I twisted out my hair. No real curl definition by my hair is soft as hell!
What do my followers think? The last thing I want to do is be invasive in a space where I am not wanted/ invited into.
Am I out of place for thinking team natural could be open to all black people? With the understanding that black women have a different history of oppression for natural hair. I recently wrote a post for my natural hair blog that black men may not be able to participate in the natural hair…
I think as a black man, I have learned more about myself, my body, embracing my beauty and blackness because of the natural hair movement. This to me is what the natural hair movement is about. That we as black people are beautiful and should take control of beauty standards.
This whole thing is also gendered oddly under a binary that I cannot co-sign to, and also suspiciously heteronormative. But I don’t want to derail from the question at hand.
Are men allowed to join in the natural hair movement?
I embrace my natural black hair, is that different from being part of the natural movement?
Natural Hair Brothers in the World Cup 2014
Jermaine Jones - USA
William - Brazil
Alex Song- Cameroon
Benoît Assou Ekotto- Cameroon
Wilfried Bony- Ivory Coast
Marcelo - Brazil
Axel Witsel- Belgium
Carlos Sánchez- Colombia
Someone beat me to it!
So, honest question. Is watching natural hair tutorials to marvel at the skills and learn the correct vocabulary, and particular challenges. etc. the same kind of invasion that you posted about with the natural hair forums and white women? I'm asking honestly, as a person who wants to respect spaces made by/for communities that are not mine to influence... I really am a big fan of your videos, hair tutorials or otherwise. I just happen to be a short-haired white woman.
Hey! First off, thanks for your message and more importantly thank you for trying to be respectful of the natural hair community. No, I don’t believe your watching natural hair content is an invasion of the space. I think educational content can and should be consumed by any and everyone who wants to learn and enjoy it. Personally, I don’t really take issue with Curly Nikki featuring Sarah, because the site is now owned by Naturally Curly (which caters to all curly hair textures) and she’s featured white women in the past. I think Nikki is looking to expand her audience and this is how she’s chosen to do so. Truthfully, I’ve never really frequented Curly Nikki mainly because locs are very rarely featured there. And when it comes to locs being embraced by the natural hair community that’s a whooole nother’ topic.
My issue is mainly with Sarah’s tweets and following non-apology blog post. She has repeatedly attempted to erase the origins of the natural hair movement by saying “it’s not about race”, which is completely untrue. Homegirl even pulled out the urban dictionary to support her bogus claim. While technically yes, any hair texture that has not been chemically altered is “natural”, the natural hair movement was created by and for black women and women of color with Afro-textured hair. She’s also repeatedly claimed that black women are being “exclusive” which suggests that creating a movement that celebrates black beauty is somehow unfair to white women. This is incredibly demeaning on top of being willfully ignorant. In reality, the natural hair movement was created to celebrate Afro-textured hair in direct response to being excluded by mainstream media and the beauty industry. The way Afro-textured hair is treated and depicted is what’s unfair, not the creation of a space to celebrate it. That’d be like me storming into a gay club and proclaiming “It’s not fair that this club is a ‘gay club’! Clubs should be for everyone and as a straight woman I’m being left out! I totally get what it’s like to be gay cause my parents didn’t accept my high school boyfriend!” Silly right?
While Sarah’s journey to accept her curly hair has no doubt been important to her, it is in no way comparable to what it is like for women with Afro-textured hair. We live in a white supremacist society that regularly tells us that our natural hair is ugly, distracting, dirty and unprofessional among other things. I have yet to see
Caucasian*white hair textures banned in corporate and school dress codes the way locs, cornrows and afros have been throughout history and to this very day. Lest we forget Tiana Parker, the US Military, Rhonda Lee, and Hampton University in addition to countless other stories.
I think it’s important that everyone work towards self acceptance and loving who they are, but it’s ridiculous to say that the natural hair movement has nothing to do with race because it absolutely does. Sarah’s comments on Twitter and on her blog are completely dismissive. Her struggles are not the same or comparable in any way to the discrimination that women and men with Afro-textured hair face. Her continued dismissal of the real issue is upsetting, but somewhat predictable. In the end, she’s gotten what she wanted. Increased traffic to her blog and YouTube channel, so this is a win for her and based on the 500+ comments and mounting page views, ultimately a win for Curly Nikki as well. I won’t be surprised when/if she gets a book deal outta this mess.
As far as I’m concerned, if you wanna appreciate the beauty and versatility of Afro-textured hair, I’m cool with it. Well, as long as you don’t touch my hair without permission ;) Thanks again.
*EDITED TO ADD: My apologies for using “Caucasian” to describe white hair textures. It’s been brought to my attention that this is dismissive of people of color from the Caucasus region. My mistake, thanks for the correction!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up with a sore neck from purposefully sleeping at odd angles in order not to ruin my curls/twist-outs. Or how many nights I stayed up into the early hours of the morning, twisting my hair to perfection, just so that it would look “presentable” the next day. And I definitely can’t, at least not without being utterly embarrassed, let you know how many mornings I’ve felt unattractive because my hair didn’t curl in that certain way that I liked…
Hi, all! My article “My New Natural Hair Journey: Locs!" was published on The Sistah Cafe just this morning! Not only do I discuss my decision to transition to locs, but I also touch on the ways in which many women in the natural hair community are still wrapped up in the concept of “good hair,” even when attempting to embrace their natural curls. Please read, give feedback, and/or comment — I’d appreciate it!
This is my good friend! This is very relevant.
I, however have been going through a different phenomenon. I have always just let my hair do what it wanted to do, manipulate it a little to make sure its not flat, or unven. However, watching my naturalista friends and obsessing over bloggers, I felt a pressure of having to - and wanting to - style my hair.
I haven’t shared this with my followers but I plan on locing my hair for similar reasons. I’m tired of not having my hair styled, looking in the mirror and having the same look. But before I do, I want to try styling my hair first!