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I’m just going to come out and say it: I'm a straight haired natural!

And now I’m patiently awaiting the mob with pitch forks and fire. But, there it is, I finally said it and I know that I’m not the only one.

Why did it take me so long to come out of the straight haired closet, you may ask? Perhaps it's all the adversity.

It seems a woman can’t open her mouth to ask about straightening without being labeled a "curl hater." The reason for all the hateration is probably due to the misconceptions about the women who straighten regularly. In an attempt to mend what seems like a semi-broken, or at least separated, part of the natural hair community, I’m going to address them.

We Are Not Self-Loathers

We do not hate our curls nor ourselves. I love the natural hair movement, but at times I feel that it has gone so far left, made a U-turn and became the enemy it once fought against.

Remember those days when a natural haired woman had to endure nasty comments? Now that we have grown in number, it seems that some of us have turned around and became the tormentors. Some of us even have advanced "psych degrees" because we often comment on the psychological state of someone who relaxes and give our "expert medical opinion" that they indeed have low self-esteem.

However, women who choose to wear their hair differently than the way it grows out of their head are not necessarily self-loathers. You might want to sit down for this part because it’s going to come as a complete shock. See, the reason they straighten could just be because they want straight hair.

People like what they like. It doesn’t have to be the media, low self-esteem, wanting to please others, or whatever other excuse there is out there. It could just be because at this point in their lives, they want it straight.

Seriously, there isn't any rhyme or reason behind it more than that, and they shouldn't feel the need to justify themselves.

It's Easier to Care For

There seems to be a constant war between those who use all-natural products versus the silicone users, or the chronic flat ironers versus those who rock their curls, or those who want more or less curl versus those who embrace theirs in their entirety. It is never ending.

I can already hear the groans of people who disagree with me, but let’s be real — curly hair is work. When I compare my relaxed routine to my curly haired one, I had to admit that I spend way more time on my curly hair.

My relaxed routine consisted of washing weekly, moisturizing and bunning. With curly hair, washing in and of itself can be a whole day affair. Moisturizing takes longer with denser hair, and styling is more involved. Curly hair is work and not for the faint of heart, so if someone takes the path of least resistance and decides to just straighten so they can rock ponytails on the daily, then I won't judge them.

I don't know their schedule. and I'm not about to volunteer to do their hair for them.

It Still Grows

When people think of flat ironed hair, most get an image in their head of short, thinning hair with split ends and frizz. But this can’t be further from the truth. Just like natural hair, if flat ironed hair is not cared for properly, the hair will become damaged. If done correctly, it can be healthy and you can revert back to curls whenever you want and still grow long, natural hair.

Final Thoughts

I get that NaturallyCurly is all about embracing curls, but it's also about achieving healthy hair using the wealth of information on the site. Is it also about togetherness and sisterhood. So why is it that we have become so divisive by creating degrees of naturalness?

There seems to be a constant war between those who use all-natural products versus the silicone users, or the chronic flat ironers versus those who rock their curls, or those who want more or less curl versus those who embrace theirs in their entirety. The two-sided natural hair war list is never ending.

But I didn’t simply write this article to complain. Instead, I wanted it to be more of a plea for curlies to just let each other live. For those who flat iron regularly, say it without fear, and for those who don’t think these women are natural enough, let’s try not to judge, because when it comes down to it, its just hair.

Do YOU, my natural hair friends. Always, do you. 

