Natural: The New Conformity

Is going natural the new way to conform?

It is no longer a rare thing to see a Black woman with natural hair. Actually, its becoming so unrare it’s closing in on becoming the norm in some areas. But what comes with sisters chopping off their hair in an ever increasing number and talking about how liberating it is to go against mainstream? It becomes mainstream to do so.

With so many Sisters joining the natural hair crowd, this group of women– who used to signify the epitome of mainstream rebels– are now becoming the cool crowd to join. Giving credit to the plethora of blogs, YouTube videos and websites dedicated to sharing natural hair care information, many are finding that not having a relaxer may not be as bad as they were brought up to believe.

For those who haven’t noticed, let me make it clear, corporations are consciously changing how they represent Black Women in their advertisements. Except for maybe L’Oreal’s Cover Girl and the like, most companies are representing black women by hiring those with natural hair to advertise their products. With it being reported that relaxer sales have been on the decline since 2007 and Target adding several natural hair product companies to their hair care isles nation wide—it’s safe to say “Going natural” seems to be a term that will soon be outdated.

But is the natural hair community ready to go mainstream? Many naturals testify that growing up they saw getting a perm as a rights of passage to womanhood. Almost all black women portrayed in the media rocked straight hair, with the exception of Foxy Brown and Angela Davis, leaving many Black women to not even consider natural as an option. With the media slowly, but surely, bringing naturals to the forefront, little black girls of today are sure to consider keeping their hair in its natural state.

While this recognition seems good, the natural hair community must consider what comes with being the popular crowd to join. Outsiders looking in want a piece of the pie and when I say pie I’m not talking about a celebratory pumpkin pie , similar to what’s served on Thanksgiving. Everyone wants a piece of the monetary pie. This means the presence of huge corporations in what started out as a small town based on local mom and pop shops. What comes with recognition, is the market saturated with natural products and the like. Going mainstream can result in too many players in the natural hair game.

So, yes. it’s 2010 and natural hair is nearing a mainstream status. The question is, is this really what the natural hair community wants? Do the cons of going mainstream outweigh the pros?

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  1. Honestly, I don’t have a self-esteem issue or anything, but my personal preference is to have relaxed hair and that’s me. I like the look of it, I like the feel of it. I personally think natural hair is unnattractive but that’s not ’cause I have some image-problem like a lot of natural enthusiasts would argue. I have noticed that MANY women in my church and circle of acquaintances have gone natural and some look great, and others, I’m like wow….that takes serious confidence. I personally think it’s a hot mess look, but hey, to each his/her own. I don’t mind more players being in the game. And I think that all women should wear their hair how they want whether that be natural or processed without either community labeling the other. I think as women, but especially as Black women we need to build each other up and not tear them down. and I think that if a sista wants natural/relaxed it should be because she wants it that way and nto because she feels obligated or pressured to conform or “not conform”.

    Being a true woman in my opinion means having the confidence to rock what you want to rock–whether it be lifestyle, opinion, clothing, or hair, etc.–without any real concern as to who thinks it’s popular/cute/attractive/etc but yourself. I say being a woman means knowing what you want, how you want it, and surviving and being content if you don’t get it to your specifications, but still really not giving a darn as to what others think as long as your not hurting anybody or yourself.

    Okay, my two cents. Love ya, and as Tiffany says so well….

    Love, Peace, and Chocolate! <3

  2. I decided to wear my hair natural because having it permed left me with two bald at my temple. I am still receiving chuckles from some black women because I am wearing my hair natural. Even with that I feel better that I have started this journey and I am proud of my “natural” hair. It doesn’t bother me if it goes mainstream. I welcome the opportunity. Africian American come in all shades of blackness and so does our hairstyles!

  3. Well first let me say that I am natural, but it isn’t about rebeling against society or being “Blacker”. I just like my hair natural texture and I hate doing anything to it that will damage it, and pressing and relaxing were doing just that. Most days, I wear a wig because my hair in the back is still growing out from the damage of a relaxer that I had in early 2009, but once I get 5 inches or more, I’ll be rocking my natural hair in the open all day, every day.

