Contributor: Backlash from Other Naturals

Backlash  from Other Naturals (photo courtesy of Microsoft Office)

 Lakeisha Gardner

Nowadays, there is a great deal of love in the natural hair community. Whether you're a newbie in search of tips and product suggestions or a natural vet simply needing encouragement, there are a number of forums and blogs available at your fingertips. However, there are times when that same love can seem to turn to pure hate.

      I have been natural for about 5 years and I have grown to absolutely ADORE my natural hair. In fact, it was not until I embarked upon this natural journey that I actually embraced the idea of liking the hair that was growing out of my own head. I am in a much better place today in terms of the health of my hair and my self-image, compared to where I was as a teenager. However, I have encountered a period where I've simply become bored with my hair. The same old twist out styles and high  puffs just haven't been doing it for me. I've been wanting something different.. something new. So, I've started wearing wigs. I'm still natural, right?

     Ever since I have started wearing my wigs, I have gotten comments from people wondering why I no longer chose to style my hair. They appear to get the impression that I hate my hair, believe it's ugly or unprofessional. They believe my hair is unhealthy, or quite simply, that I just don't have any. All of these couldn't be farther from the truth. My hair is still healthy; I just want want something different. Why does this mean I can't possibly still love my natural hair?

(photo courtesy of Microsoft Office)

      In the natural hair community, there sometimes appears to be unspoken rules that we feel obligated to abide by. Wearing wigs is obviously one. Once having embraced the natural journey, thou must not wear wigs/weaves/extensions etc. That's silly right? The assumptions and stereotypes we place on one another just based on curl patterns or hairstyles unfair and cruel.  It's unethical to bash or criticize someone simply because they chose to wear their hair differently than you. Whether the next woman is relaxed, natural, weaved, or has her hair fried, dyed, and laid to the side, she deserves the same amount of respect as any other woman. Let's all agree to stop holding ourselves accountable for these unspoken hair rules and just enjoy each other and our hair! That's what it's truly about.

Just for laughs, here are some natural hair lies that I have observed floating around the natural hair community via forums, blogs, etc.

1. Using hair grease is unnecessary.

2. Doing the big chop is the only way to start the natural process.

3. Only textures with looser curls can create beautiful hairstyles.

4. Use the Denman brush. Only.

5. Wash and go's are for everyone.

6. Wearing wigs and weaves must mean you're embarrassed of your hair.

7. Cheap products won't work.

8. Caucasian hair products don't work.

9. If you dye your natural hair, you're no longer natural.

10. Only 3A-3Cs can grow long, beautiful hair.

How many of these statements have you been tricked into believing? 

Lakeisha Gardner is a 21-year old naturalista from Georgia. She has been natural for about 5 years. You can check out more about her hair journey on her blog

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