Manifesto of a Former Self Hater

From Curly Nikki – Sometimes Hair is Just Hair – A Follow-Up

“Relaxers reinforce the fact that black women are perceived as ‘ugly’ compared to other races.”

“Perming for “straight” hair is the number one self hatred action still going on by Black People today.”

Blanket statements. Generalizations. Shots fired.

I read these statements yesterday on Curly Nikki, and a strong fury pulsed in my chest. As I read the comments, this fury increased. The cosigning on his views was apparent. Now let me say, I understand what I THINK was the point of his views – that women should embrace their natural because it “exudes confidence.” To be frank, do I think natural hair = confidence? No. And furthermore, I am disgusted with the plethora of women and men who feel the need to place emphasis on the confidence shown by wearing one’s natural hair by expressing their thoughts on the lack of confidence they feel is displayed in straight hair.

It is true, many people DO look down on women who relax or straighten their hair. The high and mighty natural haired sista with a fro that can block out the sun, proudly toting her fisted afro pick (you know you have one) and afrocentric jewelry while she blasts Common and Bilal on her Evo (no, not iPhone, she isn’t a sheep). She smirks slyly at women with relaxers on the subway while in her head she says, “You wish you had the confidence to be me.” But is it confidence, or projection?

I truly do not understand why it needs to be so black and white, or cut and dry. If you have natural hair, you accept yourself, if you have straightened hair, you do not. I will admit, that there are SOME black women with straight hair that truly do hate their texture and will never be caught dead without a relaxer, which is sad, but often, you need to SPEAK with these women for them to reveal themselves. You cannot look at someone with a relaxer and call them a self hater.

In short, this type of mentality is just as damaging as people thinking natural hair is unacceptable for the workplace or in society. When someone says, “Some people have hair too nappy to be natural,” natural haired women riot. But when someone says, “Women who have relaxers don’t love themselves,” natural haired women…clap? Swoon? Hurrah? To love one, why do you have to hate the other? If the world ever shifted, and natural hair was the norm, and all the women with straight hair were looked down upon and ridiculed, where does that leave us? In the same place we were before.

The most ironic detail of this conundrum is that most women who are now wearing their natural hair previously had a relaxer, or frequently pressed their hair. So what does that make you? A hyprocrite? Oh wait…no, it makes you enlightened. My apologies, my sista. Of course, oh Enlightened One, when you were a child getting your hair relaxed, you obviously knew about civil rights history and why relaxers were invented. You knew that black people started straightening their hair in order to attempt to fit in with white society. What a clever child you were. For the record, I found out about the history of relaxers well…after I decided to stop relaxing my hair. I never grew up thinking my hair was “less” than another races, I just knew it was work (which it is as a result of my incredibly thick hair, whether it is relaxed or natural).

So why all the talk of self hatred and conformity towards women with relaxers? Is it because you formerly hated your hair? Is it a bitterness due to the fact that natural hair isn’t the norm? Or are you just being a bitch? **I mean bitch as in

a malicious, spiteful, or overbearing woman, or someone that is extremely difficult, objectionable, or unpleasant – DO NOT THINK I AM CALLING ALL OF YOU BITCHES.**
I have heard some people say that you cannot love yourself if you are using harmful chemicals on your hair and ultimately damaging it. Yet…you can dye your hair and still be considered natural, and most will not bat an eyelash. Even if they do not want to call you natural, most will not call you a self hater. But get this, believe it or not, lifting dye actually removes the eumelanin and the phaeomelanin from your hair and possibly ruptures the disulfide bonds that hold the fiber of your hair together (depending on whether you are bleaching or not). Although it does not alter the curl pattern of your hair, it does alter the structure (I read a comment on CN that said that permanent dye only “saturates” the hair strand…girl…please). Furthermore, since we are talking about hair damage, when was the last time you heard a group of natural haired women questioning a woman who used heat to blow out her hair and make it look kinkier (still altering the natural pattern), when we all know that blow dryers damage our hair by blowing open the cuticle and making it more susceptible to breaking and dryness? Good luck finding that one.