    To answer the question, I am not bothered by natural hair becoming mainstream. I think it needs to. I’m tired of people looking at me as a rebel when I’m just trying to be me. I want natural Black hair to be more accepted. I don’t know if I like the fact that companies like Pantene (the sucky Relaxed & Natural line) are profiting off us sistas in such a big way, but then again, don’t we need more people to cater to us? Yes, the market is becoming saturated with everybody and their mama making natural hair products that cost way to much, but everyone doesn’t like going to stores to buy 6 different ingredients to make 1 homemade hair concoction, lol.

  4. Why does everything black women do have to have a label on it. Why can’t some women just like their hair natural or just taking a break from all the chemicals. I think it is preference. I chose my natural hair because I just wanted a break from the chemicals. Not going against society nor anything foolish like that. And there is nothing wrong witha sister who likes straight hair. I get tired of being analyzed as if I am some lab rat. Just enough already.

  5. i chose to chop off my permed hair because i couldn’t do anything w/it.. it was always breaking.. i didn’t knw what to do w/it.. i was so use 2 wearing braids.. but now i wear wigs, weaves and there r so many other hair styles out that don’t require me to do anything to mine.. so i decided to cut off all the permed, let it grow natural and i keep it braided.. my hair is the thickest it’s ever been and it’s not falling out.. i love my natural hair.. i’m not ready to wear it out just yet but i’m getting there.. that doesn’t mean i’ll stop wearing other styles cause lets face it – Black women kill it when it comes to hair styles..

  6. One day I decided to cut off all my hair just one month after my last relaxer. I dont know where I got the courage; all I know is I was 100% sure that I wanted my REAL hair on my head (no pun intended). There is something organic to me about natural hair. When I look at it in the mirror I feel good about who I am and where I come from. As black people we are not too in touch with our native history. One of the most significant things that symbolizes who we are is our coiled hair. I feel closer to who I was put on this earth to be by being natural. You will never understand this feeling unless you are natural. With that being said, I dont care if “going natural” becomes mainstream, so long as black women purchase black owned products. I hate that other races are making money off our unique hair and we arent. That is my only problem. Also, at this point in my life I dont think about ever getting a relaxer because it is harmful to my hair, prevent my hair from growing at the rapid rate it grows naturally, and I love my hair too much. Its like we have a relationship… lol. I promised my beautiful thick long kinky hair that I will never do anything to hurt it again.

  7. To answer your questions..”yes. it’s 2010 and natural hair is nearing a mainstream status. The question is, is this really what the natural hair community wants? Do the cons of going mainstream outweigh the pros?”

    you are right, the market will become or is saturated with products for natural hair that arent even natural and they are EXPENSIVE. LUCKILY, I have not fallen victim to that and my methods are simple and I use what works for me…not what someone is trying to sell me because like you say, “they want their cut”. There are pros and con’s but I think there are nothing but winners here. We as black people need to “love ourselves more’. We are the FIRST community to put ourselves in front of other communities who do nothing but embrace what makes them who they are. Why do we do this? Does the words from white america who once had us en-salved still run that deep? Unfortunately, yes.

    Ive been natural now for over 2 years and my reason for doing it was simple, I wanted my hair back healthy. I was tired of being a slave to “weaves” (meaning dependent upon them) and “perms” . Now, UNDERSTAND there is nothing wrong with wearing hair extensions (i just took out a sew-in and there is nothing wrong with rocking a relaxer). However, in my case my own hair was just so damaged from “ME” not taking care of it. I was over relaxing, slapping in weaves-glued in and sew -in, and it just all became to much. I made a decision between “color” or “perm” and I kept my color!

