Question du Jour: Is natural hair more than just a hairstyle?

Sep 8, 2011


After reading an article about the recent formation of Pi Nappa Kappa, a natural hair "sorority", I realized that I will never fully grasp this natural hair "movement". I used to think it was just a hairstyle, but it was not until I went to college that I realized people are ready to DIE over this stuff, g. The "natural vs. relaxed hair" debate is destined to raise blood pressures no matter where you go.

As a rather attentive bystander of the Great Hair Debate, I have learned (and unlearned) quite a few things over the past few years. For example, "good" should not be used to suggest straight hair and "nappy" should never, ever be used to describe coarse hair. This may seem like common sense to some, but to me it's a fairly new revelation that I have to keep reminding myself of for my safety.

I have also realized that there's a greater underlying issue here that involves black women refusing to succumb to society's beauty standards, and foregoing chemicals to embrace their authentic, unaffected appearance. I support this. It annoys me to no end when people try to put beauty in box and there's no way you can you tell me that my boo, and those like her, aren't fearlessly owning the natural look.

I get it.

Well, sorta. There's another side of me, the man side I guess, that can't suppress this inner voice that keeps screaming "IT'S JUST HAIR. If you want to wear it natural, cool. If you want to wear it straight, that's cool, too." In the end, it's just a matter of personal preference. Refusing to use creamy crack doesn't make you a free-thinking, elite, noncomformist who has successfully fulfilled the challenges given to us by Booker T. Washington and WEB Du Bois. It simply means you like your hair better in its natural state. No?

If a woman likes her hair straight, does that automatically mean she is denying her culture? If two natural-haired women are in a room together, do they have to acknowledge one another and pretend to be cordial because of their one commonality, or can they just rock their hair in peace? Does your hair define you? I need answers. And I need them now.  *taps fingers on desk*

blog comments powered by Disqus
Don't watch me, w-w-watch my feet....