Whenever I hear “good or bad hair” it not only makes me cringe but actually upsets me. Almost 4 years into my natural hair love affair and I still don’t get it, nor do I want to. This sort of statement always begs the question 1. who defines what “good” or “bad” is 2. why does said person get to make that judgment and 3. based on what? I have the same reaction when someone is overly obsessed with “curl typing” or defines what your, mine, their friend’s, their mother’s hair is.
Do we really need to label and categorize everything into little boxes in order to understand, accept or even justify something?
Now I am not naïve, of course different people have different struggles. Some naturalistas might find it hard to moisturize their hair, others find it difficult to retain moisture and some are faced with knots that drive them up the wall. But, I think it is quite offensive that those who make statements about “good” or “bad” hair do so based on whatever LIMITED understanding they may/may not have about natural hair.
From my experience, those with looser curls so shiny one might believe you could see a reflection of yourself, tend to be classified as having “good hair” (by the self-proclaimed hair lawyer, judge and jury.) Those with tighter curls that does not reflect the sun’s rays are often thought of as having “bad” hair – again by the self-proclaimed “experts”.
First of all since when does shiny equate to healthy? I have seen beautiful naturalistas with healthy “tightly curled” hair that does not shine to the high heavens, but still is healthy and growing. Next, what exactly is it too “bad” for…? Too bad to be natural? Too bad to grow, to be healthy…?
I have been in situations where someone has walked up to compliment my hair “good hair” while politely smiling at my sister, who by the way has been natural for longer than I have and has an absolutely stunning healthy afro. Should ascetics trump health? In my opinion absolutely not!
While you can sometimes tell if someone’s hair is unhealthy due to damage, you cannot assume that someone’s hair is unhealthy due to a lack of shine or presence of tighter curls. I have seen naturalistas with extremely loose and shiny hair but regardless of how “good” it might appear, it doesn’t grow due to lack of care, understanding, knowledge and health. Do they deserve more praise simply because their hair is not tightly curled? No! In my humble opinion, emphasis should be on healthy hair. It shouldn’t matter if your curls are so tight you can’t actually see them or if your curls are so loose that you can run a comb through it with ease while dry. Focus on health and you are good to go!