A few days ago, my good friend sent me a selfie from the salon chair saying, “I’ve had enough, I’m getting a perm.” While my usual instinct is to go to bat for team natural and explain all the reasons why perms aren’t good for your hair, the truth is it takes a lot of time and energy to manage a natural mane. I decided to hear her out.
Although her stylist ignored her request for a perm and gave her a blow out instead, I wondered how many women secretly want to trade in their natural curls for a small dose of the creamy crack. Unbeknownst to me, a larger conversation around relaxers was taking place, confirming my previous suspicions.
XONecole posted a thread to their Instagram page of women weighing on the natural vs. relaxed discussion. Some women felt the pain of maintaining their natural curls, while others said as time consuming as it is, they could never go back to processed life. Some women felt that relaxed hair offered more versatility, and others said you can’t get more versatile than natural hair.
The natural hair movement has been, and will continue to be a powerful movement in the Black community. For a very long time we went without representation in places where natural hair needed to be seen. Because we’ve been conditioned for centuries to believe our hair is unprofessional, less than, inappropriate, unkempt, and difficult, we had to slowly rebuild and restructure our views on kinky, coily, and curly hair.
I’m an advocate for doing what works best for you, but I also want to encourage people to find the beauty in their natural hair so that we can continue to make it acceptable. Little girls as well as grown women need to know their hair is beautiful in it’s natural state. The CROWN Act exists merely because society taught us all that the hair that grows from our head is unattractive and doesn’t deserve to be in professional and educational spaces.
By no means does every Black person have to rock their natural hair. Ultimately you should do what’s conducive to your lifestyle. No matter what you decide to do, make sure you take time to find the glory in your hair. Know that it is beautiful natural, just as it is beautiful relaxed. What do you think?