*** DISCLAIMER: The post you are about to read is based on the experiences of 1 naturalista – ME. Those experiences include other people but is definitely NOT inclusive of ALL natural haired folks. It is pretty entertaining though! ***
These are the top 10 questions or comments that I have encountered over the years of my napptural journey. Some of them have sparked debates, while others are things people have told me are reasons they haven’t joined the “movement” (as if I expect EVERYone to – variety is the spice of life!). So here they are – ENJOY!
- I MUST know, understand, and advertise my hair type to go and stay natural. Truth – NO ONE REALLY CARES (except a select few but that’s a different (editorial) post). No offense. It IS, however, vitally important to get to know your hair – the texture, the thickness (or thinness, as the case may be), the way it grows in (from the scalp), how dry it gets, etc. This is the one and only way to know what it takes to keep your hair healthy.
- There are so few limited styles for natural hair. Really?! I didn’t know… someone forgot to tell ME that. I kid, I kid. You are only limited by your imagination (and time). Don’t believe me? Google it! I dare you! Start with these – “loc hair styles” and “natural hair styles“.
- I like to color my hair and I heard that will KILL natural hair. WRONG! Chemicals will – there IS a difference. Okay I’ll elaborate…. While I don’t disagree that most colorants include chemicals that may alter the hair’s texture/structure, there are low or no chemical colorants available on the market now (hennas, powders). Or just use a semi or demi permanent hair color that doesn’t penetrate the hair cuticle; these only “stain” the hair (for lack of a better term) . Also, keeping natural hair in otherwise great condition opens us up to all sorts of color & styling freedom. When all else fails, talk to a pro – a NATURAL hair pro – and DO YOUR RESEARCH! 😉
- My hair is already long so it will hang long when I stop relaxing/flat ironing too. Ya think?? You could be right, most likely you’re not. See #1 – KNOWing your hair and how it behaves will let you know how much SHRINKAGE you will have EVERY DAY of your naturalista life. The exception – locs; if you choose to wear locs, once they begin to grow, mature, and solidify they will hang more and you will see little to no shrinkage EVER. Unless you curl it or something – but that would be self induced shrinkage! 😉
- My curls will look like beautifully hanging ringlets if I use the right products. It doesn’t matter how much curly pudding (or any other product) you put in your hair, you will only have ringlets if it is MEANT for you to have ringlets. See #1 & #4 – Know YOUR hair, accept YOUR hair, and choose styles that work for YOUR hair. (BTW, you can always fake those ringlets with a FIERCE twist out!)
- I can use the products for my natural hair that I did on my relaxed hair. Maybe. Maybe not. The thing is that most products we use as permies are designed to help keep our hair “in check” (i.e. slick, tame, etc). To do this, those products must contain synthetics that are counter to keeping non-chemically altered hair healthy. Examples of ingredients to watch include petroleum, mineral oil, alcohol, sulfates, glycols.
- Everything I need for my hair can be found in the grocery or health food store. This is not entirely untrue. As it happens, my top 3 oils for skin and hair – avocado, castor, coconut, and olive – can be found here (and not at the beauty supply). But there are also items in beauty supply stores that combine the necessary ingredients for you, leaving out all the bad junk.
- I can’t get my natural hair wet or wash it too much. Au contraire, good people! Water is a naturalista’s best friend! Your hair (and skin) will love it – inside AND out! Plus, unwashed hair is just plain nasty.
- Natural hair is usually dirty and unkempt, especially locs. Please see #8 and #2. Thanks.
AND MY ALL TIME FAVORITE MYTH TO BUST…..
I won’t be able to get/keep a project/job/promotion wearing my natural hair. Again, the truth is NO ONE REALLY CARES whether you are natural (well, again there are a select few but that’s a different post along with #1). This is all about putting your “best foot forward” as they say. Please see #9 above AND make sure your entire look AND your skills are ON POINT. Dress the part, act the part, BE the part to GET the part. Fear not, if that role is meant for you and HE makes it so, your hair should not keep you from it.
Are there any myths about natural hair that you care to add? What has been your experience?