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5 Heated Debates About Hair That Are Dividing Black Women



natural_black_hair_careWhat Does Being Natural Mean?

The growing number of Black women transitioning from chemically relaxed to natural hair styles has inspired a strong sisterhood within the hair care community. Yet it has also spawned divisions between wearers of relaxed hair vs. natural and has led to a debate among over what it means to be natural.

Some natural hair advocates believe that natural hair refers to texture, not color or length, and as long as the chemical structure of the hair is unaltered, it can be considered natural. Supporters of this argument would likely consider commercial hair products, wigs, weaves, and even hair straightening with a hot comb, acceptable hair care options that fall under the natural-hair umbrella.

Others argue that the natural hair movement is a celebration of Black women’s ┬ábeauty, hair textures and hairstyles, and so wigs, weaves, hair coloring, extensions, or using a flat iron do not constitute being natural.

What people are saying

5 thoughts on “5 Heated Debates About Hair That Are Dividing Black Women

  1. The only living part of hair is the follicle. It is NOT a living breathing thing. You can debate all day about my hair and I can ignore you all day because in the beginning middle and end you know nothing about me or my life through my hair. I look at mine as an accessory to the wonderful woman that I am while you can let yours define you if you wish.

  2. to put it simply, Natural hair is Hair that doesn't have Damaging Chemicals such 'Sodium Hydroxide' and the likes. Now women absolutely have the freedom of putting another human or animal 'Fur' into their heads, but please, let's call a 'Spade A Spade'. #theblindinglightofmisinformationmustend

  3. the hair vibrates as a result of being connected to the person(which is active, alive). this is a healthy dialogue that needs to be discussed :). the spell of Self-Hate is Notorious World Over. #theblindinglightofmisinformationmustend

  4. Jay Lindo says:

    I do agree with both Austin and Micah.

    Austin, straightening can be seen as easier, but black women should know how to make their hair 'easy' to manage. ALL hair types will require maintainance. Our course hair should not be any different. The secret is called…conditioner. Always. There is a way to manage black hair to make it easy. Straightening requires its own maintanance that can or cannot be seen as 'easier'. Personally, my braid outs are sooooooo much easier than flat ironing.

    Micah, I feel your pain, in that you shouldn't have to justify why you wear your hair the way it is, and think you're on the self-hate thing. I sometimes flatten my hair with a flat iron myself. However, the question must be understandable in this country and our given history. Fact is, straight hair has been pushed as beautiful over our natural state. That's just fact. And I firmly believe it's fact that it has effected young black girls into thinking the same thing, since they are far too young and in search of an identity to realize their own hair is beautiful as is. The youth look to the media and the media is messed up. But anywho, in this country (and any country) hair is not 'just hair'. It's a pride to women all over the world and when we don't have it, we no longer feel feminine. Some women purposely alter their hair to rebel against that cultural norm, but it remains that hair is seen as a high importance to women. I'm definitely not bashing you, since I like to straighten and rock natural.

    I do, however, confess to low esteem growing up, being made fun of for my skin color and hair, which encouraged me to perm. I understand the struggle and the real problem that exists. The problem is…there are TOO many black women who do not admit to this. Instead, we tend to hide behind 'I do what I want', without acknowledging why we do it. While we really can do whatever we want with our hair, it's a shame that young girls are going through what I went through.

  5. After all this debate about natural vs. weave, the elephant in the room that has rarely been discussed is economics, from who makes and distributes the products(for weave or natural hair), and who buys it. I'm not really siding with one team, because it's a personal choice.

    I'll just say I stopped buying weave because it can add up over time, and I didn't like the way I was being treated when I walked into shops. For my natural hair regime, it was tricky at first, but I eventually learned more about my hair, and barely use any product. In fact, the reason why I went natural was because I couldn't afford buying weave AND going to the hair salon every 3 months. Now, if there are actual manufacturers that are African/black, with similar hair, then I'm willing to buy.

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