5 Lessons Learned from Being in The Natural Hair Community

natural hair community

People in the natural hair community have a lot of feelings and beliefs about hair. Some are extreme with their views. Others are more reasonable yet their preferences regarding hair styling and hair care run deep. I’ve been natural for over 10 years yet didn’t fully learn how to care for my hair until 2011. I used to care for my hair similar to when I was relaxed and I stopped counting at 10 years.

I also never tracked the actual date that I became fully natural. And that brings me to the first thing I learned from interacting with the natural hair community:

    1. Many naturals track the date they become fully natural (also known as the “napturalversary” and…never-stop-counting.
      OK. I think it’s great to keep track of your progress but down to the date of your big chop and then 2nd big chop? I guess to each her own (or his) but I’m wondering why people put such a badge of honor or knowing the exact date their hair had no more chemical straightening to it.  I mean, not many people even remember the exact date they graduated from college.In general, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to keep track of the date one becomes natural as long as other important milestones in life are also being tracked.
    2. Bigger hair seems more appealing than defined hair.
      Now, I know not everyone feels this way but it seems the majority of folks really prefer big ‘ole fros over flatter hair that may be more defined.Conversely, if you have hair that doesn’t have a huge amount of density but can get great defined curls, length will carry you over.
    3. Silicones are wildly perceived as “evil” by the masses.
      Many naturals follow the Curly Girl Method. The concern is that silicones build up on the hair shaft.While it’s entirely possible, I have found that using a clarifying product like Shea Moisture’s Purification Masque along with an apple cider vinegar rinse takes care of that. Again, this is my discovery.
    4. Hair typing is more accepted than not. While many naturals say that they don’t follow the Andre Walker Hair Typing system, it seems just as many, if not more will reference their hair according to the system.I personally think the hair typing system is fine to use as a point of reference to find products that work across the board for people who tend to have similar hair types. What needs to be acknowledged more is that most people have more than one “type” of curl on their heads. For example, my hair is widely labeled as a type 3C but there are sprinkles of 4A in the crown and 3B the nape.  When I was first seeking out methods to care for my hair, I sought out information on each of those types.
    5. Big chops are a big deal. When a lady makes the decision to cut off her relaxer, I think it’s wonderful. However, I suspect that some transitioners may feel somewhat”less than” because they choose not to cut all of their hair off. Some of the inconsiderate comments that people make after they are fully natural stuns me. Yes, relaxers are no good for your hair but everyone has to come to their own conclusion about that.Then, there’s those who do a 2nd big chop and even 3rd big chop. Why is this such a big deal? Within the natural hair community, it’s almost like a badge of honor to cut all of your hair off. I’ve heard statements like, “It’s just hair. It will grow back.” Will it? Your hair has a life cycle. If you are young, then maybe you have time to experiment but if you’re not so young and looking to grow your hair to a long length eventually, you could be cutting out precious time needed for you to reach that goal.Personally, I see a woman’s hair as her crown and glory (see 1 Corinthians 11:15) and to just chop it all off for no other reason than to just “get rid of” hair, just doesn’t seem right to me.

Last but not least, while this is not part of my list, I learned that there are no real hard and fast rules to caring for natural hair (other than following a hair care regiment that works for you). There’s too many people out there looking to achieve a desired look that they see on another person and it’s not even possible for their type, texture or density of hair. I now do what works for MY hair.

On that note I say, “Stay in your lane. Do your own hair and learn to do it well. ”

fine natural hair blogger

Michelle Smith
Michelle is a Christian special needs mom residing in the NYC area who shares useful tips to grow and maintain fine natural hair. She's a published author and Creator of Fine Natural Hair and Faith, inspiring others with faith for living along side knowledge on how to care for their "crown."

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