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.
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.