Now, let me clarify. I do not want my point lost in all my sarcasm (sorry, I feel a certain kind of way about the statements at the beginning of the post so my snarky went with it). I realize that as young girls we usually come up with the idea that “straight hair is pretty” through the media and our environment. I am not referring to little girls. Personally, I am not for relaxing someone’s hair until they are old enough to understand a) What chemicals are in a relaxer, b) the possible side effects (of relaxers or heat), c) the history of relaxers, and d) the proper way to care for their natural hair (because let us be honest, if you do not know how to care for your natural hair, relaxers seem to be a LOT easier). Also, I think that women who relax and chronically straighten their hair should take a moment to think about why they do it. Is it out of habit? Because it’s easy? Is it a preference? Or is it because they truly are ashamed of their natural texture?

To all ladies, natural or relaxed: No matter what people say, or imply about your decisions, the important thing is that you are at peace with your appearance. Do not stop getting relaxers because you think you have to or you look like a self hater. Do not struggle and secretly hate your natural hair because you need to be down for the cause. Do not get a relaxer because someone told you that your hair was too nappy, or you “need to do something with it.” Do not be upset because the woman next to you has a relaxer, wig, weave, natural hair, blue hair, pink hair, or no hair. The only person you need to be honest with is yourself (and you certainly do not need to listen to any man who feels the need to go on a tirade about hair…*eye roll*).

Until then, pals…xoxo

37 comments

  1. Uummm have you been wondering around in my brain? Every single word you said..eer typed is so on point!

    So happy I found your blog, cause I was beginning to wonder about this whole “natural hair community” (that I’m so turned off by).

    I will be tuning in daily chica =)

  2. my answer on the CN facebook note:
    Thank Thank Thank you
    You actually said everything that i wanted to say…but in a very eloquent way…you are just awesome
    people just need to calm down and understand that hair is sometimes jut hair. if someone prefers it straight, fine, if… someone preferes it curly, cool.
    It’s really just going with what u feel confortable. I prefer my hair natural but i never judged or never will judge someone that wears it diferently. WTF?? who am I to do that?
    that dude on that other post is jus ta plain idiot

    I just need to add that YOU’RE AWEOMEEEEEEEEEEEE

    1. Aw, thank you! TBTH, I don’t think hair is just hair…BUT, I think that everyone has their own reasons for doing what they do to their hair, and their own story. I’d never judge someone based on how they wear their hair – totally agree with you. And LOL, I wouldn’t call him an idiot…but…I’d say he’s…misinformed?

  3. All of this good hair/ bad hair, self hate isht feels like a scene from School Daze.

    It’s 20 degrees where I am. Too cold for my normal wash n go, but I don’t have patience for a twist out. Do I hate myself for considering the warmth and ease of weave and braids? Maybe my enlightenment is one that hibernates…

  4. I see your view but don’t agree with it. I can’t speak for other women, but I had NO CHOICE in the matter of my hair when I was a child. NONE. I also lived in a humid climate and and back in the 70’s and 80’s the ONLY way to combact humidity was a relaxer.

    I honestly had no clue what my natural hair looked like. Does this make me englightened because I choose to be natural now? No, it just makes me love the natural hair that grows out of my scalp. I don’t think I’m better but I do feel I am loving myself in a better way than trying to fit into what mainstream media has deemed as beautiful.

    1. The same thing happened to me – I had no say in my hair and I didn’t know what my texture was. I’m not disagreeing with what you are saying, I actually think we are saying the same thing in different ways – ALL natural women do not think they are better, and yes, it’s fine to love your hair. I sure do love mine.

      1. That’s cool. I understand there are some serious militants out there but understand that ‘nappy’ has always been considered bad, ugly, inferior and some of those militants are just showing self-love. Nappurality is a site that is hard-core about loving the napps and I understand. We should love what is natural about and to us. They are just a little strong with it.

