Some of you may not fully appreciate this but read on anyway. In the African American/black community there has been a trend occurring for several years. I’m not sure when, where or why it started and frankly Scarlette… What I do know is it has become another reason to divide my already divided people. This migration, this movement, this trend, this evolution is all about hair. This is an excellent moment to gasp or scratch your head or even touch your own hair to appreciate the texture.
It’s not anything new. Back in the day when James Brown proudly proclaimed, “I’m black and I’m proud” hot comb sales drastically decreased. Those who were down started proudly sporting their Afros. That lasted for a while then somebody decided, after an embarrassing stage of the Jeri curl, that it was okay to have straight hair again. Some went back to the hot comb and others went to the relaxer.
Well, several years ago, someone decided that chemicals from relaxers were not healthy and that person started a movement to natural hair. It didn’t catch on immediately. But slowly more and more people turned from the creamy crack to natural is back. I’ve watched each of my friends go through the growing out phases. I’ve endured, entertained and glazed over the conversations with each person as they shared with me the benefits of natural hair and the detriments of using chemicals on my hair. Some where more militant in their approach as others presented it as something fun we could do together. Let’s grow our hair out and bond over creams, gels, and hot oil treatments. I’ve learned to smile politely as I declined the thoughtful offer. I like my hair relaxed.
The reaction to my soft rebuttal is usually more coercion. At times I’ve wondered if there was a commission given on the number of people they could convert. Was this a multilevel marketing effort from the makers of natural hair care products?
Speaking of products, each person has different texture of hair. Finding the conditioner, shampoo or moisturizer that works for your hair is like trying to locate the Holy Grail. I know because I have four naturally curly haired children and we still haven’t found “the one” for them. It’s can be an expensive and and sometimes lengthy process. Shout out to Madam CJ Walker for showing us a better way to care for our hair.
May I pause for a moment and go down a rabbit trail? Thanks. In this movement to become natural I have noticed that that quite a few people are still coloring, straightening, weaving, braiding, and wigging their hair. You would think that’s a violation in the code book of natural hair. But since I’m not in the club and I didn’t receive the list dos and don’ts. Just wondering. I guess the chemicals from hair coloring are not as harsh or detrimental to the hair. I suppose damage that weaves, braids and wigs do to the edges aren’t that bad either. Shrug. Okay.
Where was I? Choices. I made the choice to keep relaxing my hair. I like it this way. You would think in this day and age that it’s okay for people to wear their hair in which ever style or fashion they choose. What we have learned over and over again is whenever people are divided insults abound. The YouTube videos, memes, and snarky comments are abundant. It’s hair people. It’s just hair. Why do you care? Why are we distracted and divided over such a minor issue? Get a cause. Get a life.
Am I the only one who thinks of the Good and Bad hair song from Spike Lee’s movie School Daze? Only substitute natural and relaxed hair.
I can’t believe with all the things going on in the world we continue to allow menial things distract us from the important things.
Whether your hair is natural, relaxed, braided, wigged, colored, twisted, locked, curled, shaved or some other style embrace that as well as the hair choices of others.
After all, it’s just hair.