Are You Really Natural?

natural hair089Standing in front of my reflection I debate, “How should I wear my natural hair today?”  My hair feels subtle.  It’s been freshly co-washed and my wide-tooth comb moves through it like a knife through warm butter.  I stand there in front of my reflection examining it; so wild and untamed.  Boy has my hair grown, but I have no true curl definition.  The little definition I do have has no pattern to it at all.  I usually find some coils here and there, mostly its frizz.  But once I comb it, the fro is born.

So why do I debate, why can’t I just wear my hair?

It dawned on me that I am still working through my natural journey.  I still have more to overcome.  I have a bathroom and closet full of numerous hair products that promise coveted curl definition; crèmes, gels, conditioners, leave-ins, oils, all of which promise to transform my tresses into a good head of hair.  I love my natural threads, however I find myself hiding them behind products and flat twists. Why can’t I just wear my hair, just wash it and go?

Many natural sista’s find themselves in the same situation.  A girl I know asked me one day why I went natural.  I gave my usual explanation about the health of my hair, the alopecia I experience, and so on.  Once I finished, she told me that she was natural too.  She explained that her journey began five years ago.  I was shocked. I had known her for three years and had no idea.  This woman rocks weaves.  Every time I see her she’s got a different texture, different color, and a different length.  I began to question whether or not she can claim being natural when she never wears her hair natural.  I soon started questioning my claim of napturality as I pondered hers.

I am trying so hard to except myself, but I am still suffering from a deeply rooted hate and I am not alone. Often I get comments from girls, who want to go natural, hesitant because they are worried about their natural texture.  Even some of us “naturals” are still struggling with society’s poisoned ideology of good hair and bad hair in black culture.   We want so desperately to fit into the American beauty mold and we are subconsciously willing to break our banks and/or destroy ourselves in the process.   There is really little reason to search for the “why” behind our denial of our own unique beauty, the best thing to do is get pass it.   Let’s embrace our Afro-centric beauty.  Let’s continue to progress towards celebrating our own identity by recognized when we are hiding behind factitious images we pay lots of money to maintain.  Let’s let go of it all: the unhealthy products, the weaves, and the chemicals.  Let’s just be natural for real.  We can’t stop there either, let’s let go of the idea behind the “good head of hair”.  Let’s except our hair, love it, embrace it, appreciate it, and floss it.