My Concerns With Natural Hair Categories

If you are entrenched in the online, natural hair world, then you are more than likely aware of the categories that have been created and instituted like some of  these described below:

* Militant, Everything natural, Naturals - Don't do anything "unnatural" to their hair or anything to alter its original texture, use no heat or hair color, are anti weaves or wigs, use all natural ingredient products, and even shun styles like braid outs and twist outs b/c it's (temporarily) altering the original texture. Anything outside of what they do means you hate your God given texture and hate yourself. There is a small population of some who do not have this mindset and just hold themselves to these standards.

* Straight Naturals - Wear their hair straight over 90% of the time via direct and/or indirect heat.

*Texlaxed Naturals - Use relaxer or texturizer to loosen their curl pattern just a bit. They are not going for the straight look necessarily.

* BKT naturals - Wear their hair straight most of the time via the B.razilian K.ertin T.reatment but many also utilize in loosening their kurl pattern for aesthetic and/or manageability effects.

* Colored Naturals - Self explanatorily, color their hair. Color has the capacity to loosen one's kurl pattern but not everyone experiences this and it happens in individual degrees. Those who color are normally not looking for deliberate kurl loosening, they simply want a different hair color.

* Heat Trained Naturals - Deliberately use heat to loosen their kurl pattern. This deliberate use of heat also creates an easier straightening process and longer lasting straight looks. Many feel this is a healthier option to using caustic chemicals like BKT, relaxers and texturizers.

* Who Gives A Flying $!#k Naturals - Do whatever they feel like doing to their hair: grow it long and then cut it if they feel like, dabble in color if they want, use heat when they feel like it, swear off heat when they feel like, use products that work for their hair rather they be all natural ingredient products or not, etc.

If I chose a category, I'd be the last one. I don't care what anyone else does to their hair. I worry about myself and do what I feel like doing with it.

I think the categorizing can be helpful in so many ways for those seeking specific information and inspiration along their journey but a lot of cases, from my observations, it is not used for constructive purposes. It is more so used for devision so individuals of different categories can feel better about themselves and their choices. Hair is coo but it shouldn't have a lot of power. Don't be your hair. It can't solve all your personal problems and insecurities. How a person wears their hair, contrary to the sometimes belief, does not say anything about a person's character. I know insecure naturals, negative energy naturals and rude naturals. I also know insecure relaxed women, negative energy relaxed women and rude relaxed women. Let's stop being so self righteous and learn to just enjoy hair again; whatever your definition of that is. Our choices are our choices and don't make us any better than the next person. They just make us different. At the end of the day, what's another person's hair choices got to do with you or the rent getting paid? Ya dig?

Comments

1xellus1 said…
Well written. Amen. Respect other people's choices. LOL XXX
Anonymous said…
Texlaxed or texturized is not natural, sorry hon. It's a permanent chemical process and only those who have it have fooled themselves into thinking that it's somehow different from a relaxer; it's not. They contain the same ingredients and do virtually the same thing.
Candice said…
Girl, I feel you. It's my hair and I can do what I want. It is crazy to me how upset some women get with others over their decision to wear their hair straight sometimes or not. I'm just like, "Is it that serious?" lol
Giselle said…
Great post. I would have to agree that I am also on the last category. Hair is hair and it should be taken as seriously as some people do.I feel that the natural hair community excludes its own just as when we were excluded by those with different textured hair. We are natural and how we choose to deal with our patterns should be nobody's business. I shouldn't have to feel bad for straightening my hair and nobody else should either. I love experimenting with different styles and there is nothing wrong with that! I love my kinks whether it's under a wig, straight or what have you ^_^
Jc said…
I totally agree. I think you are perfectly right, our personal definition is what matters! I think natural haired women need to rethink this bashing on other people's choices.
Anonymous said…
I agree 110%. I don't like rules and categories. Everyone should do whatever pleases them. I feel a certain way about my hair, how I care for it and what it means but I cannot impose that on others.
Brandiss said…
this post was right on time. I wish it could reach a larger audience within the natural hair community. I too put myself in the last category also. I am gonna do what I want to my hair. If someone doesnt like it...cool. Everyone isnt gonna like everything. Every "natural" isnt gonna do the same thing either.
Haha, great post! I think I would fit into the last category too. :)
GG said…
**slow clap** I love this post. Thank you for spelling it out like that. Seeing it like that really magnifies how this natural thing can divide us if we're not careful. Right on, sis.
You said it all! I would fall in the last category for sure!
julia said…
ha! I'm definitely in the last category. I had locs for 7 years. Everyone was so shocked when i chopped them off to about 1/4" of hair. Once I did my first BC (in college) I had no fear of scissors or color ... good times :)

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