This may sounds like a stupid question, but must we love natural hair? Must we only speak about it in positive ways. Never letting on about any problems we may have with it day in and day out? Is there an unwritten rule that hating or feeling negative about your natural texture (or even just the time it requires for care) must be kept secret? These are just a few really hard to stomach questions that do not get uttered much but I think It’s time to peel back the natural hair movement and discuss something that has been brewing for some time now.
I was scrolling through Tumblr and came across a long thread of women discussing what far too many naturals already know:
The first commenter stated what most of us state, but then the post went another direction and women started sharing their truths on whether they love natural hair while being natural.
Day to day struggles started pouring out from frustrated women who felt the space was safe for discussion about their natural hair.
Frustrations were released and the anger at judgement from others who may have less tangles or less complications were realized. The topic of whether you love natural hair turned into a reason to explain why you may not love natural hair all the time.
I felt this portion of the thread was the most revealing as it brought up what many of us know. If you are natural, you betta love it and you better not say one bad thing about it. Also, naturals with looser patterns (3b-4a) have it easier than ones with 4b-4c hair type and often too critical of the latter when they complain.
The thread veered off topic from whether to love natural hair to solutions such as steaming hair took over the conversation. A touchy subject brought solutions, ideas and a sense of a community building around some women who “get it”. So, I began to wonder…can you love and hate your natural hair? Must you love it all the time and overlook the struggles? What I found to be the best feature of this entire thread was how a solution to some struggles were answered with a hair technique and a product mention.
Now, they were suggesting handheld GARMENT steamers (which can range in price from $20 to $30) like these three:
I am not recommending garment steamers nor am I denouncing them. I just have no idea if they are a good alternative.
Look, I don’t have all the answers. I also do not struggle with my hair on most occasions, and yes I love natural hair. Lazy wash and go over here so I choose to leave my thoughts to the side as these struggles are not mine so who am I to judge? We often forget that we all have separate hair journey and I get reminded when talking to friends, get questions from readers and family. Everyone has some type of struggle and there were struggles when we were relaxed for most of us. Whether we dealt with stagnant growth, breakage or lifeless hair, there are too many reasons for me to never go back to relaxing.
Whether you love natural hair or not, being a natural hair woman requires some patience, becoming more educated on your hair and the products it needs and even enlisting the help of others. You do not have to go this alone and natural hair salons are popping up in increasing numbers so you can take a break or just allow someone else to deal with your tresses. I want you to love natural hair but also to allow yourself to feel the way you feel if you have a marathon detangling session, or see your washday last an entire day. It’s OK to vent. Just know that there are styles (braids, wigs, weaves), cuts and salons to give yourself a break from the day to day grind you may find when caring for your natural hair.
We want this to be a positive experience so know your options so that you can fall BACK in love with your natural hair.