For years, I’ve seen discussions/debates/arguments about how black women wear their hair. Some women wear their hair natural and some women get their hair straightened with relaxers. So what’s the problem? Why should it matter how someone wears their hair if that someone isn’t you? It’s already bad enough to hear men talk about how our hair should or shouldn’t look!
I currently get my hair relaxed and got my first relaxer at age 14. When I was a little girl, I’d get my hair plaited or braided and slicked down with grease. (Remember Royal Crown and Blue Magic?) Can’t forget the barrettes or beads. When I got a little bit older, I got more of the hot comb. I definitely don’t miss that. I didn’t get a relaxer to “look white” like I have been accused of before.
I don’t want to be white, honey.
I love everything about my people and my culture. I enjoy wearing my hair straight, but I also enjoy putting rods and rollers in to achieve a curly look. I also enjoy throwing on a wig or getting a sew-in. It’s all fun and part of fashion and beauty. Part of the reason I got a relaxer in the first place was because my mother and I talked about it and we were both tired of the hot comb, but the main reason was because I felt like it.
I’m not sure if my childhood experience really counts, but I have considered going back natural. However, it’ll have to be as and when I have more patience and money. My friends who are natural (like my friend MB who is pictured with me above) tell me how much work it is and I’m so lazy these days. Plus I’ve been told it costs money to try different products to see what will work for me. So when the time comes, I hope those of you who are natural are willing to give me tips!
Anyway, each side has a negative comment said about them and they are ridiculous to me. As I mentioned earlier, some say women who get their hair relaxed want to be white. Of course there are some self-hating people out there, but most of the women I know who get relaxers do it because they want to or it’s just what works for them. Some say natural hair looks “unkempt” or “nappy” and I hate seeing comments like that, especially from men who have had lint stuck in their hair for over a week. I LOVE seeing big twist outs and fros. Teyonah Parris from Mad Men rocks her hair like this and it’s amazing. I also love what Janelle Monae does with her hair like the pompadour or a big braid.
It does bother me to see black women go at it over hair, which is something I believe should bring us together. Remember being at the beauty shop and experiencing the talking, laughing, gossiping and bonding? When I think of black women and our hair, I think of moments like that instead of arguing.
I’m tired of the beefing. As long as your hair is healthy, it really shouldn’t matter how you choose to wear it. Both are beautiful. That’s what I love about being a black woman. We’re all so diverse and can change our hair and be creative. We wear our hair straight and get it curled or wear it natural and straighten it. We even wear weave and wigs or just shave it all off. Honestly, who can rock anything better than us? So let’s stick together.