When I first got involved in the Natural Hair Community (NHC) 5 years ago, there were many mentors and mentees who spent long hours helping each other to achieve their individual healthy hair goals. As the NHC was still in its infancy stage at that point, the small community of people were able to voice their personal opinions without being judged. Fast forward to 2014, these group of outspoken people have been labelled as Natural Hair Nazis because they try to create a common ideology of what it really means to have natural hair. Now let me justify some of these ideologies which are often misunderstood amongst the diverse group of the NHC.
1. When they say colored natural hair isn’t really natural, what they really mean to say is that the colored hair is the first thing which is seen by others and it distracts from the overall look of what Afro kinky hair really looks like in all its glory
2. When they say that hair which has been straightened with heat isn’t natural, what they really mean to say is that your hair will no longer receive the unwanted attention and remarks which coily/curly hair often receives. They also mean to say that you are temporarily conforming to western beauty standards in which straight hair is thought to be ideal.
3. When they say that any form of extensions, be it braids, weaves or wigs doesn’t qualify a person as natural, what they really mean to say is that your natural hair has been hidden away and so you no longer have to deal with the natural hair issues they have to deal with.
4. When they say that you should use a specific type of products and in a specific order, what they really mean to say is that certain products and ingredients are more superior than others and so they will produce better results than the ones you’ve used in the past
5. When they say that wearing Natural hair is a political choice, what they really mean to say is that natural hair is a political topic, which we all enjoy debating about from time to time. Anyone who has ever been denied an academic, business, employment, or relationship opportunities, or been picked on by others would tell you the texture of their hair remains a political topic and so it’s more than hair.
In today’s world of free speech and free choice, it’s common for many people to live in their own make-believe world rather than living in a realistic world. And so instead of accepting and embracing the truth, many would either chose to shut their ears to the truth and/or shame those who choose to live realistically. So the next time you hear a natural hair realist call you out on your mistakes, you should try to understand the truth behind their logic before discounting it or calling the person a natural hair nazi.
Do you find any truth in these ideologies in which many natural hair realists have been trying to get many people understand as they enter the NHC?