In the natural hair community the debate about what a “natural” natural is continues. There are a lot of differing opinions about what it means to be 100% natural and whether that even exists nowadays. Unfortunately, I think some natural women (and men) get so caught up on what it means to be natural [for others] that they waste time focusing on other people’s hair that they could be spending enjoying their own journey.
In my three years as a natural I have experimented with many hairstyles and I have also seen many. Like I said, many have their own interpretations of what being natural means. So, I have come up with two main categories for natural loose hair styles (not twisted, braided or loced): nappy and textured.
Most of the natural women I know and encounter wear their hair “styled”. I “style” my hair either in twist outs or braid outs when it’s not in a protective style. However, there is a good amount of natural women who do not “style” their hair at all. I often see women who take “natural” literally. Their hair is neither styled nor does it look like it was combed (detangled).
While I do like this look, it doesn’t work for me. My hair is often unmanageable and it can be quite unruly (which is nothing new, it was unruly even when I was relaxed). But, for me, I can’t imagine how hard a wash day would be or how much MORE unmanageable my hair would be if I had to work with a head full of [my] dry, natural curls. For me nappy is not an option.
Personally, I prefer my hair “textured” because I think that my hair looks prettier when it is styled. I don’t like how my hair looks when it is freshly washed after it dries without any product nor do I have any desire to leave my house with the “freshly washed” look. Natural hair is so unpredictable that I don’t want to take the chance of leaving the house with it wet and reaching my destination with a huge unmanageable tangled ‘fro. Another reason I prefer “textured” is because it means my hair is stretched and/or elongated. My natural hair is a tight Type 4 coil. I try to keep it stretched or elongated as often as possible – even during washing – because this cuts down on tangles, fairy knots and breakage.
By “textured” I do not mean “texturized” – this is a huge misconception in the natural hair community. A texturizer is a chemical treatment that is applied to hair to loosen the curl pattern and/or give hair the appearance of having “texture,” i.e., waves if you have a short haircut [like African-American men]. By textured I mean a style that has been achieved either by braiding, coiling, twisting or curling (with styling products/creams) that leaves the hair with some form of a pattern whether it’s waves, spirals or zig zags.
Color-Treated and Texturized
Is a natural who colors or texturizes her hair natural? I don’t see this debate ending anytime soon. However, I read all of the forums and comments and I find them hilarious. I can’t understand why anyone would want to label anyone else’s hair. Your hair, your choice. I do, however, like that there are more naturals in mainstream media because that’s what’s more important to me.
My personal preference is to wear my hair textured but, no matter how you decide to rock your hair, it’s your business. As long as you are comfortable and happy that’s all that matters. I have seen natural hair “styled” so many different ways and I love the versatility of it all. While I may not choose to wear my hair in a “natural” natural state, because I prefer mine “textured” and “styled” I respect everyone’s choices.
How do you prefer to wear your hair? Are you a natural who rocks it ALL the way natural? Do you have a problem with nappy or textured? Please share below.