0 Comments
Unfortunately, people spend too much time judging and labeling. It's all about what works for you as an individual, not what identifies you as a part of a group. I don't want to be put in a box. I get bored easily so I love the fact that we have such versatility when styling natural hair. I like straight, curly, braids, twists - whatever suits my mood at the time. As long as my hair is HEALTHY, it's all good. If I get tired and want to really change it up, I'll get a weave if I want. My hair, my rules! What others do with their hair has no affect on my life. I can't hate on any of it including those that relax because I've done it all. At the end of the day, if you feel beautiful, fabulous and confident then it works. Let's just share learning experiences, natural hair care and styling tips and keep it moving.
I'm a curly/wavy girl and love my hair natural. As for it's color, it's a natural drab brown that I beach blonde. It is no way a natural looking blonde and I don't care either. I love my hair curly and I love it bleached. So do what feels right for you. If you're comfortable wearing it straight then straighten it. If ya wanna be a redhead then be a redhead. If we as an individual are the ones willing to put forth whatever time and possibly money to look a certain way then why be negative. If it was a matter of "right or wrong" or "moral or immoral" than that would be a different story. So do what you like and like who you are.
Wow! This is very interesting, but I hate when people get into arguments (that's too strong a word, but I can't think of another) in the comments section. I no longer read articles on Yahoo!News because of that. However, I have 4a/b hair and one of the first things I appreciated about Naturallycurly.com is that it showed women how to straighten their hair in a healthy way and how to wear it curly. I tell all my friends, 'it even tells you how to straighten your hair, if that's what you want. They are not vigilantes.' I disliked the websites I found that made it appear that wearing your hair curly was a political or ideological statement. I am not a rebel or a hippie; I wear my hair curly because it is Easier for me. I take less time overall to 'fix' my hair, and I avoid the burns and the sinus infections that I would get from relaxers and curly perms I wore. Of all the styles I tried before going chemical free, I loved the curly perm the most which, incidentally is often made fun of because of the curl activator and such. But it was easier on me than relaxers, straightening combs or even the natural style of braids. To each his own. It would be wonderful if people just strived to be healthy and happy.
@50ftqueenie firstly like i said this is coily manifesto month which was all about writing articles to speak out for women who might not have the courage to do so but I simply can't imagine why some women would be afraid. aAlso how did i misrepresent myself when I clearly said i straighten for the winter. I go back and forth. This is I why I felt that I could write an article for straightening and speak up for straight haired naturals because at some points I am there. This article is not saying that everyone should straighten it is simply saying that some women do, why they do so and that they should NOT BE JUDGED. and since we like digging for proof: Here is the post I wrote about straightening for NC: http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/curly-hair-care-methods/kinky-beginners-guide/flat-iron-article-chelsea?page=2 and here is another article about it on my blog with before and afters: http://curlyandyoung.blogspot.ca/2011/11/chelseas-hair-update.html and here is where i talk about using curlformers instead of blowdrying for flat ironing: http://curlyandyoung.blogspot.ca/2012/01/curlformer-pixs.html and the reason I stopped right now is because it is summer and once again I have switched up regimens to try and perfect my wash and gos. I like versatility and I don't like to do the same thing all the time.
I'm sorry, this writer is a FRAUD and a LIAR. I recently read an article written by her on Curlynikki which garnered a lot of negative attention. In a response to one of the anonymous comments she openly states that she is not a straight haired natural as she reports herself to be in the article above. See quote: " @ anon 10:11 I wrote that post to help women with straightening their hair I am not a straight haired natural. And the other post I wrote about being one is coming from their perspective. I wear my hair curly and tried the straight haired thing for a while during the winter. Damn ya'll really know how to investigate. but to really clarify these articles were written because the theme of this month is curly manifesto month which is all about coming out and making statements. Thus, I wrote this article and others like it this month. I actually do some of the things mentioned above like finger detangling because it keeps my curls in tact for wash and gos. This artcile was meant to be funny not condescending and just like someone said above if there are countless posts about how to incorporate more things into ones reggie then why can't I speak about keeping it simple. ans lastly anon I cut my hair into a bob i have no problem retaining length. why is this so serious" Link: http://www.curlynikki.com/2012/04/i-dont-have-time.html?showComment=1334466166289#c7777012170115852394 This writer blatantly misrepresented herself in an attempt to "help women straightening their hair" but how would she know as she isn't some one who does. I retract my previous comments, as they no longer apply.
