I read an interesting article by journalist Hannah Pool on the Guardian website the other day about natural hair and have also watched with interest the debate on Curly Nikki about caucasian beauty vlogger waterlilly716 who has curly/wavy hair and who was interviewed about going natural.
The comments on both sites from both black and white from the US and UK intrigued me and I started to ask myself what exactly is natural hair?
This is a simple definition of natural 'black' hair on About.com
"Hair whose texture hasn't been altered by chemical straighteners, including relaxers and texturizers. An Afro hairstyle is sometimes referred to as "a natural," but natural black hair can be worn in many other styles besides a short 'fro. Pressed hair may still be considered natural because once washed, the texture returns to its unaltered state."
Does that then mean you have to be black to have natural hair?
In my honest opinion: No. I think people in the black 'natural' community put too much emphasis on semantics and particularly on race.
In the 70's hippies started wearing their hair long and straight and 'natural', fast forward 40 years and this is how most caucasians wear their hair every day. You could say that all causcasians wear their hair natural today. It is no longer fashionable to perm your hair or wear rollers. People go to a lot of trouble to get that straight flowing look that would have been laughed at as unkept many years ago.
I can understand black people wanting to keep this movement all to them selves but another part of the movement is also moving on from having to debate the acceptability of our hair. We are lucky in that we have come to a time where society is more accepting of a more healthy, more 'natural' lifestyle. So this movement has been able to flourish and in time will hopefully move on to include general self acceptance.
Don't get me wrong we still have a long way to go but we are accepting ourselves and its become less and less of a big deal to see people with natural hair in the street. I don't get those knowing nods from naturalistas in the street anymore because there are so many of us now.
Right along side the hippies was the afro, which we have once again come to embrace, but yet we still continue to fight each other on who is black enough to call themselves natural.
Gorgeous Marsha Hunt
As more young people are growing up with their hair worn natural will this phraseology even continue to exist in 10 years time. My daughter will just wear her hair. She won't think of it as natural, it will just be the hair that grows out out of her head.
I live in hope, for now
Embrace Your Inner AfroDeity