The Great Debate: Natural Hair or Not

In the last two years, I have seen more women go natural than I have seen the sale of relaxers rise. What I find interesting and somewhat amusing though, is that a great percentage of those who have made this choice do not really understand what they need to do with natural hair, or how to cultivate that type of lustrous natural hair that makes even an Asian girl with bone straight hair want to go natural.


Why Go Natural?

Let us take a look at some of the reasons why women today are deciding to go natural;

Trend: Judging from what I have seen, the number one reason is simply because its trending. You know how when you wear your hair natural, you depict this “boho, strong black woman, not-so-vain, power-to-the-people, artistic natured, understand-my-roots, free spirited” kind of person. Oh yeah? Really? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm!! Leaves a lot to wonder about doesn’t it?

Its important to note, that wearing your hair in its natural state does not in any way affect who you really are, it’s simply just what it is, wearing your hair natural!! You still remain yourself, no matter what texture your hair is. Yes, it may initially affect how others perceive you, but once they get to know you, your true nature will surely be revealed clearly enough for them to see the real you. We are who we are from within and not from without. [READ: Black Women and Weave]

Hair Disaster: Other more cogent reasons why women may decide to go natural could be due to thinning hair or damaged hair, which sometimes occurs as a result of over processing one’s hair, excessive application of chemical dyes, lack of appropriate care of the hair and constant fixing of hair extensions.

Based on Belief: Some others go natural simply because they believe that natural hair is healthier than processed/relaxed hair (this is relative though).

© Devin Trent | Flickr
4 Things To Consider if You Decide To Go Natural
  1. The decision to go natural must firstly be backed up by the decision to take care of your hair, five times more than you did with your processed hair. Our hair in its natural state dries out faster than when it is relaxed, because it soaks up moisture quicker.
  2. Constant hydration and conditioning is therefore absolutely necessary to keep it well moisturized, make it easier to maintain, and to prevent hair breakage and tangling. Regular deep conditioning is the secret to well hydrated or adequately moisturised hair.
  3. Going natural will require you to choose to either become a lover of frequent salon visits (please make sure it’s a salon where they know how to handle natural hair) or u become a scholar of all things, “natural hair care”, and become a DIY (do it yourself) expert. You simply can’t eat your cake and have it.
  4. The benefits of going natural are tremendous but nothing good comes easy. All the funky looking African American sisters we see, sporting gorgeously, lustrous trendy looking natural hair, did not wake up like that. They spend quality time taking excellent care of their hair, which we so longingly covet. I agree that not all hair textures are the same but one common factor is that the level of commitment one puts into it equals the healthiness and fabulous look you will get out of it. Nothing good comes easy.

I certainly do not mean to sound scary or discourage anyone from going natural nor am I anti natural hair, on the contrary. I do not want you to be deluded into thinking that going natural is simply making the decision to stop applying relaxers to your hair and then sitting pretty thinking your hair stress is over. I can assure you that if that’s all u do, what u will notice your hair become will be far from pretty.


In Conclusion

My candid advice therefore is that before making that commitment to go natural, first of all make the commitment to give your hair all the care, attention, nourishment and love it would need so that your natural hair journey will be all that you have imagined it to be.

Also know that going natural is not an irreversible jail sentence. If you try it out and somewhere along the line, you get tired of it, please by all means buy yourself a good relaxer, go to a good salon and get the change you want.

Final Verdict

Whatever you decide to do, just make sure that the free God-given gift of hair you have, is to be cherished, loved and properly nurtured by you.


Contributed by Ronero

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