Great article! I know others won't necessarily appreciate it but I do. I have been a straight haired natural for 9 years and only last year did I attempt at wearing my hair curly. It was WORK and took 9 months of struggling but in the end I found a way to wear it curly that works for me (curlformers!!!). At this point I rotate back and forth at my leisure and at present have a head of flat ironed hair (My curl former sessions take about 6-8 hours start to finish and I was in major need of a break and easy morning styling sessions) that now reaches past my bra strap. I love the natural community for all it's wealth of knowledge that has really helped me make my hair stronger, healthier, and longer but as you mentioned there is stigma attached to "naturals" that wear their hair- (I repeat THEIR hair) straight. When CurlyNikki decided to flat iron a few months ago, you should have read the outraged comments. You'd have thought she killed some one. It was despicable. I say let's support healthy natural life styles and wear your hair however you see fit!
Great article! I know others won't necessarily appreciate it but I do. I have been a straight haired natural for 9 years and only last year did I attempt at wearing my hair curly. It was WORK and took 9 months of struggling but in the end I found a way to wear it curly that works for me (curlformers!!!). At this point I rotate back and forth at my leisure and at present have a head of flat ironed hair (My curl former sessions take about 6-8 hours start to finish and I was in major need of easy morning styling sessions) that now reaches past my bra strap. I love the natural community for all it's wealth of knowledge that has really helped me make my hair stronger, healthier, and longer but as you mentioned their is stigma attached to "naturals" that wear their hair- I repeat THEIR hair straight. When CurlyNikki decided to flat iron, you should have read the outraged comments. You'd have thought she killed some one. It was despicable. I say let's support healthy natural life styles and wear your hair however you see fit!
Lela7 also just to clarify this month is curly manifesto month thus, the theme for the articles is to come out and say whats really on your mind what you wouldn't normally say. So I'm not complaining I'm just keeping with the theme of the month And for further clarification I wear my curls most of the time. I was speaking from the stand point of a straight haired natural but I am not.
Hi everyone! I just want to hop in here and remind everyone that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. Like many of you have said, it is a matter of perspective - and this is hers. She doesn't speak on behalf of the entire natural hair community - no one does. The point of the community - and this site - is to help women love and embrace their natural beauty, but that doesn't mean that straightening isn't an option - even if it is all the time. Health of yourself and your hair is of utmost concern here at NC.com. Also, if you read through Chelsea's other articles, she wears her hair natural quite often and has given some awesome advice about how to maintain wash-n-gos, do different types of twists, etc. I encourage you to read through her other posts. She wear her hair both curly and straight. Also, feel free to browse through our other type 4 bloggers including Lisa Michelle, Jenell Stewart, Cassidy Blackwell and Priscilla. We do not have one main blogger on the site and we do try to show the opinions and viewpoints of as many people as possible. Even within one hair type, there are many differing views and opinions. If you would like to submit content ideas or become a blogger for NC.com yourself, we are always happy to have guest posts or let you know if positions are open. Please email us at content@naturallycurly.com and you'll get a response as soon as possible. Thanks everyone, and happy Friday!
I wouldn't mind if they straightened some of time, but don't hold them up as a rep for the natural community, when their look is exactly the same as a relaxed person.
I swear every article you seem to write quite recently, is about problems you have with the natural hair community! People are people, its not about being naturals - people argue, fight etc. You may just need to get over this complaining. Its a fact of life that people can be divisive - its a problem that you find in humanity in general, not a natural hair thing! Also, I don't think people really care if you straighten your hair all the time - why would they? its your hair.You are still natural if you are relaxer free. Saying that, I was a bit disappointed to find out you were a straight haired natural. I go to sites like this one to almost get inspired by natural hair. When I see people wearing natural type styles - I am more interested in that because it reflects me. For me, straight haired naturals aren't inspirational, because I have no interest in doing that. I wouldn't mind straigtening now and again, but for some us, keepinng natural hair straight is a ton of work! Much easier for me not to that, so it is subjective. Also, if this site, was just about healthy hair in general it wouldn't be called naturally curly. Personally, I don't think it is appropriate to use a straight haired natural as the main coily haired blogger! So every hair type, get to see themselvs in their natural state reflected in their blogger, but we don't. You are still natural, no one is disputing that, but the issues surrounding natural hair, e.g. how to do natural hair without losing tons of length to shrinkage etc, would not be faced by you because you are always trying to keep it