Okay the headline is misleading–I don’t hate my natural hair, I just hate the assumptions that come with it. Yes, I have natural hair and I love it! I returned to being natural 8 years ago (with a brief stint in between). What does it mean to have natural hair? It seems to mean something different when you speak to various black women. As for me, natural hair means that my hair is not chemically treated–meaning I don’t have a relaxer/perm. The texture of my hair is the one that I was born with. My hair may be natural, but please don’t take that as a reason to assume other things about my personality. Here are 9 things I hate that people assume that I do or don’t do because I have natural tresses:
9 Crazy Assumptions of Naturals
1. I don’t eat processed foods: I try to be a healthy eater, but I don’t read the labels before I stuff something into my mouth. Therefore, don’t assume that because my hair is natural then everything that goes into my mouth is also all-natural.
2. I don’t burn incense: When I’m walking down the street in New York I’m often approached by street merchants trying to sell me incense. Now, that’s pretty commonplace in NY. But when a merchant gets on the metro in Washington, DC and targets me for a sale, I can’t but help to think it’s because I’m the only one in the train car rockin’ a natural.
3. I’m not a revolutionist/militant: Afros have made a comeback since the ’70s when they were sported by many men and women including Angela Davis and members of the Black Panther Party. Like many afro-wearing people of the 70’s, my afro doesn’t mean I’m a revolutionist fighting for a cause. I will stand up for a cause but being militant has nothing to do with the width of one’s hair.
4. I don’t judge women who worship getting their hair permed: The creamy crack epidemic is real. To my chemically-treated hair sistas, I ain’t mad atcha. Do whatever makes you happy.
5. Yes, I wear deodorant and it’s not Tom’s: They say that natural deodorant is good for you and safer than the others. But in this case, I sacrifice safety for not being funky. Sorry Tom’s and other natural deodorants, but you just don’t keep me fresh and clean.
6. I don’t make all my own hair products: My hair may smell like berries, but that doesn’t mean I picked it from a tree. In addition to making my own products, I am also a product junkie. My bathroom cupboards are filled with them.
7. I don’t always recycle: Yes I admit it. My carbon footprint is pretty big. Despite having these natural tresses, I will still throw plastic and paper into the regular garbage can. I’m not proud–I’m going to start to do better.
8. I’m not ashamed to rock a weave: Protective styles are a naturalista’s best friend. In the winter, my hair can’t retain enough moisture and in the summer, it looks like a frizz ball. But for the fact that I’d probably want to take it out within a day, I would not be afraid to rock a weave to give my hair a break from time to time–the weave would have to be natural of course.
9. I don’t spend my time watching Youtube how-to hair videos: I wish I was more creative and could do more with my natural hair but I’m not, so I don’t bother watching Youtube.