    I think its great that more black women are embracing their hair. I think we have been taught to be “shamed” of our coarse hair. That it was good enough but the problem is, we arent doing the homework before perming our kids hair. Again, nothing wrong with a perm but give your child the choice or wait until they are older. Our kids are getting the chemicals in their hair while their bodies are still developing, their hair is still growing. I know as a community we need to look at ourselves and ask “why” we are doing something before we do it. Stop telling or saying in front of our young girls that “nappy hair is bad hair’. It can be controlled with the right products and methods. The bottom line is education. Educate yourself on the subject at hand for before picking the solution that we “think” is correct.

  8. @Natural&LovingIt you are speaking nothing but the truth. To add my natural journey has given me so much knowledge in how to care for my hair and what products are good for my hair and those that are harmful or useless. You’d be suprise to find out that grease and oil sheen is not really good for our hair. Even with relaxed hair knowing how to care for our hair goes a long way

  9. It saddens me that this is what history has resulted in. Black women are now debating whether or not it’s okay to just be themselves. We were created with the hair that we were created with. We should be proud of it and happy with it. Natural hair is beautiful. I’m glad that so many black women are now embracing who they are. If you want to relax your hair, that’s fine, but natural hair is beautiful and I’m happy it’s going mainstream!

  10. My journey:

    Natural –> Pressed –> Jheri Curl –> Relaxed –> Natural

    It’s so good to be home.

    It’s so good to have HEALTHY hair again. For me, having a ‘curl’ or ‘perm’ wasn’t healthy as I always, ALWAYS suffered severe breakage.

    I think what I’ve learned through all of this is that how much water you drink and the food you eat and the meds/drugs (legal or not) DRASTICALLY effect your hair as much as say, too much exposure to the sun can affect your skin; or lack of water effects your kidneys and innards, etc. Once I had that a-ha moment about my hair, I cut it off and have been natural since.

    Natural hair was mainstream in the 70s (re: afros…even YT folk wore them), so natural hair going ‘mainstream’ is if anything a cyclical thing that these beauty companies are taking advantage of. And that’s okay, too. Yay, capitalism! LOL. Business is business. “Natural hair” will be exploited; it is what it is.

    I think what the ‘real’ emphasis should be, where concerns our ‘community’ (and really, there’s a community? LOL i’ve been natural for two year come this November. i don’t go to seminars or attend workshops or anything…), but the emphasis should be healthy hair and how to maintain it. Natural and relaxed hair wearers should seek to keep their hair as healthy as possible. It’s just an extension of overall body wellness for me…

  11. Lets just be honest. “A hit dog will holla.” The one sista above did nothing more than justify her “need” to perm her hair to look “beautiful.” Comments such as “I don’t have a self esteem problem, I just like my hair straight,” as mainstream has brainwashed us to believe is beautiful. Now I am not saying that there are not sista’s out there who’s hairs is permed with slamming cut, colors, and styles (we just roll like that; however, I am just saying let’s be real. Many of us on a deeper level wear perms because it is one indoctrinated into our belief system’s that it is prettier and socially exceptable. And who would not be romanced by the antacts used in the commercials. A woman considered beautiful swinging her straight hair in slow motion. She appears to have ist all: the house, the car, the man, the money OK. Could someone put me up on one commercial that glamorizes black woman who wear naturals….(crikets, crickets)

    There are so a man contradictions in what the “permed”sista has to say “I think as women, but especially as Black women we need to build each other up and not tear them down” Most of the sista’s tearing other sista’s down are ones with perms. Early in her comments she say she thinks natural hair is a “hotmess.” Need I say more. Not one of the “Naturals” downed the sista’s who wear perms. You know why, lets be real…they’re too busy loving themselves.

  12. I have permed hair and some times due the constant strain financial and otherwise of going to the beauty salon I just want to be natural. I am truly considering doing the big chop for my 40th b-day in 3 years. I love some permed styles and I love some natural styles. I think with natural hair you can have both. Sometimes you can wear it natural and sometimes you can blow it straight. Straight permed hair doesn’t necessarily mean better because I have seen some severely damaged straight hair. No matter what you have just take care of it. I have a friend that just went natural a few months ago due to the damage from perms and she looks fab. Her hair is beautiful and healthy.