      2. Hmmm…I hope my post came across in the right way… I’m a member of NP, and I like the site. Some of the women are different about their hair than me (some won’t even use gels), and that’s cool. We all have different journeys. However, I don’t like it when people turn their own self-love into another person’s self-hate (which is what my post was saying). Like, I was being totally facetious in my description of the stereotypical natural, but think about it…in the same sentence when you (in the general sense, not you, Sabrina) praise your hair, you need to assume that someone else is envious of you or not as strong as you…that’s just not cool, ya know? If you are truly at peace with yourself, you don’t need to measure your own self esteem based on a perceived lack of self esteem you see in others. That’s all I’m saying, I feel like we should focus on the positive feelings we have about natural hair rather than think of negative things we can say about relaxers/wigs/weaves/etc. I understand nappy has always equaled bad, even if my mother never taught me that, but in order for that to change we should focus on being positive – otherwise, it’s just going to be this whole weird natural vs. relaxed war, and neither of us are going to get anywhere.

  5. Yes, it was the guy with the locs. It drives me nuts that men will insult the very hair that they have on their heads.

    Ugh, don’t get me started on curling cremes. I totally agree with you about people spending hours doing twist outs with $40 curling cremes hoping to make their hair look curly.

    And the people who want to weep on the internet about how much we get put down from society drive me nuts. I think some of them need a history lesson b/c the history(and present) of women in the Far East is far more depressing (e.g., no one was every crushing our feet so that they wouldn’t get any bigger for example). So don’t cry to me about how everyone in the world hates the black woman. Um, the fact that their lives are so difficult is why they sell the hair that these enlightened women get sewn into their head on a regular basis.

    I’ve always preferred it when people tell me generically that my hair is pretty. But you know, some men are mesmerized by texture and length. In the past I had people that I see every day treat me like a different person when my hair, which I normally kept in a big bun, was out and down. Crazy.

    Now that you mention it, I think that the only black men who have complimented my hair have been gay. Oh, wait, or “old” as in people who I’m guessing came of age in the 70’s and still like that look.

  6. Oh, did you ever read the article on another blog that interviewed a man who both put down women with relaxed hair but when asked about what kinds of hair he liked, he mentioned every kind except “kinky”? (he said, wavy, curly, and straight). So it just kind of was clear that if you were a kinky natural, he wasn’t going to be feeling what was on your head.
    And to top it off, he was a black African man.
    Some of these men aren’t so subtly suggesting that if your hair is natural, it has to be the right kind, which unfortunately some women will take to heart. Very off topic but it just demonstrated how messed up we can be over this issue.

    1. Was it that guy with the locs? I think I read something like that on another blog…to be honest, it really upsets me when men say stuff like that. Like, I really don’t like it when men comment on my hair and they’re like “Oh, it’s so curly, I love it…” it makes me wonder what they would say if my hair was kinkier, because they definitely freely use the word “nappy.” I don’t know, it’s all too much for me, lol – I’m just going to focus on my hair, growing it out, and loving my texture.

  7. I loved this post. I also don’t understand how women who spend lots of money on curl creams to emulate curls, or who insist on hiding their natural hair under weaves and wigs until it is “long enough” think that they are somehow more enlightened or self-loving than those who relax.

    It says so much more about you that you assume that everyone hates themselves the same way that you do. If you hate your hair, your body, your skin, don’t put that on everyone else around you who has those same attributes.

    The biggest hurdle for me when I finally had no more relaxed hair was just the amount of TIME that I had to devote to getting it done. So that was enough for me to consider re-relaxing, although in my case, I didn’t have a relaxer one until i was an adult, never got it heavily processed (and it was running into hairdressers who did it and ruined it that made me decide I was done), and had always LOVED my natural texture and totally knew what it was going to be like. Glad I had a mom who was okay putting in the time and who me every day how lovely it was.

