I am often amazed at how many black women are going natural each day. Natural hair has become not only ideal for many women of color but it has many health benefits for our bodies inside and out. I’ve been natural for over 11 years, and sometimes forget that this is still very new to many. Whether you just arrived to the natural hair community or dipped in for a while and left (and thinking about returning) there are some things you need to know about #teamnatural.
#Teamnatural is a popular term. While many women are proud to be a part of it, if you are new to the term and lifestyle, you may need to sit back and learn a few things to gain a better understanding on what it is. Here are some not-so-known things about this amazing community that will help as you take your natural hair journey to the next level.
There are teams within the #teamnatural category like Locs, braids, Fros, curly or even fades that many agree on being natural. Many have adopted this phrase so don’t be shocked to see women who wear waves, wigs and even rocking texturizers who call themselves “Natural”. Who is to say who is and is not a part of #teamnatural? No one really, as natural hair or saying you have natural hair is becoming more fluid.
Fighting over who can be called natural and who cannot be, is pretty toxic and unnecessary. The need to control the group is no longer a big topic so don’t get caught up in the you ain’t natural drama of yesteryear and embrace it as you see fit.
While I find this to be diminishing, it is still relevant and needs to be addressed. Some feel any chemical usage removes you from the #teamnatural label. This debate on “are you still natural if you color your hair”, is tiring but it DOES exist. I say don’t even worry about it but people ask daily if they are still natural if they color their hair in forums and groups all over the web.
Like I mentioned above, worry less about what others deem natural and concentrate more on your own personal journey. Whether you color your hair, use only natural ingredients or nothing at all, know that divisions are negative and unhelpful. Steer clear of anyone or any group that tries to make you feel excluded by your hair choices.
I really get tired of hearing that natural hair or the natural hair community is a fad, trend or fashion statement. Those labels imply it is only a fashion fad that will soon dissipate and black women will be trying something new with their hair soon. That couldn’t be further from the truth. With the surge of the natural hair movement came education about our hair, health and beauty and an awareness of societal beauty norms that many of us no longer subscribe to.
Going natural may be a trend (a general direction in which something is developing or changing) but it’s not a fad (an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, esp. one that is short-lived and without basis in the object’s qualities; a craze) and if you wanna piss a natural off then just call it one.
Yes, there are many who are sporting natural hair until they get tired or even wearing natural wigs but this is a lifestyle choice for most who become natural. It takes commitment and patience so if this IS a fad for you then you won’t be here long. Black women are embracing their natural beauty and with that comes accepting, loving and nurturing our natural tresses. This is no fad but an awakening for many so no, this is not a fad for the millions of women in #teamnatural.
I hate I even have to say this but black women are not a walking petting zoo and I cannot stand seeing women being disrespected this way. To anyone unsure, if you didn’t want to touch our hair when it was relaxed then what makes you think just because it’s natural we want to be groped now?! Just ASK first and not when you are reaching out to touch it.
There may be more women out here OK with this kind of thing, but many are not here for it so even if you are natural, or thinking about going natural, do not assume naturals want you grabbing their strands. It’s disrespectful and kind of nasty as who knows where a strangers hands have been?!
Just as we come in an array of hues, our hair is just as diverse and has varying needs. Factor in ages, geographical climates, health and hair texture and you see why we do not all use the same products. It’s just ridiculous to think we do! There are tons of natural hair products out now as well as natural hair recipes for every hair ailment or need one can find.
While many black women may have used the same products when they were relaxed, they are quickly finding out their hair needs are quite different and require specific ingredients and brands to accommodate their strands. Even family members can find themselves with contradistinctive hair obligations. Me, my sister and my daughter all have contrasting curls and coils and use different brands as a result. What does that all mean?
Trial and error will guide you onto finding the chief products to give your hair what it needs. With health, age, climate and curl type factoring into the equation, do not feel what someone else is using, must be what your hair is looking for.
I am a proud member of #teamnatural but I am a black woman first and that means I love all my sisters! We are proud of being on this team and even if we do not agree with what you do with your hair does not mean we look down on you. Yea, you have a few extremists but the overall majority truly does not care what you do with your hair.
I hate the division and I detest the notion that women who keep their hair relaxed are inferior or not in touch with their blackness. It it were up to me, our beauty would be as revered as European standards in society but as long as it is not, you will find some women opting for chemicals to tame their hair. That does not mean every woman that is relaxed feels that way but to deny there are a few in that lot would be a lie.
I also need to stress that every woman who goes natural does not do it for a revolutionary reason nor is trying to get in touch with her blackness. Basically, we are all black women choosing to wear our mane as we see fit so know this…all black women are beautiful whether relaxed or natural.