  13. Hey “honest, lets just be real” Girl you hit the nail dead on the head! Your post was all the way real and true. When I read what “Kourtney” wrote (the post that you referED to) about loving her perm, its looks better than natural hair, the people at her church with naturals look a “hot mess” , they must have confidence to rock that (this is not a female I would be friends with anyway, i can see that plainly). Girl i felt sorry for her after reading it and I wanted to comment on it but didnt. its clear she is missing the whole entire point why some women are natural. This is who we are. This is how we came out of the womb looking and apparently she has a problem with her blackness. natural women dont sweetheart. Kourt, let me remind you that you did not come out of your mothers womb with perfectly straighten hair just in case you forgot. The “white crack” in the box that must be used every 6 weeks made your hair straight and now you think is “your beauty”. So sad. “Honest, lets be real” girl you said it right when you said that the only people putting down the “natural women” are the women with perms. In her post all she does is talk down about naturals. Baby my natural is beautiful and Ill stand next to a long hair stringy chic and a black girl with a perm and say it loud and proud. I am beautiful inside and out and know where I come from. I dont need no perm to make me believe I am pretty. llI dont need hair down my back to think I am fine. I dont need to have lighter skin, to run with the best. We as black people are constantly putting ourselves down. We not light enough, our hair is to nappy, its not enough to wear our own hair, we gots to rock weave….I mean its just sad.

    Kourtney baby, you need to grow up and get you some self esteem. Im glad you like your perm honey, Keep on wearing it. Keeping on thinking your perm makes you who you are, because mine-when I did have one, NEVER made me. Ill admit, I was silly when i was depended on my perm but those days are behind me and I GET IT NOW! I am who I am because God said so, because I say so. Im a hot mama no matter what I do but believe me when I say that BECAUSE I AM NATURAL, I AM STRONGER and could careless about what you say or any other nucklehead who knocks being black and proud. I LOVE ME SOME ME BOO AND IM CUTE TOO! HA!


  14. I wear my hair relaxed because that’s the way I like it. I have never thought about wearing it any other way. i like it the way it is and if someone else likes there hair natural then good for them. People should look whichever way they feel comfortable and beautiful looking.

  15. i haven’t had a relaxer for almost 10 years, but i discovered half wigs in 2006 and have been wearing them since, wigs can be so addictive. i usually wear my real hair on the summer so i can just wet and go. non relaxed hair is so much easier to manage, my only vice is not being able to find beauticians who know how to handle natural hair. many black hair dressers have tried to make me feel like myhair is too nappy to style or have suggested a perm. when i go to Dominican hair dressers I’m greeted with a smile whether its fake or not andthey wash and ble dry my hair with no problem and are able to get my hair straight. natural hair allows you yo go from curly to straight in seconds.

  16. Carina, I agree with you. I am able to straighten my hair in minutes and it looks just like I have a relaxer so I have the best of both worlds which is great for me. However, I rarely straighten it lol. I do it maybe twice a year.

    I also agree that there are very, very few hair stylist who are educated on natural hair and thats to bad, so sad for them. I live in DFW and I do know a few people who are masters in natural hair. Hopefully black people will learn how to do uhmmmm Natural hair as well as chemically treated hair. its a shame that we are clueless on how to do our own hair. It took me a few months to get my regimine down but Ive got it now :> Thank goodness.

