with natural hair, I had to get online and do my research — which impart consisted of asking lots of questions. I was turned off by a few naturals because their answers were so aloof and almost snide.
    Since going natural, I get a lot of questions from both friends and strangers. People often ask what I put in my hair and even though it may not work for their hair, I answer them honestly and without attitude. As far as I’m concerned, rolling my eyes and barely answering GENUINE questions would be rude.
    Now, I have had 1 person as “When are you going to do something with your hair?” I answered “Mine is cute. When are YOU going to do something with YOURS?” See, rude questions, receive rude answers. =)
    So, have patience. I think a lot of the time people are asking out of shear curiousity.

    1. I totally understand, and believe me, I asked some ridiculous questions when I first went natural!!! I thought that hair type was THE answer to knowing everything about your hair, picking products, etc etc…I was totally wrong!!! I wanted to know what my hair would look like as it grew so I searched for Fotkis of women who had hair similar to mine when they BC’ed so I could see how their hair grew out. LOL!

      That’s the reason I write this blog – to share information with everyone and even if something works for me and may not work for someone else, at least there’s some feedback out there, especially with these smaller companies.

      Please don’t think I am referring to newly naturals who are eager to learn about their hair and ask me questions, I love those! In fact, I still consider myself newly natural (I just BC’ed 7 months ago) and learn new things every single day. I have more issue when I receive snide remarks from people or when someone asks me a question, then refutes my answer. I’m like, well why did you ask me then? Are you upset because I didn’t tell you what you want to hear? Then go look it up yourself, lol!

  8. LMAO a lot of the questions/comments you quoted i’ve received MANY times as well. As much as you say you don’t feel that natural hair is about self acceptance for everyone, I think a lot of those statements you posted show a HUGE issue with self acceptance. Nothing is absolute. Of course natural hair doesn’t have the same meaning for EVERYONE. But you can’t deny that there is a HUGE self acceptance issue in the black community in general. We’re always taught (Consciously and subconsciously) and reminded how we aren’t “white enough.” How our cultures and styles and music etc… do not fit into the white standard. Hair is such a tiny part of it but still apart of it.

    1. Oh I agree, but I can only sympathize, not empathize with those ideas. I personally feel WAY more comfortable wearing my natural hair out than having relaxed hair because it was straight but still didn’t perform/look like a white woman’s hair. When I had straight hair, no way I could let my hair air dry or style it in less than ten minutes. I used to hate when I went on vacation with my white friends because it would take me SO much longer to get ready b/c I’d have to flat iron my hair all the time since I refused to wrap it when I slept and be the girl with the wrap on her head. When we went to the pool to tan I had to wade carefully around the water b/c I didn’t want to get my hair wet since I wouldn’t have time to wash/blow dry/flat iron it before we went out that night. When I was a little girl, my friends didn’t understand why my hair dried frizzy and crazy after we went swimming, while theirs looked normal after conditioning and air drying. To me, that is the definition of bad hair. So no, I don’t really get the mentality about wearing your natural hair out and having to accept yourself first. I would have saved so much time and confusion if I had just done this earlier, lol!

      1. Well I never said anything about acceptance coming first,during or after anything. I said it’s apart of it (at any stage) for many people and that’s understandable (to me at least). I get that for you it had more to do with convenience than anything else. Obviously that’s because how you felt about yourself had very little to do with your hair. But you can’t deny that IS the case for many black women. As ridiculous as a lot of those questions/comments are, that’s the reality of the world we live in. THAT is what people are feeling and thinking and believing. And there is a reason for that. It’s not an accident or even a rare thought process. When you start to see a pattern, that means that it is bigger than just one individual decision (did you take sociology? I can’t remember what you said you studied in school). You don’t have to be empathetic to at least see where ppl are coming from…. and be patient lol. I agree with the whole not preaching thing. I don’t preach to ppl about what they should or shouldn’t do. If they ask I can give suggestions or tell them MY experience but that’s it. I totally feel where you are coming from btw. And I think generally we are both saying the same thing… hair doesn’t have the same meaning for everyone.

      2. LOL I said I agree with you and I sympathize with them, because it is true and it’s sad that people think that way. Stop trying to argue with me!

        Random side story – So I was in the BSS the other week and this woman walked in there with a scarf on her head looking for products. Unfortunately, this store only sold Kinky Curly, Miss Jessie’s and Mixed Chicks…she got some samples of MC, then asked me what I used on my hair. I replied that the only stuff from here I’d use is Kinky Curly, and that day I had used conditioner and Kiss My Face Upper Management Gel on my hair, and I told her I got it from Whole Foods. She looked at me DISAPPOINTED and was like ohhh…yea, I have that stuff and use it for twist outs…like she was mad I wasn’t letting her in on some natural hair secret cure all product. She complimented me on my hair but I was sort of giving her the side eye.

