Thursday

Natural Hair Pet Peeve: "Girl, You Got That Good Hair!"


"I can't go natural. My hair is too nappy for that."

"YOU can have natural hair because you have good  hair."

This is one of my top natural hair pet peeves...thinking your hair isn't "good" enough to be natural. A couple weeks ago I was reading someone's tumblr post about how she's tired of women thinking that they're more in tune with their African roots because they have natural hair. I understood where she was coming from, but then she went on to say that she wouldn't be able to have natural hair because her hair was too "tough" and that when she was a young child, her mom couldn't deal with her hair...which is why she relaxed it. I've even read one person say that their new growth is tough enough to scrub pots.

My thing is... many of us have this story. Our mothers basically battled our natural hair, believed it was unmanageable, and gave us relaxers. However, imagine how many women would be natural today if we all stuck with the "natural hair is unmanageable" mindset. Personally, I think too many people equate new growth with natural hair. Just because your new growth seems tough, doesn't mean your natural hair will be the same way. In comparison to relaxed, kink-free hair, of course new growth isn't as easy to comb.

Initially, going even 6 weeks without a relaxer was a challenge for me. I used to think "How am I going to deal with this new growth?!" So, I can see why some people are reluctant to go natural. However, I learned the products and techniques that worked well for me and I learned how to stretch my relaxers for at least 3 months at a time. Even now, detangling on wash days is a breeze despite the fact that I have every texture ranging from 3c-4c...yes, 4c!

People need to stop laying the blame on their hair as to why they can't go natural. Our hair is always the bad guy, yet WE are the ones who are supposed to take care of it properly. I don't care how unmanageable your new growth seems, if you really want to have natural hair you will take the time to learn what your hair likes and dislikes, how to treat it, etc...just like how you take time to figure out how to treat your relaxed hair. I'd rather someone just be straight up and say they prefer relaxed hair or that they're not ready to go natural yet.

Contrary to popular belief, NO ONE'S hair is too coarse, nappy, tough or dry to go natural. I honestly believe that God would not give Black people hair that we couldn't manage and rock with confidence. If you truly think that only people with loose curls can have beautiful, manageable natural hair, that's a personal issue that you need to figure out. You won't KNOW how manageable or unmanageable natural hair is until you HAVE natural hair...not just new growth, lol.




10 comments:

  1. I feel everything you've said!
    I got this same 'You have good hair that's why you can go natural' comment two weeks back and it was so irritating!
    I also would just appreciate it more if people would stop coming up with half baked excuses like my hair is too nappy.
    Its amusing because I don't think I have what is considered "good hair"
    I think all hair types are good.
    Its not even a compliment. Its like a slap on the face.
    Just like when someone says that lighter skinned girls are prettier and they don't understand why I find it offensive because I'm light.

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  2. I wish people would just realize that natural hair is going to seem unmanageable if you try to manage it the same way you manage straight hair. If you learn how to manage your natural hair, you will no longer consider it unmanageable.

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  3. I get that all the time. Only one close girlfriend is natural and she hotcombs her hair faithfully, so she never wears it in a curled state. I thought as well that my hair was too knotty ro go natural and u are sooo right, that half an inch of new growth compared to relaxed hair can be shocking, but when I did my BC and washed it and found an actual curl?? I was sold! I also learned I don't have a "kitchen" and the longer I go, the more I learn about what I have and love it more...

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  4. hi,your natural hair growth is really good i like so much.....

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  5. I actually had a woman and her friend say exactly the same thing to me at a 4th of July bar-b-q sitting around a big table of people earlier this year. A grown woman! Sista, come on...really???? I do not consider this sad statement to be a compliment.
    I was stunned and a lot of things crossed my mind then and now, as I recall the mentality she would have to have in order to think, let alone say something like this. I had to quickly convince myself to reply calmly and compassionately because most women, me included, have "drunk the Kool-aid" in one way or another and been wrongly convinced to feel negative about some aspect of our appearance (weight, height, skin tone, hair texture or length, etc). I maintained my composure and explained that when I went bald from chemo 10 years ago I decided to embrace whatever new hair I was blessed with. It grew in coily and I tex-laxed it to get more defined coils. I am now transitioning to natural and not looking back. I said "When you've lost all your hair, you know any and all hair is 'good hair'" and added "the idea that kinky/coily = 'bad hair' is an unfortunate way of thinking that we can choose to wake up from." Soon Lord, soon.

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  6. @Anonymous, wow...I couldn't have said it better myself and I'm glad you were able to beat the cancer.

    @Kadia, thank you!

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  7. Amen! I agree. God is Most Wise, why not enjoy the natural beauty God has bestowed upon us?

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  8. I am so glad you posted this. When I told my family and friends that I decided to transition to natural hair, the first thing they said was "who to you that you had good hair." People feel you have to have so called "good hair" to become natural. My response to this is that I am going natural so that I can have "good hair" (which I equate with healthy hair). People are often ignorant when it comes to things they don't understand.

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  9. @Anonymous

    "People are often ignorant when it comes to things they don't understand."

    So true. And you can't tell naysayers anything. Just have to let them see your progress.

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