This won’t be a popular post, but I really don’t care. There’s a big push toward natural hair among the Black female population. Black women everywhere are discarding their previously coveted jars of relaxer in an effort to celebrate their natural hair textures and stop adapting to an anglo aesthetic.
I’ve been natural for many, many years now — at least 10 – and not because I was so excited to embrace my culture, per se. It was more of a decision that I made because relaxer isn’t necessary to straighten my hair. A little bit of heat from a flatiron and my hair is stick straight.
Now . . . before you go thinking that I’m “bragging” about this, please know that my wavy, easily straightened hair texture is more of a curse than a blessing. In fact, I honestly find very little to celebrate about my hair.
I’m normally what is referred to as a “straight natural,” which is a person who has natural hair that chooses to straighten it. I honestly love my hair straightened. It’s easy and doesn’t require a cocktail of 5 perfectly mixed products that combine to make me look human. I’m often vilified for this decision by women who choose the textured natural look, and I occasionally get irritating snide comments: “Oh. I didn’t realize you had natural hair. It’s always so straight. Why do you do that?”
Okay, beeyotch, I’ll tell you why . . . because my natural hair is a scorching hot ass mess! I’m not appreciate of my quasi-curl pattern (which is more like a very unsexy wave pattern), and my hair isn’t big and voluminous like others who have the natural hair that I covet. Believe me when I say that I would love nothing more than to have gorgeous curly hair that I could wash and go and wear with pride. And before you ask, yes, I’ve tried any product that you are about to suggest. But unless you can guarantee that there’s some sort of solution that will transform mine into an entirely different head of hair, I will work with the large collection that I already have. Because, honestly? Beautiful hair will be beautiful hair, irrespective of the treatment. And my hair will be my hair. Unfortunately.
The other delicious byproduct of being a straight hair natural is that the flat iron used to straighten my hair actually contributes to the ugliness of it all by providing the gift of heat damage, which means that any curl I had is now reduced (if not eliminated) and reinforces my need to straighten my hair in order to avoid looking like a taller version of one of those early cave women depicted in the Museum of Natural History. My hair was horribly heat damaged some years ago and I’ve never recovered from it.
The only good thing about my heat damage was that my quest to fortify my follicles resulted in the creation of Naturals by Gina B., my body products company. The leading product, Kiss My Ash, was originally created as a solution for my hair in my effort to rejuvenate my hair with natural ingredients. The good news is that it did amazing things for my skin and it’s also a magnificent hair moisturizer. The trouble is that heat damaged hair can’t be revived, irrespective of the product.
Natural hair enthusiasts adamantly suggest that I never straighten my hair again if I ever want to regain my curl pattern, but that means that I would have to walk around looking completely unkempt until my hair does . . . what, exactly? Maybe I’m waiting for it to grow out so that it can be . . . what? Longer? So, twice the amount of messy hair? I don’t see how I can win here.
That said, I’ve made the executive decision to abandon my closet full of products and continue my tendency toward being a straight natural. I might one day make a return. In the meantime, I hope that the natural hair purists will understand that it’s not personal. I respect and appreciate the mission, but straightening my hair is the only way to keep me from ripping it out in frustration.