flat ironing hair

Where does a woman draw the line when it comes to her style preferences? Is it more about her perception of beauty or is it more about what is best for her hair and lifestyle? If a curly consistently wears straight hair, is it a reflection of an insecurity or just a style preference? What is the difference between the 3a that is addicted to the CHI iron and the 4a that relaxes?

I ask because there are some women with naturally curly hair who only wear their hair straight…I'm talking 95% of the time. Now, I’m not trying to call them out or even label them as insecure, but what is the point of being natural if you are always altering the state of your hair? A lot of naturals hate shrinkage. Your intertwined curls and coils can be a pain to detangle and also cause you to believe that you are not retaining length. I remember when my mother asked why my hair wasn’t growing when all she had to do was pull one of my coils and she would have her answer. Our hair’s temperament can be discouraging sometimes.

I wonder if I’m asking too much of my straight styled ladies and not taking an inner peek at myself. I prefer the big, wild, out of control coils that behave instinctively to nature. I no longer wear my hair straight and no longer care if others can see my growth and length. This is my preference. Is the choice to stay straight merely a fondness for sleek hair or a lack of fully embracing their natural hair texture?

There is a push back from some that feel straight hair is more attractive and more professional, but as we embark on a natural hair revolution that is attracting the attention of the fashion world, don’t we owe it to all curlies to embrace our natural texture and flaunt it? I know that may seem extreme or potentially earn me the title of “natural hair Nazi”, but by allowing our hair to be its own we force others to accept our beauty. Our beauty is not to be diminished and watered down, and by constantly straightening our hair aren’t we just diminishing its essence?

I dance around the idea that some succumb to the pressure to fit in, but I acknowledge it may be a strong push to conform. I do not buckle under that weight, but I also have no one telling me my shrinkage is something that needs to be "corrected" or that visibly longer hair is more desirable. Even my mother didn’t understand the nature of my hair, which is very different from someone making you feel your tresses are ugly or unacceptable. I know my path is not seared with negativity which may be the reality of others.

So I ask you, the straight-haired natural: Is straight hair merely a styling option? Do you consider it to be more beautiful? Do you feel more confident with straight hair? Share your story.