Posted by HMH BloggerBy Patience MuiaIf you are a bi-racial or black woman who have decided to avoid and chemical hair treatments and relaxers to get unprocessed form of curls and coils then you belong to the natural hair community. People have a different definition and opinion regarding the term “natural”.
1- The women who pass on all chemicals from relaxers and colour treatments to certain product ingredients.
2- The women who no longer wear relaxers, but rock blowouts and weaves happily on a regular basis.3- Those who don’t mess with weaves but rock colour.4- The ones who live with protective hair styles such as box braids, crochet braids and other trendy styles. The truth is that some naturals are being eliminated or discriminated in the natural hair community. Initially, going natural was a way of breaking free from European beauty standards and starting a journey to embrace one’s natural hair. But recently a lot of things have changed with some natural hair sponsors ignoring some types of natural hairstyle while at the same time praising a certain type. Women with the type 4, kinky textured hair seems to be experiencing texture discrimination in and outside their workplace. If you haven’t realised it, the wavy and curly girls dominate the branding in products marketed to natural hair community. Look across the beauty industry and marketing channels such as Facebook, Instagram or even YouTube, the kinky and coily hair naturals are being under-represented and are not being celebrated as compared to other hair types. From my personal experience of running multiple natural hair focused media accounts, I think that images of kinky textured naturals doesn’t get many shares and likes compared to the others.
The number of women opting to abandon chemicals and enjoy the freedom natural hair offers them is increasing fast. This has brought strong sisterhood within the hair community and divisions between those people with natural hair and those with relaxed hair.Some people believe that natural hair refers to texture alone and has nothing to do with colour or length. People in this category consider weaves, straightening hair with hot comba and weaves as natural. Another category of people argue that natural hair is the original texture of your hair and therefore wigs, weaves and colour are unacceptable.
Others believe that black women should keep their hair natural in memory of the colonial rule as afros and dreadlocks were associated with military in that era. These people feel that keeping black women’s hair natural shows that they embrace political elements and reject European’s standards of beauty.
Other debates have come up like on the usefulness of hair and the purpose naturalhair serves. Some people feel that there is more to hair than just mere texture and curl pattern. Hair typing misguides women on hair care because they emphasize on one curl texture over another. Due to the fact that your hair looks like another does not mean that it will respond to products in a similar manner as the other.What do you think?