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 beauty, hair textures and hairstyles, and so wigs, weaves, hair coloring, extensions, or using a flat iron do not constitute being natural.