  17. To all my naturals, I have to say that God sure is good. When knowledge of self is sought, accepted and appreciated I believe there is honor. God with His Awesome infinite wisdom made us so different from any other human being on the face of this earth. Our skin, our bodies, facial features and more umportantly our hair. It’s not a curse to have coarse hair. It’s beautiful, just as beautiful as our white sistahs with straight hair. Here in lies the crime, being told by a nation governed by those who made it a priority to change the psychology of African woman for thousands of generations by calling our hair nappy. I chopped a few wks ago but was natural for over a yr. I hid my hair under wigs, weaves and sew ins. I spent hundreds of dollars with the Asians and Africans in an attempt to change my outward appearance. My hair suffered, thinned and broken. Now its healthy and strong as God intended. And yes ppl laugh when they see it. I laugh too in my spirit cos if having hair like lambs wool and skin of bronze is good enough for Yeshua to come back and judge the world it’s good enough for me. Lol

  18. whos phony whos fake?? Natual or perm..weave or going totaly bald on each its sister has been growing dreads for over 20 years..and they arent the nice and neat ones either…she says shes going to cut them off.. i told her only cut them if thats what she wants… nobody applauds folks who do there own thing..some folks arent trying to be in the “in” crowd..they just want to do them..its about time other folks caught up with the times..smh..

  19. I wear my hair in locks. I love it, and have been this way for 30 years. I told my son when he locked his hair not to let the little girls at college put any thing on his hair but olive oil. He didn’t listen and he got a rash on his neck and had to cut them off so I made a wig for my mannequin.

  20. I’m loving the comments and I’ve been natural for 18 mths and loving it. My reason had nothing to do with mainstream or fad it was base on my hair status and how damage it was, I needed a change and I choose to go Natural it was a weird experience especially doing the Big Chop, but after a 1 1/2 I begin to accept this change. I learned to make my own products to help grow my hair healthy and strong so if I’m part of the “in crowd” so be it, cause my natural hair is here to stay.


  21. I wear my hair natural, been doing so for 5 years. I have had to recondition how I think about my hair, and this the mantra I’ve come up with… everyone, repeat it with me now:


    (Once more with pride!)


  22. I sure hope this doesnt start up nappy vs straight. Lord knows we dont need something else to fight about.

  23. Hey ladies~ I am in the process of goin natural. I took the grow it out method-too scared for the chop. it’ll b 2 years in dec and im loving how soft it is. Like a lot of yall my hair was over-relaxed and severly damaged. i lov the way it looks wet and when it dries curly i rocc it for a day. Sum of my black coworkers dont understand how happy i am with my natural hair. Eventually i’ll lock it up but for now, i’m just njoying how soft n healthy looking it is 🙂

  24. I’m natural with locs. I could care less what mainstreams says or does with regard to my God-given hair. I’m so happy to be natural because this is the way I was made. My hair hasn’t stopped growing since getting rid of the “crack”! And for the woman who said natural hair looks a mess, what is a mess about the hair you probably hiding on your own head? That’s self hate. I’ve never seen a messed up natural. But then I got much love for my people and all that makes us beautiful. It is sad that we as black women have to even have this conversation! But to answer the topic discussion question, I do notice that the stores are trying to buy into the fact that we have embraced our natural hair in droves, as of late. I just try and buy products that are healthy for my hair. 9 out of 10 products that are so-called “natural” have garbage in it! You have to be careful. Buy black whenever possible! We know what our hair needs.

  25. Natural or relaxed. It’s all about getting your hair healthy and keeping it healthy. All we have to do is find what works best for our hair. And just because a product is expensive does not mean it will make miracles happen to your hair. You’d be surprised to know that some products are already at home with you.

  26. Natural or relaxed. It’s all about getting your hair healthy and keeping it healthy. All we have to do is find what works best for our hair. And just because a product is expensive does not mean it will make miracles happen to your hair. You’d be surprised to know that some products are already at home with you.

  27. I’ve been natural for a few months now and I LOVE it. I did it all..relaxers, braids, weaves and even the hairline damaging lace wigs. My relaxer experience was really good as long as I kept it up and going to the salon every week (on a student’s budget) for treatments and such became expensive…not to mention the inevitable breakage and damage from the chemicals and heat. The braided extensions were also damaging (especially micros), the weaves besides being too tight and fake looking became way too expensive to
    and tedious to upkeep and from what I’ve seen those front laces if not done with EXTREME care can rip ur edges out like nothing else besides being SUPER expensive.
    I basically wanted my hair to look at its best EVERY day and would even go so far as to getting new braids and weaves done weekly…No more.