    At any rate, as you said, you don’t know anything from looking at anyone else, and you don’t know what is in her head or why she makes the choices that she makes, and even if they aren’t made from the best place, it’s just not your business.

    It’s not even fair to try to say that you know a parent’s intent with relaxing. I have friends whose mom’s were natural and definitely okay with it who were overwhelmed with having daughters with really long and thick hair; the choice was cutting it off as mom had done in many cases or relaxing. Definitely not done as self-hate so again, don’t assume that your issues are everyone else’s issues, b/c they just aren’t.

    It’s funny how we don’t call try to say that white women who bleach their hair (so many blonds that you see running around aren’t really) are self-hating, or that Asian women who buy curly products (I have friends who do this hoping it will help their hair hold curl) are trying to be black. As much as we try to say that straight hair is the standard, talk to any straight-haired lady and you’ll hear something different.

    1. I agree with you, but you know that often when you bring up women of another race, the retort you will get will reference the history of the pain of the down trodden black woman. I wish we would stop viewing ourselves as these damaged beings. And that’s another thing…I mean don’t get me wrong, I love me some curl cremes, but I don’t use them expecting my curl pattern to change. Some women will buy anything that says it will elongate their curls, wishing for some 3b curls on a 4b head. I’ve also come across many naturals who never wear their natural texture – they always do twist outs, braid outs, etc, that mimic a looser pattern. Some do it because their free hair will tangle too much or they don’t want to walk around half the day with wet hair, that’s true, but I’ve seen some say that they wear these styles to make their hair more “appropriate.” So I’m like um what? Where’s the love in that?

  8. Thank you for sharing this!

    I have always done “my own thing” so I also get annoyed at the fact that some people will go along with anything. This whole “natural movement” thing is getting on my nerves. Why does it have to be a political statement? Who cares? Yes, there’s no denying that my kinky hair is not exactly the mainstream standard of beauty. Whatever. I’m not about to attack or condemn those who wear their hair differently. That stems from a false confidence and does not warrant my respect. But that’s just my opinion.

    Keep the product reviews coming, Elle. There’s no telling how much money you’ve saved me lol 🙂

  9. Honestly, this is the reason I don’t religiously read hair blogs, boards, or watch YouTube hair videos. It seems that too many people are natural but still insecure. There are way too many blog posts about negative reactions of friends and family, type 3s have it easier than type 4s, what black men think, etc.

    I’ve been natural since the mid-90s. Before that I was only getting a texturizer once every 6 months, which was unheard of at the time. Even when some people felt the need to tell me I would look prettier with bone-straight hair, my belief has always been, “let me do me and you do you.”

    I will say that as more women have given up relaxers, I have had people assume I’m one of the crazy, militant naturals. A colleague of mine defended her decision to bleach her hair blonde and I told her I honestly didn’t care one way or the other because it’s not my hair.

    Interestingly enough, other naturals assume I did a big chop, have a complicated hair regimen, and that I am obsessed with length. Every day without fail, I get asked how long it took to grow my hair out to its current length. I get annoyed with my hair when it gets about MBL-stretched and cut it to BSL or sometimes even APL.

    The one good thing about so many new naturals is all the products that are now available. I tend to stick with the first few brands I tried (Oyin, Qhemet, Curl Junkie), but it’s nice to know there are so many options and that I can pick up quality products at places like Target.

  10. Can’t we ALL just get along… So sad that I’m referring to all black women and not even different races!

  11. Just wanted to say I love your blog…okay….got that out of the way…lol.

    THANK YOU! I’ve been saying this for the longest although I think the women on nappturality and youtube (if you wonder into the wrong section) are the worse.

    At the same time though, I really cant see myself feeling sorry or defending a group of people who aren’t REALLY oppressed for their hair choice. The only time they even see any form of “dislike” towards them is online (which is pretty nice if you ask me) and that’s because there are more naturals online obsessing over hair than relax haired women. …..and the reason why there are more natural haired women online obsessed over hair than relaxed haired women is because natural haired women dont receive the suport they need in the “real world”. So women with relaxed hairs persecution online actually proves women with natural hairs persecution….everywhere else.