straight. I you straightened sometimes that would be different. I like to see people switching it up, but for you to represent natural headed coily women is wrong, because you don't represent natural hair in its true non-straightened form. If this site focused on what you do - naturally curly but I straighten all the time - would you think that is a good idea? Naturally curly should be about showing the beauty of natural hair. The whole point of this community was to break way from the relaxed look and show other options for haircare. You don't do that if you always straighten! Also, the fact that you are supposed to be some sort of coily haired spokes person and you are saying straight it easy, I mean come on! These things are all subjective, and what is easier for you doesn't translate for the whole natural community! I really think NC should get a coiled haired rep who actually represents a greater spectrum of natural hair.
Hi Naturallychelsea. I don't usually respond to the articles on this website, but this time I feel like I had to. You see, for most of my life I had been a straightened natural. I either got press and curls or the ceramic infusion (intensive conditioning cocktail, ionic blow dry, and ceramic flat iron). My hair was long, and especially healthy with the ceramic infusion. It was easy to comb. But was it EASIER? That is where my story comes in. I lived in the north. I was on the track team, cross-country team, and swim team in high school. I also lived in Puerto Rico for a time. And I went clubbing...often. And I must say, in warm weather or when doing exercise, straight hair was most definitely NOT easier. Maybe it's my texture of hair, or maybe it was my length. I don't know. But I CAN say that going to the club with a head full of curly hair meant that several hours of hard dancing would only make my hair look better, not worse. For me, straight or dry required the same amount of work for my natural hair to be healthy--except straightening was much, much more expensive. And time consuming. Right now, my entire hair routine takes about 5 to 10 minutes each day. Sometimes only a minute or two. When my curls are longer, I usually throw my hair into a ponytail at night, sleep on a satin pillowcase, then wake up fluff, and go. Could I so that with my straight hair? Sure...until it was time to get it straightened again. Then I had two textures to deal with. Which usually meant ponytail or back to curl. And let's not even talk about what happens when you can't find (or afford!) a good stylist. I like the way I look with straight hair. I like the way I look with curly hair. But at this point I have come to the decision that straight hair is just more effort that I can take or make. I dislike when people look at my straight-haired pictures and say "oh you look so pretty here", and then look straight at my natural curls, as though now it looks a mess. Whether someone straightens, colors, wears wig, synthetic braids, or weave, it's not their "natural" hair. So why judge a straightened natural if you know that the hair on your head was made in a lab? Either way, I agree that people should let each other live. I just want to emphasize that "easier" is a matter of perspective.
Hi NC, I take your point - yes, it is about choice. Perhaps I will write an ariticle on why people of African heritage tend to keep their natural texture hidden. Happy days!
This was addressed in the paragraph under the we are not self loathers sub heading. Whenever the topic of straightening comes about people immediately assume the worst about women who choose to do it. Whilst i understand that there is a deep racial meaning behind natural hair I hate having to prove my naturalness. My hair does not define me and how comfortable i am with my 'blackness' so i resent always being given a speech about self love whenever the topic arises. But i do agree that a lot of black people on the whole do hate their hair not just african americans. But this post was not about that it was about not being afraid to admit straightening and address the issue in the natural community of dividing ourselves and creating degrees of naturalness.
Hi NC, It's great that we are having this discussion, openly and confidently. My opinion on the whole thing is that, of course people should make their own choices and by and large we live in the free world (I am from the UK). I agree and understand that some people just want straight hair. What I am aiming to come to terms with is exactly what you say in your article: curly hair is work. This is a fact. However, that is the hair some black people were born with. My fear and difficulty is this: are black people ashamed of this hair because it does not do what the hair of the other races do? Those of us who are type 4s know that it is a struggle to come to love this challenging hair. Most of us with type 4 hair do not know our hair, have not had time to get to know it, because it has, for the most part, been regarded as 'bad' hair. Unless black hair is lauded and seen as a positive instead of a negative, then it will always have bad press. When I go to some parts of the UK where there are not many black people, I get many stares and comments (mostly complimentary). This is because it is so unusual to see black people's hair in its virgin state. It is a shock for people to see it, because we keep it hidden. When things are kept hidden, it is normally because people are ashamed of it. However, it could be because we want to keep this ultra beautiful gift to ourselves so that others don't steal it from us? Dawn.

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