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!
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: