NATURAL HAIR CRITICISM: The Reality?

Hello guys.

I hope you all are doing fine.

It’s really exciting for me that I’m writing a random post today without having to plan or put down what I’m going to talk about. I rarely do that.

This post today really relates to me because I’m writing it based on a recent personal experience.  I don’t know why I felt this urge to write a post on this but I just have to. I love natural hair. I really do. Because I feel like I have this personal attachment to it. I don’t know why. It’s beautiful, It’s unique, It’s fun, It’s my identity, it’s part of my history. There’s just a lot of things I have attached to my natural hair. My own hair is not just hair to me.

Please don’t get me wrong. This is not going to be one of those ”team natural hair/ miss coilier than thou” posts. All kinds of hair are beautiful in their own unique ways but what is even more beautiful is embracing your own hair in all it uniqueness, for what it is and for what it’s not.

I grew up forced to accept the fact that being dark is not enough. Being dark is bad. It’s never enough. It ruins every thing. It sucks. It disgusting. Think of the meanest, nastiest word you know. I have been associated with it. I can relate this childhood memories to natural hair. It hurts to know that some people just won’t like the way you look or the way you talk or the clothes you wear, or your kind of hair.

But that’s just fine. It’s something we just have to deal with.

In school today, I was involved in a normal conversation with a gentle man I would perpetually refer to as Mr. A. in this post. Everything seemed to be going well until Mr A. asked me, ”Do you write?”

Feeling quite confident and proud to tell Mr. A. about my writing experience as natural hair blogger, the following conversation ensued:

Me: Yes. I do. I also have a blog.

Mr. A.: (seeming more interested) Really? What do you blog about?

Me: I blog about hair. Natural Hair.

Mr. A.: (He grimaces) You are part of them?!

Me: (feeling appalled with mouth wide open): What?!! What are you talking about?

At this moment, I was thinking inside my head. What in God’s name is he talking about? I  don’t own a blog to look down on other people with non- natural hair or straight hair.  I blog because I want to… and that was how this heated argument between Mr. A and I ensued. Mr. A voiced out that he personally thinks natural hair is ugly, looks unkempt and rough. Mr. A insisted this natural hair movement is just a fad that would so be dead and gone. He considered it something simply pointless and stupid because it had occurred earlier where it also peaked and died off.

I tried to defend my own preference for my natural hair and make him understand that my being natural is not to enforce the same lifestyle on other people or look down on other people but to encourage other people to embrace their natural hair texture through my blog.  And Mr A. was quick to reply,

”You are still young and restless! Your blogging about this would soon die off in say 2 years to come because things like this always do”

I was beyond shocked and appalled because  personally, I have never heard such negative comments about  afro textured hair before. And seeing that this is coming from a fellow Nigerian. It breaks my heart. Not because he speaks poorly of natural hair but because he is a Nigerian. How much more a fella from another part of the world?

A whole lot of things was going through my mind as Mr. A voiced out his preferences for straighter hair. He even referred it to me by complementing the wavy weave I had on and said, ” You know, you actually look beautiful with this hair” (in comparison to my natural hair) obviously smashing any truth in the fact that natural hair is beautiful as well.

Mr A. even went as afar as concluding I was in ”denial of the truth” as I tried so hard to slam a big NO to his opinion that we naturals really do care about what people say about our hair. I definitely react to what people say about my hair, especially psychologically. But I just probably won’t use the word care. I really do mind what people say about my hair in terms of using offensive words but I have never for one second thought or felt intimidated by opinions or perceptions of my hair when I find myself even in the most hostile or unusual environment.

I always ask myself this question. I don’t have to think about it twice. Because the answer is even in the question itself.

”How can something that grows that out my own head be so unfit?”

”It can’t be unfit! It grows out of your damn head!”

I’m not here to point accusing fingers at Mr. A and seek judgment on him. I’m just here to share with you all that Mr. A is my own fare share of the undying reality that some people just don’t and would never appreciate some certain thing about you like hair texture and we need to accept that truth whether we fancy it or not.

If Mr. A in any way stumbles upon my blog ( which I hope he does) I sincerely want him to know this.

”Gentleman, It’s okay if you just can’t appreciate natural hair. It’s okay to voice out your opinions because everyone is entitled to them.  But it’s not okay is trying to pawn off your personal preferences as the universal truth. That wouldn’t be a personal preference anymore, it would be ignorance. Ignorance means summarily judging a style as unattractive without any room for variance.

If you can’t appreciate something, there are others who do. Learn to respect the opinion of other people.

There’s no such thing as the universal truth/beauty/fashion/hair/face/*insert a criterion for acceptance here*”

”If a man prefers straight- haired ladies to afro texture- haired  ladies, then that is his preference. But if he cannot see beauty in afro texture – haired ladies under any circumstances then he is ignorant!” – Nafisat.

What do you think?

Please Chime in

And of course….

We are on Instagram as @coilyheadofhair and manage a Facebook page Coily Head of Hair. Head over there and show some love. What are you waiting for?!

Send us a message as well at coilyheadofhair@yahoo.com

Until Next Time,

Nafisat!

May your fro grow and your skin glow…

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About nafisah

I'm an architecture student by day and natural hair blogger by night. Join me as I share with you the ups and downs of being an student natural living in Lagos.
This entry was posted in Let's Talk Hair, Life Talks and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to NATURAL HAIR CRITICISM: The Reality?

  1. levybraide says:

    hmm, thank you for this post. i go through this all the time. i started my natural hair journey because i didn’t like the way my relaxed hair looked. i wasn’t comfortable in it so i decided to try something else. now i’m so in love with my natural hair. i get comments like ” copy , copy” “you just want to follow the trend” i don’t even listen to them anymore. i attended a dinner once with my natural hair and everyone was wondering why i did that. a lot of Nigerians have not accepted this trend and just believe it would die soon. i think what they need is time, i don’t blame them. we naturalists just need to learn how to block out all those negative comments and feel beautiful in our own hair.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sandra says:

    I get the “oh you’re ALSO doing the team natural thing abi?” Some go further “you people will soon get tired”.
    One guy went “so you think your hair will grow long because you’re natural? It won’t get any longer than this!”
    Sister. Normally I ignore negatives but this? I whipped out my phone and brandished my waist length relaxed hair pictures to show him ‘been there, done that’ with length.
    Then I’m like “honey, it’s growing and will continue to because I care for it, not because I’m now natural”.
    I hope Mr A reads your post. Some new naturals might eventually relax their hair, no doubt. But a lot of us are never going back. He needs to get with the programme.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This thing is usually funny to me. I don’t talk about my hair much around people who may not understand but if I ever got negative comments like that about my own hair!!! Ah.. Or any part of my body for that matter. I think the attachment to our hair stems from the care we show it.. You can’t show something that much care and not appreciate it.. So he probably needs to find his own ‘something’ abi Kilonshe Mr A yi gan?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The truth is some people are going natural to be part of what they think is a trend. Natural hair is not a trend, it might be trending right now but its a way of life and a personal choice based on proclivities that differ from person to person. I am natural because i love textured hair. Most people don’t get it. I don’t care if they do or not. Its my hair. Get over it.

    Have you tried the Aphogee 2 step treatment for hair breakage? I have! Read my review here

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jen says:

    I can’t wait for these sort of rude comments to stop. And if they never do, may our skin keep growing thicker and thicker to handle it. Fine, you don’t like my hair, keep it to yourself. Don’t make me feel silly for a decision that is solely mine; it is MY hair and what I choose to do with it is none of your business just as what you choose to do is none of mine!
    Nigerian and Natural

    Liked by 1 person

  6. HazelMilo says:

    You just spoke about what I was thinking of a way to rant about. Comments I get around since I began to let my hair out ” Ohh you have join the trend” ” it would soon die off, una go tire” ” you have time”… really people!?!
    I have always loved curls as long as I can remember but never had the courage to big chop before the ” natural hair trend” helped me realise there is aa word called transitioning. The trend helped me research and also gave me a push to embrace my natural hair in all shades. In other news,I am currently transitioning 1 year and 2months.
    Like Jen said ” Don’t make me feel silly for a decision that is solely mine; it is MY hair and what I choose to do with it is none of your business just as what you choose to do is none of mine!”
    It’s my hair! I decide!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. damiflames says:

    Wow datz d first im hearin of dis kind of issue iv bin natural all my lyf nd d only comments i hear are “oo do u attend deeper life”,but gal i tink Mr.A z an opionated idiot cos how can u tink natural hair z unactractive itz so versatile dat u can do jus abt anytin wit it….anywayz dnt myd him jare… And babes im so loving yr blog itz nyc havin Nigerians blog on dz too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. damiflames says:

    Hey has any1 tried d henna treatement….I nid scape goat b4 i do myn

    Liked by 1 person

  9. damiflames says:

    I hrd d body art quality z d best cos it less herbs mixed with it….omo i cnt wait 2 have red highlights dat wnt fade way….(hair flip) im feelin fly already

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ruby says:

    I have got comments like *when you’re hair is relaxed it gives you more fitting*but am not bothered about them I think they need more ordinations especially people like mr.A

    Liked by 1 person

  11. nafisah says:

    I agree with you ruby. They need some form of enlightenment too

    Like

  12. rae says:

    People are so damn funny. This colonialist mind set has really eaten deep in our societies. How can someone else’s eyes be better than yours when they both see? God knew just what He was doing when He gave Africans textured hair. I mean, we’ve got beautifully wide faces and coupled with the Afro, its a smash. The Caucs’ straight hair goes well with their slimmer faces. I’ve pictured some relaxed Africans (eg Nicki Minaj, Tonto Dikeh)with afros and I see them look more beautiful. But people see you with your natural hair, growing from your very scalp and asks if its a ‘political’ or ‘religious’ statement. Why does it have to be any of these? Its my damn hair, why should I explain it?! P.S, love your blog, Nafi

    Like

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