    I mean honestly, outside of the blogosphere and longhaircareforum, this issue is about as common as a black man wacking a white woman upside the head with a ten foot pole. It aint the norm. I can’t stand militant naturals like this but I also can’t stand relaxed haired women with a very much undeserved persecution complex either.The image of an afrocentric black woman rocking her napps proudly while thumbing her nose at the poor defenseless relaxed haired women who crumples in fear and sadness at being called “white”, is an issue that NEVER leaves the internet. We are a minority so there aint but so much relaxed hair oppressing we can do. They dont face as much discrimination as we do (within our community or outside) and honestly those who frst go natural complain all the time about the lack of support they receive from black women with relaxed hair (hence why they retreat to the blogosphere, naturallycurly, longhaircareforum, etc in the first place….for SUPPORT). The every day black woman doesn’t get called white for having straight hair. So while militants bother me when I see them online, I cant really get “mad” or hung up on it because the truth of the matter is they’re a little fishie in a huge pond of relaxed haired women and when people hear their opinions they most likely evoke laughter…not fntimidation.

    1. WOW! This is a really great perspective – thank you so much for making that point! I actually feel a bit better now! And I must say, LMMFAO at the image of a relaxed woman crumpling in fear and sadness…the vision is too much!

  12. Your post was very eloquently stated. I love how you educate through your posts to let the younger girls know what’s really going on and how to deal with their hair. I even like the sprinkles of sarcasm throughout the post. It is clear to me that you have educated yourself about our hair, natural or relaxed, and we thank you for the education you pass on to us, your readers.

  13. I’ve been natural since 1996. Before there were blogs and youtube videos, terms like “the big chop” and a support system. I’ve been dealing with this issue for a long time. People automatically assume things about me b/c my hair is “natural.” 1) I smoke the green stuff – I don’t. 2) I’m going to buy oils and incense – not really, not trying to hide the scent of the green stuff 3) I’m CONFIDENT – Some days and not others, just like any growing person. 3) I’m lazy – Naah. Natural hair is more work if anything 4) I wear my hair like this because I feel comfortable – Uhmm depends on the setting. 5) I’m good in bed – of course this is personal and perpetuated by the ignorant. 6) I dislike women with relaxed hair – Really, I don’t care about YOUR hair or YOUR choice. It simply never crossed my mind. I will however, help you learn about your hair if you so choose.

    I started wearing my hair natural, b/c I heard myself and my g/f talking one day. We were discussing how we had to hurry up and get our hair relaxed. Before it got “nappy.” I thought about it. I was embarrassed. I was uncomfortable with me being uncomfortable with my hair. Therefore, I decided to challenge myself. It’s an on-going battle.

    Even today, as a single sistah. The dating scene is a scary place for naturally driven women. While some men are attracted to the so-called confidence these women exude, others are turned off by it. So…there in itself lies the struggle of natural hair. It can lead you to question your decision time and time again.

    I believe that this thing that exists between relaxed hair and natural hair women is ridiculous. I didn’t know it existed until these blogs and boards sprung up. While I suggest trying your natural hair, it’s not for everybody. Nor, would I suggest that it is. I like your site and reviews. Unfortunately, I’m afraid this article’s tone perpetuates the hostility you talk about natural women having – even if you didn’t mean it that way. It’s a great article in the fact that it brings to light a problem that should never exist. Remember, united we stand, divided we fail (NOT fall). And we always seem to find a way to divide ourselves. Keep up the conversation and the excellent work. Thank you for another website option. We need voices like yours.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story and for not totally agreeing with me. I don’t mind a bit of dissent. 🙂 And I sound hostile because well…I am, toward natural women who perpetuate the stereotype regarding everything you said, especially that we all hate women who have relaxers (wait…good in bed?!?! That’s a new one, lol!!!). I have had people straight up try to TELL ME that because I love my natural hair that I in turn MUST hate relaxers, even if I blatantly disagree with that notion (Seriously, I have refuted their comment, and they tell me I am lying or trying to save face). I can’t stand it, and I do agree with you that it should not exist at all. However, as a natural haired woman, I am not going to blame women with relaxers and act as if they are simply being paranoid or defensive regarding what some think of them. It is extremely frustrating to me is because these judgmental views are just as damaging as the negative views towards natural hair.

