I find it a little disturbing when I hear people making judgments on something that in reality is none of their business especially when it does not affect or impact someone else’s life in any way, shape or form. Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course and being natural might be different for you than it is for me however, I cannot stand it when people label others, dictate what it means to be “really” natural or bad mouth someone for choices they make about THEIR OWN hair! I start to get allergic reactions when I think about this topic.
This brings about a certain kind of ugliness from some people that I really like to avoid. Judgement, condescending remarks, looking down on others and labeling people is nasty, plain and simple!
There are certain aspects that I think most of us can agree upon, such as permanently altering the texture of hair usually means your hair is no longer in its natural state (until it grows out or you cut it). But is that a personal choice that someone gets to make for their hair and requires no input or opinion from someone else? YES! Is it any of my business to criticize, look down on or judge? NO!
Now, when it comes to natural hair, some people still have this judgmental mind frame where they think it is their responsibility and right to dictate to others what it means to be “really natural”.
Some of us decide that we will not do anything at all to our hair in terms of styles e.g. they opt to stay away from twist outs/braid outs/stretched hair etc and they chastise others by saying “you are changing the texture/pattern of your hair with those styles so are not embracing your real natural hair”. (I am giving the side eye right now). This might be a personal interpretation but to me if your hair is not permanently altered then it is still in its natural state. When I wash my hair after a twist-out it goes back to its natural curls hence I have not permanently altered the structure or makeup of my hair and more importantly it is a styling option that I get to make for my own hair! How do those styles equate to me not loving my hair, not being “really” natural or accepting myself?
Another common “argument” I have heard is “if you dye your hair you are not really natural”. I do not consider hair dyes the devil that results in you no longer being natural. I opt not to dye my hair because I’d have to constantly keep the colour fresh, touch-up my roots and because I made a decision a few years ago to stay away from chemicals as a whole since my fine hair strands always seemed to take a beating whenever I used to dye it back in the day. I have seen stunning naturals with beautifully dyed natural hair and every so often I get the itch to do my own but do I judge others who dye their hair? NO!
The same applies for those that love rocking protective styles such as weaves, wigs, or using extensions. If someone decides they want to have their hair in that type of style back to back with only a little break in between (but of course still caring for their hair) does that make them any less natural than someone who rocks their own hair? NO! Maybe after a Big Chop they need a little time to get use to the length of their hair and feel more comfortable using a protective style. Maybe they have experienced a set back and want to get their hair back to where it was before. You do not know because it is not your hair so how can you judge them?
All can say is, it’s none of your or my business. If some wants to dye, wear weaves, put in extensions or use heat on their hair, my judgement is not required. The only person whose hair is in your hands is your own and therefore you get to make decisions based on what you want to do. If someone wants to label you as natural or “un-natural” you will still wake up the next day the same person you were when you went to bed so rock it your own way ladies & gents!