    Its so much easier with my own hair now and it looks super cute. I love the freedom of sleeping on my own head of hair without the theatrics of wraps, pins, pulling and such. My hair has gotten thicker and the thinning short spots have grown out drastically. I just love feeling like I can just get up and go and not worry about wefts showing or extensions looking raggedy. I’m also finding that I’m getting alot of compliments all around but especially and surprisingly from white and black men.

    But more importantly I feel good about being all the way ME. Plus I can change it up whenever and however.

    No matter how you rock your hair, just make sure you love it and its healthy. Its sad to see women put on weaves and braids that end up doing more damage on their natural locks than good. Soon enough there’s no natural hair to hold that weave down.

    Just saying is all. I’ll shut up now 🙂


    You spoke nothing but TRUTH. As a Brotha I luv to see sistas rockin` the natural style.

    “I think you’ll find as Black people in America struggle to throw off the shackles of mental colonialism they will reflect an effort to throw of the shackles of cultural colonialism and they will strife for desires of their own and standards of their own.”

    Malcolm X

  29. Why do people give a f#ck about how we wear our hair?? Our hair shouldn’t be no ones issue. Go bother white, asian and leave ours alone.

  30. Ienjoy all looks. I dont think going natural makes u any ‘blacker’ thats just a lifesytle choice. Im a stylist/ salon owner and my hair changes like the weather… from lace fronts, to quickweaves, short, long, curly, straight, a splash of color or jet black. I think your hair depends upon ur attitude. Sometimes i feel funky so i will wear my funky fro… other times i feel seductive so i go long and straight. Thats the beauty of being a black woman…. we come in all forms and wear them well. Let have fun with it!

    Mz. Easha

  31. Personally it does not matter about natural becoming mainstream. As long as I have shea butter, olive oil, and water….it’s all good.

    Yeah that very first comment (kourtney) made me want to cry for her. Hot mess? It is very sad that some STILL consider our God-given beauty and crowns a Hot mess! Our hair not only stand above (literally) the rest, its a direct connection to nature, its sort of like our antenna to the heavens….don’t believe me…look it up! lol

    Its deeper than looks…its about knowing the PURPOSE of why He made our hair this way. It’s truly a gift. That is why sisters with no relaxer seems to be a little more down to earth and grounded.

    I too like to switch up styles OFTEN, but my nappy fro is my choice and yes it takes confidence to go against the grain, but when you make choice for the RIGHT reasons, its VERY easy to do.

    Ignorance is bliss….

  32. I don’t know if Kourtney meant that natural hair in general is a hot mess OR she may have been refering to some women she knows who are natural haired, and they don’t take care of it, so it looks a hot mess. I hope it was the second one…

    She said: “I have noticed that MANY women in my church and circle of acquaintances have gone natural and some look great, and others, I’m like wow….that takes serious confidence. I personally think it’s a hot mess look, but hey, to each his/her own.”

    Natural or relaxed, your hair WILL look a mess if you don’t take care of it. Let us be honest, natural hair is beautiful when it is properly cared for. Let’s not pretend that JUST because hair is natural that it automatically becomes attractive. Yes, being natural (natural hair, skin, etc) in itself is attractive, but there is care and mainaenence that should be involved too.