      Unfortunately, they think they are being progressive and everyone else isn’t on “their level.” Perhaps this is why it upsets me so much – because they are blind to their own prison. I belong to a number of hair boards, and I have seen it all…there are even women who like to distinguish between “natural” (women without relaxers) and “napptural” (women who “truly” accept their own texture and do not use any products besides conditioner and oil, never use heat or flat iron their hair, etc). It’s too much divisiveness for me, so yes, I am rather annoyed by it. Furthermore, it’s not only some natural women who have these views – the statements at the beginning of my post are from a man, and it really disgusts me to think that any man would look at a woman with a relaxer and say, “Oh yea, I can’t date her because she hates herself.” Like really? And the sad thing is, reading through the comments of that article, it seems like a lot of women will cosign with those views or support a man like that, because he’s “Team Natural.” It’s advantageous to them, so they’re okay with it. I personally am not okay with a man making statements like that towards ANY woman, whether his views pertain to me or not.

      I do apologize that my post took on a “scolding” tone, I truly do – but I do not think my point was ultimately lost in the midst of my sarcasm. I am all for unity, but when people promote divisiveness, I do believe that it’s not the time to sugarcoat things. Again, thank you for reading, and I appreciate the additional discussion you’ve brought to the table. I always like to say it’s just hair, but there is a lot more to it than product reviews. 🙂

  14. yeah, i was just as angry when reading the comments on that article as well. mostly because people just aren’t honest and don’t appreciate the honesty of others. a lot of naturals need to stop projecting on others cause that ain’t cute.

    although, i must contest one point. it is not the child getting her hair permed because she has self hate issues; it is the parent who may hate their own texture and passes that self loathing onto the child. this is not always the case, of course, but we cannot ignore that parents can pass issues of self-loathing onto their children.

    1. Ah, I do agree with your point to a certain extent. I have definitely seen parents relax a child’s hair because of their own issues, and some women even strive to marry a man of another race in the hope that her child can have “good hair.” So yep, I definitely see your point and thank you for adding that!

      Personally, my mother relaxed my hair because my hair was long and thick and she couldn’t take detangling it – I would scream and cry and throw a FIT. I wish I never got a relaxer, but I don’t fault her for giving me one, because it DID make my hair easier to manage. But she never told me that straight hair would make me prettier, or that my hair was ugly…she was just like chile, I can’t comb through all this and have you cry!!! There have been times where I have come close to tears detangling my OWN hair, and it’s not even long, so I can’t even imagine what she went through! And her blow drying my hair?!?! Woooosaaaah… lol

      1. yeah, i can relate. my hair was relaxed on the humble. my mother and my aunt worked in the same salon. my mother was busy but my aunt was not. so, since she was bored, my aunt relaxed my hair. i truly believe that my mother had no intentions of relaxing my hair. it was long and thick and would definitely give you hand cramps trying to work with it, but no one ever made me feel as if i was less than because of my hair. honestly, i have more respect for my female elders now that i have first hand knowledge of how much work it takes to do my hair. good thing i wasn’t tender headed.

    2. Relaxing my hair at 8 wasn’t about self-hate for my mom. She’s been natural most of my life (I’m 26). She gave in to relaxing my hair to save her sanity. My hair was and is extremely kinky. Combing my hair would cause those “indestructible” black ACE combs to snap in half. Washing day included screaming, running, tears and a flooded bathroom (twice).

