Must you Love or Hate Natural Hair?

Must you Love or Hate Natural Hair

He said: “For natural hair to look good, it has to be perfect. Even if one hair is out of place it can make it look nappy.”

I would say I was disappointed, but as a woman with natural hair, the things I hear on a week-to-week basis don’t even surprise me anymore. Why does it seem like either people love your natural hair or hate it? Is there no in between?

Love: I’m at an open mic event and three guys compliment my hair saying, “I really love your natural.” One even wanted to touch my curls (kind of weird).

Hate: Over the Christmas break I visit my sister (whom I haven’t seen in months) and her first expression upon seeing my 3-day-old, desperate for moisture pompadour is “Dang, your hair is nappy!”

Love: On my way into Caribou coffee, a girl almost runs me down with her car trying to get my attention to tell me how much she loves my hair, ask me how I did it, and if I think it’ll look good on her.

Hate: Upon seeing my cousin Christmas Day (who, I must point out, I just saw on Thanksgiving) he looks at my hair funny and asks, “What, are you growing dreads?” To answer that for you, my sistas, no I am not.

I honestly never know what I’m going to get anymore but I’ve learned to prepare myself for any and all comments, especially from my family. The funniest thing is, more than when I had relaxed hair, people seem so eager to give me praise or ridicule about my natural hairstyle as if I asked for their opinion!

I digress.

Back to the opening comment, why does natural hair have to be “perfect” to look good? Why is looking nappy a bad thing? Why if I were growing dreads did the idea need to be met with a stank face? What is it about this kinky, coarse thick hair that upsets people so?

Perhaps it’s because of its versatility possessing the ability to look wild and sassy with free flowing curls, transform into an elegant, chic bun with a twist and a hair pin, or still make its wearer the baddest chick in the room even when it’s low cut and barely there?

Or maybe it has to do with its unique texture that easily absorbs moisture and maintains its fabulous style where others might frizz, poof, or shrivel up in the face of humidity?

My guess is because of the freedom it provides as so many women embrace what makes them unique and dare to go against the norm and what society deems as beautiful and rock their God-given locks the way God gave them.

Although this “trend” of natural hair is on the rise, it’s not as prominent as relaxers and weaves. This fluctuates depending on where you reside, but for every one natural girl, you’re bound to see three “long hair, don’t care” natural-is-just-too-much-work girls.

And this is all well and dandy, but just because there is more of something doesn’t make it better than.

My natural is not perfect because I am not perfect, but that doesn’t take away its beauty. Contrary to what some may think, kinky is gorgeous, nappy is beautiful, and one hair out of place, just like one perspective, doesn’t take away from the overall attractiveness of my crown and glory. Love it, hate it or be in between.

Service is her passion, writing is her platform, women and the Black Community are her avenues. Shala Marks is a writer, editor and soon-to-be author. Marks aspires to help make a difference in society through the messages in her writings. She has a B.A. in journalism from Arizona State University. Check her out at:


  1. Im a natural hair person myself. i sit on the fence with this because my hairs texture (no wouldn’t say i have good hair) always for beautiful, very complimented on natural curls during the summer. but in the winter, i have it blown out straight 1-2 times a month, when it straight you would think ive had a perm. i think my hair just responds to heat well.

    i understand that if my natural hair isnt moisturized by day 3….yes it looks nappy and thats why only where my natural texture when its warm because the dry air of winter in NJ does more damage to it.

    i hate the negative comments but at the same time ive looked over at a fellow natural lady and thought…yea you would be better with a perm if your not going t stay on top of it.

    im guilty of that but its my true feelings, natural hair, especially long natural hair is alot of work.

  2. I have gone back and forth between natural and relaxed hair. Now I am back to natural and I feel that this works best for me.

    Rather relaxed or natural it’s a personal choice. Actually I love that black women have the option to change our look at the snap of our fingers. I think it’s pretty cool.

  3. People are still missing one point you are making…that there is nothing wrong with NAPPY. I proudly proclaim (and reclaim) that word on a daily basis. Keep preachin it sis.

  4. I was natural years ago for about four years and got many compliments from the caucasion race. Women in the black race would stare and admire and use the popular excuse they have been taught to devalue their nautral beauty (Oh I can’t go natural my hair is too course BS) I went natural due to concious reasons not this fade that’s going on now. However, I put a relaxer in my hair and now I am back to natural. Natural does not automatically equal nappy. If you don’t properly care for your hair it will be nappy whether it’s natural or relaxed. My afro was flawless and it was very fluffy no naps. And I have that very beautiful thick coarse hair too lol! Most people couldn’t believe that my natural hair looked better then their relaxed hair. And this time around is even better because the guy that does my hair when I want to also knows how to get my hair so bone straight minus any chemicals and you would think I had a relaxer because when my natural hair is straight it is even more healthy, full, longer, and bouncy. Natural works for me because I have the best of both worlds. Which is what I like because I like to change it up.

  5. I get exactly what this article is saying. Why can’t natural hair just be hair?

    Why can’t it be a standard instead of one of those things that people either love or hate? Because with straight, wavy, or loosely curly hair, you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who dislikes it and if they do, it isn’t the texture they dislike, it is the style or the lack of health. It is not this way with natural hair. People will dislike it simply because they deem the texture ugly. This is what God gave me, so I like it.

Comments are closed.