The Wordsmythe's Weblog…

…On Words, Love and Life

Natural Hair Anonymous

I read a post on one of the natural hair forums on Facebook yesterday. The lady posted some photos of her hair and claimed she had been natural for 36 months. Turns out she started transitioning in September 2012.

Now I realise Maths is not my strong suit but even I noticed the numbers didn’t add up. My first thought was to point out that she has actually been natural for just 24 not 36 months and I was going to say as much when I stopped myself. I stopped because I had visions of all the comments that would follow. Comments that would accuse of me of not being supportive of a fellow natural. Of being one of those black women who take delight in putting other black women down. I’ve seen it happen before. Someone posts a photo or says something about their hair, someone else comments and says they don’t like it, then come the abuse and accusations.

It’s as though in becoming natural, one surrenders one’s rights to personal opinion and preferences. Because we wear our hair a certain way, suddenly we must all think and reason alike, have the same world view irrespective of background, upbringing and personal experiences.

This natural hair thing has become just like Alcoholics Anonymous. “Hey, my name is Nkem Ivara and I’ve been natural x years.” Cue applause and back slapping as I collect my coin. Women who have successfully weaned themselves off the life-threatening, disease-causing creamy crack should be applauded. They should have support groups where they can discuss their addiction and life post-addiction.

Women have become so militant about how they wear their hair, it’s almost a burden to have natural or any type of hair at all. Frankly, it’s exhausting.

As the Igbo proverb says, ‘Egbe belu, Ugo belu, nke si ibe ya ebela, nku kwaya.’ Roughly translated, it means, ‘Let the kite perch, let the eagle perch. Whoever says the other should not perch, let his wing break.’ Now this is not me saying anyone’s wing hair should break/fall out but can’t we all just get along? You know, live and let live?



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14 thoughts on “Natural Hair Anonymous

  1. Sometimes I just want to say ‘Flip it’ and put Veet in my own hair, just so I can breathe!


  2. lol! The natural hair rennaisance came with lots of surprises. Some of us didnt know we could ever look good with natural hair. Having perms, etc became like a burden. Mine was so damaged I would have worn “gorimapa” gladly. I think part of the hype associated with going natural is the excitement you feel knowing that you have an option to perms and weaves and wigs, and the satisfaction that its all yours. I have been natural for 17 months now and alternate with braids. Its tough, but my hair is healthier than it was when I was a kid!!

  3. had to lol@the alcohol anonymous example. I don’t get it all indeed. Why I cannot wear my hair weave and you your natural hair? Why must I suddenly become ‘a treacherous sister corrupted by the white man’..very exhausting..Live and Lets live Ladies!

  4. My hair is natural, and I wear wigs 24/7. I guess that makes me a traitor to the cause. My sleep remains undisturbed.

    • Joxy!!! 😀

      My name is Livelytwist or Timi, whatever you prefer. I am not an “alcholic,” but I attend “AA” meetings because I’m curious about what the rest of the world is doing and I like to support my friends. But please don’t try to preach to me beyond a few words, and no thank you, I won’t read your pamphlet, give it to those who need saving. I am not less than a woman, and have nothing to prove or disprove. Touch my hair and I’ll touch yours. Oya, lets get on with the serious business of being friends who agree to disagree. 🙂

      Nkem, this one, I like a lot!

    • 😀 You should be taken outside the city gates and stoned!

  5. Pingback: For Coloured Girls Only? No, I think not . . . | livelytwist

  6. Brilliant humor in your writing. A co-worker of mine decided to go natural and was describing to me how people make such an “issue” out of it. I posited that “For everyone else, we have hairstyles. Only black women wear politics on their heads.” She laughed and agreed.

  7. Ayoola Bandele on said:

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