Today we discussed a woman’s relationship with her hair. How does she feel about it? Does she struggle with it? Is natural better than chemically altered? Do we realize the amount of money that we spend in the hair industry that isn’t going where we believe that it is going? How do our men feel about the relationship we have with our hair? There are so many questions to ask but today we’ll deal with a few to see if we can get to a place of understanding for ourselves and our men.
All of my Naturalistas: Please share with us why it is that you chose to be natural and a bit of your journey. Did you do it for yourself, the health of your hair, to better identify with your culture? Tell us what being natural means to you.
Ashanti Pryor ***FOR ALL THE LADIES WHO ARE THINKING ABOUT GOING NATURAL, DO IT! JUST DO IT!*** You will be so glad that you made that decision, it’s not as bad or hard as you think it is. You are going to wonder why you waited so long. There is tons and tons of info online regarding natural hair. I learned a lot of tips, tricks and styling techniques from watching lots of youtube videos and researching online.
Jacqueline Grizzle My hair is chemically altered by a relaxer. It has been this way for the past 16 yrs. It was my mother’s choice to have it done at first and when I reached to the age where I could make my own decisions, I continued having it relaxed because I was so used to it. Sometimes I also use a semi-permanent color in my hair in jet black or blue-black. I don’t feel like either relaxed or natural is better than the other. I love relaxed and natural hair. When my hair was natural before, it didn’t bother me much, except my texture being hard to manage. I’ve been educating myself about hair care and if I was natural right now, I would be able to manage my hair and find products to help tame it. I plan on making a transition to natural probably in the next 10-15 yrs to see how I like it.
Permed hair ladies: Please share with us why you chose to be permed and your journey. Did you do it for convenience or vanity, because you wanted to have more options in styling? Tell us what having straightened hair means to you.
Sharla Webster I just permed my hair last week after about 5 months of no chemicals. I do my own hair (besides trimming) and it became to hard for me to manage. I have done just about everything with my hair (except fade). I will continue to research my options. I don’t have a preference for my hair as long as it stays healthy. Right now im loving the length.
Tiffany McCoy For some reason when I read this question I instantly thought back to the Saturday nights or sunday mornings my mother would spend pressing our hair. I dont think my hair has ever been natural w/o heat or chemicals except for being an infant of course. And Im sure that as soon as I was old enough mama broke out the hot comb. I say this because I cant answer what having straight hair means to me. I am just used to having my hair a certain way – easy to manage, and chemicals or heat is the only way I know how to do that. I dread to have to deal with my hair w/o chemicals because its thick and stubborn as hell when I need a touch up so I can imagine how difficult its natural state is. Just like these other ladies I just dont have the patience.
The black hair industry is a $9 billion industry. 60 to 70 percent of this business is weave alone. Who has had a man (that is not your husband), sponsor your hair upkeep? Does anyone honestly only wear a weave because they like the look? Have you ever made a hair decision based on what men like? Is there financial pressure on a black man when he’s with a black woman because she goes to the salon and spends a great deal of money?
Prime Minister D Nice Keep in mind that the Black hair care industry makes billions from us because to many of us don’t feel that what we are born with is good enough to compete with the “others”.
Lakeeshin Msismashfaces Brown-Pickett I did he locked up now……but if he wanted me to do or not do something I listened………i have had every style braids cuts weave….i want scared to try sumthin once….if it didnt work I let it alone
ɱɩɕɦɛɭɛ ṡṵṅṣḣḭṇḛ ʋɛɽɳɑɛ Never had a sponsor, never needed one. I am a professional *giggles* so when I worked in a salon, I got it done free of charge, now I do it myself – I also have two cousins who are stylists so if I want a drastic cut or something I just go to one of them. I permanently colored my hair a few years ago and went to a salon for that, I managed a few visits but I couldn’t take the “All Dayness” of salon styling so I hurried up and cut that shit out! As for making a decision based on what men like, I would say some decisions have probably been indirectly influenced by what I think the man in my life at the time might like or what he says he likes…his likes/dislikes would definitely be taken into consideration. If he likes long hair I’m not gonna chop it all off and if he likes it short I may not go the “grow it ’til it’s cascading down my back” route even tho that is usually my preference.