  9. Boy do I feel ya!!! I have had every comment in the book, but mostly from the people that are closest to me. Most random people on the street want to know where I get it done. I am just being introduced to the Wash n Go lifestyle, thanks to people like you. Now my family is coming around and I’m super excited, but also trying to take the stance of not being a bully, but it’s amazing how unfathomable it is for them to realize that they can wear their hair just the way God made it!! But you’re right the natural life is not for everyone, they definately have to get their mind right first, and they have to want to do that. My boyfriend had been begging me for years to wear mine natural, but I had know idea what to do with it. It wasn’t until a friend started showing me websites and books that I felt like I could do it, and now I love it!! So let the haters hate, it’s their loss!!

  10. lol I can see you’re frustrated!

    Seriously, though…Yes, natural hair is becoming more trendy/popular, but it’s still not the norm. So I can understand why people might give you props for it or act like it’s against the grain…because it is.

    And about some textures being preferred over others…It may be frustrating to hear all the time, but it’s true.

    As you may have guessed by my username 🙂 I have hair of the nappy persuasion. For the majority of black women -relaxed AND natural- my hair is not the preferred type.

    1. Yea, I understand it’s not the norm, but it bothers me that “going against the grain” is wearing your hair how it grows out of your scalp! Just think, if one day boob jobs became the norm and you were one of the only girls with natural boobs – how annoying would that be, lol!

      And unfortunately what you said is true about textures, but I think that’s absolutely the wrong mindset for someone who is considering going natural…when I first decided to ditch the creamy crack I looked at pictures of 3cs only pretty much, I wanted huge curly hair (still do, but…), then I thought to myself I didn’t want to be upset if my hair didn’t come out like that, so I started looking at more pictures of 4s and realized they all had big hair too! I just like big hair. As long as it’s moisturized, I enjoy it! However, I will say that I never really thought one hair type was better than another, I was just looking at pictures of the “look” I was going for.

  11. hehehehe! i like this post. I was always trying to “convert” people, and try to advise them about their hair, the resistance was fierce girl!! but i ploughed on, until i realised that it wasn’t my duty and that if they didn’t care enough about their hair, why should i? why should i do all the research for them, give them products samples to try (out of my own pocket), and offer to help them, if they didn’t care enough to be a bit more proactive themselves? well, that little “phase” is over, to each their own. A friend of mine today announced that she was done transitioning and had made an appointment to get her dose of creamy crack tomorrow, all i said was “cool, so you don’t need me to do your hair this weekend then? cos i don’t deal with relaxed hair”. She started justifying herself, and i said “no, you don’t need to, you do what works for you girl, we are still cool, i ain’t gonna hate on you just cos you are not natural!!!”. Hell, more time for me to enjoy my own journey and more products for me!!!

    1. LMAO! I’m glad you all don’t think I’m being mean with this post. I didn’t want to be negative but sometimes I’m like SHEESH Y’ALL! I’ve had friends tell me, “But…why would I read your blog when I can just ask you…” ::Side Eye:: Like I spend all this time researching and sharing it with everyone for my damn health…I cannot…

  12. LOL @ I put water in my hair! Seriously, that should be your standard response. Either that or water and grease. All said with a straight face. 🙂

  13. ““How did you get your hair like that?” When I reply with, “Conditioner and gel,” I often get a “Oh excuse me miss” look or a look of disbelief.”

    I get this one at least twice a week. I’m always vague about what I use partially because I don’t use much and partially because I feel a hair regimen is an individual thing. What works for me may not work for you.

    1. Exactly! When people ask me that I started saying what I used that day b/c I know they want a specific answer, but I use different stuff everyday anyway, and I’ll say that to them, and then they want me to tell them more products!!! I can’t…I’m going to start saying, “I put water in my hair.” And be done with them lol.

  14. My goodness, I go through the same thing and it annoys me to no end. I don’t proclaim to know it all. The only person I can speak for is myself and what works for me. I’ve even had people get upset with me when certain products dont work. I didn’t tell them to use it; I said what worked for me. *smh* Research, research, research and patience is key. Hang in there, babe

    1. LMAO at them getting upset with you. Same thing has happened to me, like it’s my fault they didn’t like the conditioner I like. Sigh.

    2. Yeah I always give a disclaimer before I tell someone about a product that’s not familiar with hair and hair products: “Now this is what works for me but you will still have to find out what your hair likes and doesn’t like and just because we appear to have similar hair, doesn’t mean our hair likes the same products.”

      Now I talk a lot AND fast so that’s the only reason why I have no problem sayin all that.

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