  33. I wore a relaxer for 31 years. Nenver had any damage, my hair was always beautiful. There were time when people thought my hair was a wig or a weave because it flowed so well. I loved my hair relaxed and I wore it long and I wore it short. I even wore a different color a few times. I was 13 years old when I got my first relaxer and I thought that having my hair silky straight was better than sliced bread (and I love bread LOL). Iremember back in the 70’s sistah’s and brothas’ wearing big beautiful afros. My mom would not let me wear a natural because she did not feel it was appropriate to her generation it was a symbol of being militant or rebellioius. Well even my white friends were trying to wear afros. Then the 80’s took us to a more conservative “mainstream” straight is better mind set. We all conformed. Some went with the relxer and some went with the curl. Almost all had some type of chemical. After I hit 40+, I decided to cut it off and go natural. I am still not sure why. Sometimes I think it was my personal statement that the hair God blessd me with was beautiful just the way He made it. Maybe I was tired of seeing my clients come in with that plastic looking CHEAP Barbie doll hair in crayon colors. Maybe it was that my white co-workers would tell me that “I was not like the others”.hhhhm Oh really? Maybe it was because a medication I have to take can possibly cause me to loose my hair one day and I thought hhmmm lets see what I’ll look like with a little bit of hair and by the way, lets make it natural. So, I cut it off, wore a teeny weeny afro and LOVED IT!. Touching my natural hair was almost orgasmic. I could not keep my hands out of my hair for months. LOL Even my husband loved it. Still does. Well I wore the TWA for 3 years and now I am wearing twists and/or coils. sometimes I rock my big Angela Davis afro. whats even funnier, my ultra conservative mother loves it too. Do what works for you. My relaxer was beautiful, yours may be too. But I have to say, God in His infinite wisdome gave me tightly curled, spongy hair, I thank Him for it by wearing it the way he made it. I donot compare my hair to anyone elses because God gave them their own unique texture just like He gave me mine. My only concern is that all of us, regardless of our hue, regardless of our textures, simply appreciate and love what God gave us and stop judging your gift by someone elses. In truth and in peace. I am L.C.

  34. I just chopped of my hair a week ago due to extreme damage. I loved the straight look as well as sew-ins but I’m fed up with the the thinning, breaking and dryness of my hair over the years. I’m deciding to go natural and wanted some insight on how i can maintain a healthy Natural hair. I am clueless on what products to buy that will improve the dry texture to my hair. PLEASE HELP!

  35. @RL….you should visit for products and pics or try checking out vids on youtube where others show their progress and maintenance after the “big chop”…VERY helpful I found 🙂

  36. I still find it interesting “natural” vs. “not” has become a battle. I’ve been on both sides of the fence…and never did I tell a natural sista that her hair was “ugly” or a permed sista that she was “fake and/or self loathing”. I think there is a beauty in itself being able to choose how you want your hair. I love myself and my hair no less when I perm, weave, etc. and no more when I’m natural. It’s a shame that it is often seen that way.

  37. @Tracia, most of the comments are talking about their own personal hair journey. What comments are you speaking about? Where’s the battle?

    It’s only a battle if someone is having internal conflict IMO. If natural or relaxer trigger a disagreement, it maybe because someone is not happy with the choice she made.

    The only time I ever argued for being natural (because I feel is a PERSONAL choice that no one should force on anyone) was when a co-worker (in hair school) saying to another worker that her TWA is not feminine looking. This caught be my surprise as I did not expect an aspiring hair technician to say such….smh!

  38. I went natural bc the relaxer was thinning my hair. I think that mainstreaming natural hair is not really a problem. I think its exciting that so many women are willing to explore their own texture and its also exciting that our hair textures are being recognized by large corporations, whatever their reasons may be. Also Kourtney, I think that its pretty sad that you think that your own (or someone else’s) hair texture is “a hot mess”. Like you said, we should lift each other up!

