What does natural hair say about who we are?


Trending topics on Twitter can sometimes be humorous, crass or just plain dumb. But they can also serve as an insight into what a large group of people are buzzing about. Recently, a lively conversation began about whether or not having natural hair makes you “blacker.”

Can you be “blacker” if you're already black — and “blacker” than who?  We decided to get to the bottom of the controversy and add our own opinion to the conversation.

Does Natural Hair Make You "Blacker?"

Over the last few weeks, more and more articles and responses have popped up on the Internet regarding natural hair and “blackness.” Sister 2 Sister posted an article that asked this same question: does having natural hair somehow make you “blacker?”

The question spurred a frenzy of comments on Twitter, and the author shared her thoughts on the issue as a woman with a perm. She revealed that she “never believed in the silly notion that Black women who straighten their hair are trying to resemble their White female counterparts with long, silky smooth tresses.”

A look through the comments on the article shows that most women agree with her, and that hair does not define a woman, nor can it be used as a measurement of “blackness.”

Blackness and Natural Hair

Trying to define blackness is like trying to define love; it's different for every single person and produces unique experiences that can rarely be duplicated. Of course, like love, blackness means something different depending on who you ask.

For some, blackness reflects someone's interests, clothing or the way they talk. For others, it may have more to do with deeper qualities, such as a knowledge of black history or having and displaying cultural pride.

Historically, natural hair has been used as a source of black pride and resistance to assimilation. The Afro in particular had social and political connotations that reflected the “black and proud” sentiment of the time. Since then, however, the decision to go natural has become popular for all kinds of reasons and has even become a national trend devoid of political implications.

Natural Hair is a Personal Choice

Wearing your hair naturally may make your more confident or more conscious of your native texture, but does natural hair make you “blacker?” The short answer is no.

Sometimes harsh words fly back and forth between the natural hair community and those who wear weaves or get their hair chemically-straightened. But one thing everyone has to remember is that our hair does not define us — it simply reveals our sense in style and fashion much the same those killer heels do!

Want More?

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Final Thoughts

Choosing to wear your hair naturally says as much about you as your shirt does. Some go natural because they want healthier hair, some because they want to save time or money, and others because they simply like the way it looks. Wearing your hair natural doesn't make you blacker, it just shows you're up for the adventure of loving yourself the way you were made: naturally curly.


Kristian Richards

and curly hair does not define whether or not the person is proud their culture.. It's hair people

THANK YOU!! I'm so relieved to know that I'm actually not the only person who feels like hair period (curly, wavy, or straight) does not define you as a person! Thank you for writing this article. The "curlier your hair, the blacker you are" thing is ridiculous.

I guess I have a different perspective on this topic. While I wouldn't necessarily say natural hair makes you "blacker," I have always felt that people who wear their hair naturally are more conscious and enlightened. A lot of times, I would see this expressed by the person also being more Afro-centric or proud of their culture. While not everyone who relaxes their hair has self-hate issues, a lot of people do, and in order to wear your hair naturally (whether for style, looks or ease), you have to get over those problems you might have with yourself. For some people, embracing your natural hair can also lead to embracing other aspects of their culture and heritage, which I think is a great thing!

I just felt like I had to comment on this... I am mixed as almost all Americans are this question I feel is exactly the opposite of what I feel the natural community is trying to show the world. Whether your hair is a slight wave,3a, 3b ,3c 4a, 4b whatever going curly or natural is about tearing down walls and thumbing our noses at questions like this or people who in the past said that certain features where more beautiful than others. I agree with the author its about personal style. For me I feel like I am no longer hiding behind a weave or a wig. I feel truer to myself and to how God made me. :) I feel self accepted finally.

i have to agree with the articles author. i don't see how wearing my hair a particular way makes me blacker. i really think the notion that i can put on or take off blackenss is rather silly. if i could put it on or take it off then anyone could do it, right? the fact that i am black should be enough to make me black, shouldn't it? you know, the more i think about this entire subject the sillier it sounds. yet another thing to divide us that's pretty much baseless. when will we start to concentrate on what we share as common goals rather than what separates us? until then i'll just keep keeping hope alive!

Oh my.... I just had to comment on this. I find it dazzling how people come up with these statements that turn things into meaning. Let's be real here. "Hair" no matter what state it is in doesn't make the person blacker. What the hell is black anyway. Something someone defined long ago to categorize ppl into a group. I am who I am the character in me is what it is. I define what makes me not anyone or anyone else beliefs. This is how I believe all people should think of themselves.