      That said, I don’t really mind kiddie relaxers (just not before the age of 7; three year olds don’t need chemicals). Not everyone has the patience or skill to deal with a squirming, tenderheaded child. If parent and child are happier without natural hair, what business is it of me and my ‘fro?

  15. I agree with you, its just another form of catty. (SOME) Naturals hate on relaxed girls saying “they don’t love themselves,” then (SOME) Naturals hate on other naturals because they’re not natural enough, (SOME) Relaxed hate on naturals citing jumping on a bandwagon and being unprofessional and so on and so forth and NONE of these people like themselves.
    When you do (love yourself) you don’t really have the space/energy/time to demean others. I really don’t know why women (esp. Black women) love to be divided. Light vs Dark skin, perm vs natural, why? If your only joy comes in berating others then you don’t really have any. I think its saddening.
    While I don’t miss my perm, I can look at a friend with one and still think her hair looks beautiful on any given day. But maybe I subconsciously hate myself still *eye roll*

  16. this was really good.

    i think that while the relaxer might have been developed as a way to make afro textured hair look more like caucausian/any race with straight hair (or maybe they what they percieved as more manageable/convenient?) , i find it hard to believe that lil girls who get perm slapped on their heads at age 3 without any input, have self-hate, or value european beauty aesthetics over their own…and if you’ve been relaxed most/all of your life, its all you know, its probably way easier to stick with what you’re familiar with, than to just go into this unchartered territory of natural hair… that doesnt mean you hate yourself (and it doesnt mean you love yourself either)….yeah, some ppl relax their hair in hopes of getting that “white girl swang”, some just do it for sheer convenience or because maybe they just like the look of straight hair (as do some naturals who press their hair), with no racial/ethnic motives behind it.

    some relaxed women probably do hate their hair, but does the natural who spends hours shingling curl creams and gels in her hair hoping that a curl pattern that isnt there will magically appear really love hers? if so, why is she doing all that to try to change it? i could easily say she doesnt have the confidence to go out the house with her hair looking the way it naturally grows from her head….but nope, i forgot all naturals are confident…oh yeah, and enlightened (yet not enough to discern the fact that curl creams and gels are designed to enhance and lock in a curl pattern that ALREADY EXISTS.) how come white people who dye their hair or get curly perms arent self haters? sometimes when i see a natural with flat-ironed or pressed hair, it looks like they’re relaxed. do they hate themselves by default? is the relaxed girl who’s hair is resistant to relaxers and might look natural, or is texlaxed or who wears “natural styles” like twistouts or braidouts granted a pardon on her self hatred or lack of confidence? do i hate myself cuz i wear a weave sometimes?

    people are so quick to judge who someone is on the inside (people that they dont even know, never had a conversation with or even seen in their life) based on outside superficial attributes as minute as hair, and its sickening.

    1. Exactly. I have heard some naturals say their texture isn’t acceptable so they do braid/twist outs most of the time, but because there are no chemicals involved they must still love their hair right? People are getting too focused on the fact that a relaxer is a chemical process – there are many people who get relaxers as infrequently as possible and minimize the damage done to their hair. Not everyone relaxing their hair is going to the salon every 6 weeks like clockwork, getting their scalp burned, and walking around with bald spots all for the sake of having non-kinky hair.

  17. I really appreciate this post.

    If you think about it, this phenomenon can be seen in a lot of different groups, movements, countercultures, etc. Essentially, the minority becomes just as oppressive, exclusionary, and/or divisive as the majority it’s fighting to subvert….. We see this happening among naturals with the extreme stereotyping of relaxed women, as you pointed out, right down to the “you’re not black enough to be considered natural”/you need 5z hair to roll with us sistas. We don’t need to replace one dominant school of thought for another, whether you (general you, not you in particular Elle, lol) think you’re right or not, it’s not healthy to have the world operating on any one ideology. Say your piece, get the facts out there (you mentioned history, knowledge of natural haircare, etc.) and then let folks live their lives.

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