Over the past five years, the natural hair revolution has become an incredible movement. We’ve come together as a community, sharing style tips and product advice as well as other interchangeable ideas and perceptions about our natural roots. With more women returning to their born hair texture, many would think that the Black community would embrace this movement with open arms.
But the truth is, not everyone has been a fan of the natural hair “movement” that’s become more of a trendy lifestyle for Black women and hair. It’s now the thing to be natural, and many times, a certain kind of “natural.” (But that of course, is another story, for another day.)
But as I explain, the hot topic of natural hair has been on the tips of the Black community’s tongues, with commentators from hairstylists to everyday people weighing in on their opinions on the natural movement. And not everyone is in favor of this new “trend.” While some feel it’s empowering for Black women to own their natural textures, others don’t see the reason behind the hype.
Earlier this year, celebrity hairstylist and Fashion Queens host Derek J stated that he’s “not a fan of the natural hair movement” and that “natural hair is not for everyone.” Everyone’s entitled to his or her own opinion, and we have to respect that. But for me, his last statement struck a nerve. What exactly did he mean when he said, “Natural hair isn’t for everyone?”
Let’s really break down and analyze this statement. First of all, “natural” hair is essentially the hair texture that you were given by God and born with. So to make a statement suggesting that embracing the hair texture that you were born with is not “for you” leaves a lot to be questioned. Just like with other hairstyles and trends, every woman has to find styles and products that work best for her personal appearance, and hair is no different. But natural hair is just that: the hair you grow without any product, treatments, or touchups. And while certain styles may look better on others, it seems out of line to suggest that a Black woman’s decision to rock her own hair could be determined by anyone other than herself.
Before I decided to lock my hair, I wore weaves, extensions, and other hairstyles. And while I’ve been natural for four years now, I believe we, as Black women, look beautiful in almost every style we choose to wear. But I can’t pretend that I don’t have a problem with people (especially Black people) supporting a theory that we shouldn’t embrace our God-given appearance.
As a people, we’ve struggled enough in this country trying to feel accepted for who we are from society, media and beyond. Not to forget that Black women are always getting the short end of the stick when it comes to our beauty. So someone, especially of our community, suggesting that who we are naturally isn’t always for us is ludicrous to me.
All Black women have different preferences as to how we wear our hair. Whether long or short, Afro or extensions, curly or straight, our hair is our hair. Let us not forget that it is our choice and decision to wear our hair the way we want. If you want to rock your natural hair texture, then do it. It is for you, because it’s by you. Period.
So to address the question at hand, my answer is: natural hair is for everyone. Does everyone have to embrace her natural hair texture? No. But our natural hair has always been for us, and it always will be.