Natural Hair Rant, or “Why I Look a Hot Mess”
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.
Gina! I too have no relaxer but straighten my hair. My curl pattern is all out of sorts and quite frankly, I’m lazy. It’s so easy to wrap my hair at night and get up and go. Summertime is a different story but for the most part, my straight hair is convenient. I applaud women who can wear their hair natural in any capacity. I don’t think we should put anyone else down for how they choose to maintain. Even women who have relaxers, I get it. If that’s what you choose, do you girlfriend. We are so busy judging one another over insignificant things. Doesn’t judging others get exhausting? Sheesh! But that ain’t none of my business though….
I am also a straight natural and I too could give a @&$ what other folks think about it. I left the relaxer at the salon 8 or so years ago. I did the double strand twists for a while, braids, cornrows, etc. what I found is the old school press works for me the best with working out, quick styling for work AND I like it. How about that? Funny enough my hair was thick and wavy when I was younger and even with keeping the double strand twist it would not be completely curly on the ends. Now, if I wash my hair and leave it down to dry, it’s curly perfect vacation hair. On my natural journey I have met many sisters who told me you gotta make it work for you. I don’t want criticism as natural does mean no chems right? If that is the case, some natural sisters color their hair so….again do what’s best for you.
I must say that I really don’t like the natural curly look as a style. I prefer natural hair that is straightened because it has beautiful texture and fullness that differs from relaxed hair and curly hair. Also, the bushy curly look tends to age women tremendously I find and it doesn’t look like they put effort into their looks – even though that may not be true. Straight natural is best. My hair is not only healthy thick and full but also very pretty. I can wear the look to the office or on a date and look like a polished lady. That’s difficult to do with the curly bush going on.