The Mane Line: 10 Opinions & Misconceptions On Natural Hair Answered
Natural hair continues to be on the rise. Everyone who is everyone either wants to be natural, is in the process of being natural or yearns to, one day, have natural hair. While many are trading in the "creamy crack" for kinks, curls and coils, there are lots of misconceptions surrounding natural hair from both men and women.
Not every woman with natural hair is "soul searching" and every man does not equate natural-topped women as the "India Arie" types. Taking hair back to its roots (no pun intended) is as diverse as the different complexions in the Black culture. To this day, there has yet to be one curl pattern to match another perfectly. Here are the top ten misconceptions and biased opinions on natural hair... refuted!
1. Everybody should be natural:Natural is an option for all women, but it ain't for everybody. Choosing to relax your hair doesn't mean that you're "less black," so don't feel left out of the loop. Maintaining natural hair is no cake walk and takes a lot of work. Even with hair, you have to pick and choose your battles!
2. Women with natural hair are "looking for themselves": If you decide to stop wearing your hair straight, you are on an intimate journey to find yourself, right? Wrong. Maybe some are, but most are on a journey to healthy hair, not self-discovery. When transitioning to natural hair, many will realize that altering their hair texture with a relaxer damages the hair, creates hair loss and causes scalp burns.
3. Natural-haired women are anti-weaves: Far from the truth! Many women with natural hair actually wear weaves as a protective style during transitioning and even after. Natural hair is more susceptible to frizziness, and in more humid climates, some women just opt to wear weaves to beat a puffy do'.
4. Having natural hair means you're a incense burning soul sista': Having natural hair is not a change-of-life, nor is it a political statement for most women. Soul sistas come in a variety of forms and even races (Miss Teena Marie, anyone?). Some ladies switch to natural hair solely seeking something a healthier option that results in alternate hair styling.
5. Colored natural hair is not really natural: Well, this is true. Natural hair is defined as a mane that doesn't have any chemicals applied to it to alter its texture. Add that ombre or Rihanna red will change the hair texture and density subtly. While its still considered "natural," it actually isn't completely natural. However, there are organic hair dyes available to try.
6. Men prefer women with long, straight hair: Lots of men love long, lustrous hair on their women, but it's safe to say men prefer confident women over anything else. Whether you're rocking a baldy, a fro' or a 20-inch weave, it all boils down to how you rock it. Men are visual and just want to see a rare rose stick out out from a dozen.
7. Natural hair is easy to maintain: Truth be told, natural hair is a lot of work and is a process of trial and error. When your hair has been relaxed all your life and you transition into natural hair, it may be a learning curve when you first being the process. You're going to go through many products, many styles to frame your face and spend way more time on your hair then you ever did in your life. A lot of work it is, but it has lots of perks.
8. Rocking a fro' may be an issue in an corporate environment: A fro' might stand out, but natural hair as a whole is not banished from the corporate workforce. As long as it's clean and neat, natural hair is usually welcomed with compliments and expressed interest by co-workers. If, however, your hair becomes an issue and your boss makes sly remarks, maybe that isn't the best environment for you to work in. Consider other style options or a new work environment.
9. Looser curl patterns is "good" hair and courser hair is "bad" hair: This ancient belief is what seriously holds us back (it's 2011, people!). Good hair is hair that grows healthy, strong and thick. Bad hair is thin, brittle, shedding and lacks luster. There is no texture that's good or bad, as looser curl patterns and even natural straight hair get matted and "nappy" too.
10. If you go natural and decide to relax your hair again you're weak-minded: As previously mentioned, being natural is not for everyone. If you go natural and decide that it's too much work, by all means, relax your hair. That's what it's in every store for! Some women feel ashamed if they decide to go back to relaxing, when in truth, everyone doesn't have the time, nor the patience for natural hair's demands.