  39. Hmmm…With our first black president seated in the White House catching hell on a daily basis by racist pigs,black unemployment at record numbers, black men jailed at higher rates than those graduating from college, more kids being born to poor single mothers than any other race,etc…, we have the time to be supercial and further weaken our race based on hairstyle choice? We are at the bottom of every socio-economic-healthcare list and we have the time/nerve to divide ourselves on whether we use Afro Sheen or Dark and Lovely relaxers? Have we gotten that far out of touch from the soul of our community which by the way has little to nothing to do with hair and more about our morals, motivations and values? SMDH! Hair has nothing to do with what has brought us this far. If that is our reason for pride in our community, then I really don’t see why Abraham Lincoln bothered to free the slaves or Martin Luther King put his life and family at risk for civil rights. Based on the author of this article we just want the right to have kinky hair so we can snub our people who choose another style. SMDH! If you can care for your hair relaxed or natural, then good for you. Along the way, care for your souls, your neighbors and your country.

  40. Black women have become a slave to relaxed hair. Black females slaves in 2010. SMH and all thsi weave and blonde…so gross.. self-hate.

  41. I am natural and loving it!! Have been for 6years would not have it any other way. I was a little mad for paying all that money for perms and color so many years. My reasons for going natural is over the years chemicals made my hair thin..very thin and paying 65-75 dollars for a 5.00 perm is insane!. My is long, beautiful and I take Nioxin Intensive Therapy Recharging Complex Caplets. Its great for African American Hair well at least it is for mines. I come in love and leave in peace.

  42. I think this argument is flawed. Natural black hair is not “mainstream” in fact the “mainstream doesn’t even understand/register black hair. I’m glad more women are taking care of their hair and being more conscious about what they put in it and how they take care of it. I would love to see these places where ‘so many’ black women have natural hair becuase I’m not seeing it. The fact is, antural hair is not “mainstream” because the “mainstream” has attached negeatove connotations to it e.g. unprofessional, angry, untame etc.

    I’m so sick and tired of these weak , inflammatory supposition about black womens’ hair which are just designed to provoke an argument where black women can pit themselves against each other. Yes my hair is natural, but I want ALL black women to read their labels, make better choices and love their hair so they can have full hairlines at 50, 60, 70. Instead of bald patches and traction alopecia in early/late twenties or even earlier.

  43. I only read the first comment, barely, but how is natural hair unattractive? It’s what YOU are BORN with(think about it)…it shouldn’t be a big deal for women to wear their hair natural. I would like to write more but I would be writing a whole Essay. SMH


  44. When Black women chant ”.. I just prefer relaxed hair..” then go on to say how ugly natural hair is. I think they really need to have a long long long hard look at themselves and their motives.

    As Harriet Tubman said:

    ” I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves. ”

  45. I remember getting my first perm at the age of 14. What’s so funny about it is this: A teen friend convinced me to relax because (in her opinion) I’d look better. So when she finished applying it to my hair talk about somebody being (so I thought) happy! My hair was now laying down instead of sticking up everywhere…lol. For years I’d remain a slave to the chemicals until my 33rd birthday when I said “No More”! All of the years that I’d been relaxing my hair I never felt like “Myra”…it just seemed like something was missing. The day I chopped it all off it felt as if I heard a voice in my head saying “Welcome back home”…and I’ve not turned back since. Nor will I ever.

  46. Lastly…I have no problem with women who wear their hair relaxed,weaves or sew ins. I only wish they realize the damage they are doing to their bodies and hair.

  47. Its healthy so this is good for Black Women, but just because a sista has natural Hair does not mean that she has Knowledge of Self…That all

  48. Kendall.. that’s it? That’s your reply..ROFLMAO…

    I love God, myself and my natural hair that grows out of my scalp the way God intended. girl bye

  49. I chose to go natural because after years of wearing my hair processed, I wouldn’t have much growth. My hair was thinning at the crown. My hair would always be shoulder length. I get stopped by women transitioning all the time and all they want is advice. Let’s not judge one anothers hair preference. I’m so thankful that corporate America is starting to understand that our hair can be worn in my different forms.


    It is the nature of Corporations to hop on whatever is hot. That’s a given. Who cares? My $5 will still go to the Muslim/African brother on the corner selling Raw Shea Butter & Nature’s Blessings “green” Pomade.

    Permed or Nappy–our $$$ should support our communities.

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