Everything about our blackness is beautiful as is. Can you afford your trips to the beauty salon? Are you behind on any bills because you chose the salon? Why do you want to change the hair that God gave you? Are our own hair images affecting those of our children? How do we teach then that their black is beautiful if we desire to change it?
Aja Joi Sweetpea Starshine It aint that serious. Every woman should at least know how to wash and set her own hair in a pinch.
ɱɩɕɦɛɭɛ ṡṵṅṣḣḭṇḛ ʋɛɽɳɑɛ I don’t do the salon and if I did I’d never NOT pay a bill to go, but I know people who do. I believe the desire for it is conditioning to a degree. But it’s no different than white women who have straight hair and get body wave perms to make it curly (do they still do that?), or white women who have curly hair and blow it out to make it straight (some even get relaxers). The conditioning part comes from society, media and YEP! Boys/Men. I hate to always bring it back there but it is the truth and for every Man that says he prefers natural there were school yards and cafeterias full of teenage boys who showed otherwise by paying more attention to the creamy crack crew, white girls and latinas with Long Straight “Good” Hair and ignored and/or made fun of the girls who did not have Straight or Long or “Good” hair. Mother and fathers can teach their daughters the “love of natural” all they want, and don’t get me wrong It IS a Good Thing to do, but if we’re not teaching our SONS to love it too the message will likely be missed for a lot of young girls for a good long time (well into adulthood).. Tell that to the boy that you like in 7th period math makes fun of your hair <=== that’s gonna stick a lot longer than “Mommy & Daddy think you’re beautiful”. There are women who will come in behind me and jump up and down and deny it, but for the most part Women do, beauty-wise, what We THINK men like, and that is usually based on what we see you all responding to, not so much what you “say” to us and it starts when we are young.
With $9 billion spent by black women on hair products, there are only 4 black manufacturers of black hair products. Our own people make pennies in this industry. Why are we not putting our money into our own community? Are you conscious of where your hair dollars go? When buying hair products, do you buy black? The term for this practice is called, “Economic Exploitation”
Jimmie Milburn Buying black is Another form of Racism. Cause Black people need to compete with everybody else for my business that’s how u get the best product. I don’t care if my statement disappoint you I’m not trying to get ur approval first of all, now back to the statement my community is diverse I have all colors where I’m at and I spend dollars with people not colors….lady who do my Locs is black but I just like her service, my relator is a old white lady, who just as sweet as can be and straight up, my guy with the diamonds.
ɱɩɕɦɛɭɛ ṡṵṅṣḣḭṇḛ ʋɛɽɳɑɛ It’s a Catch 22.We don’t support black businesses (in general) because (we think) they “over-charge” and they “over-charge” (probably) to make up for the lack of support they receive…It’s funny, we’ll drop a product, storm out of and refuse to patronize a Black business when we think they’re charging too much.We’ll be just as upset with the Asian/other business BUT we’ll just curse them out while we hand them the money…money we could have handed our brother or sister (and cursed them just the same if that’s all it takes to make us feel better and make it easier to turn the money over)
Sometimes we just do shit that makes no sense, At All.
Thank you all for spending time with me today. This has been an enlightening day and I appreciate everyone for being kind and helping to bridge the gap between permed and natural. My intention was not to start a hair war and I do believe that we accomplished that today. I’m proud of all of us.
I’d also like to thank my sisters: Natural City for their support today. It meant the world to me and I saw each one of you. I love you all so much! Please remember that YOUR BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL exactly as it is however that may be. The standard of beauty is you and you alone. I thank you again and will see you next time.