The Process of Natural Hair
By Jalila Waller
Hair comes in so many different textures, styles, colors, and more. Though in the black community, black hair continues to lose its value, with natural hair becoming less and less popular.
Many girls and women usually wear their hair straight, permed, in a weave, extensions, etc. Some women like to protect their hair and that is why they decide to wear weaves, while other just would rather not wear their hair natural.
Some girls just do not prefer to wear their hair natural. Freshmen Eliza Casseus said, “I don’t really like to wear it that much because I feel like I don’t look good with my natural hair.” It is simply the style of natural hair that does not fit into the look some girls are seeking.
While other girls might find it more of hassle to take care of their natural hair, junior Alena Charles said, “I hate it sometimes. It’s a struggle. It tangles up and it shrinks and it’s annoying.” Dealing with one’s natural hair can often become frustrating.
Many women and girls tend not to wear their hair natural but the reasons for this vary.
Senior Christina Gelin understands the various reasons black women may not try to wear their hair natural. Gelin said, “It’s more of a hassle and some people view it as unprofessional… and straight is just more like easy to manage.” Gelin clarifies some reasons for not wearing natural hair.
Trying to have the perfect image that suits a person naturally is very hard to achieve, so it is easier for a person to choose the more common look. Charles stated, “I love weave because I’m insecure about my hair because guys like girls with long hair they can easily run their fingers through. Not hair they can get stuck in.” Having perceived notions of beauty propels girls to wear their hair the way they do.
The many hardships black women have gone through over the years may be one reason why a lot of black women today do not wear their hair natural. Gelin said, “I feel like as we saw white women with straight hair that probably was like an influence of ‘we should have straight hair like them too’ so then we started doing that. And for them to accept us more and because of racism and all and we tried to fit in more and I think that’s where we got it from.” Avoiding one’s natural hair seems to have a lot of societal ties.
While many black girls do wear their hair unnatural, there are still girls that wear their hair natural at all costs because though natural hair can be difficult to tame, there is also beauty in natural hair.
Sophomore Juleen Milord stated, “I like it. Especially being Haitian having my texture and length… you don’t really see it a lot so I appreciate it.” Some just appreciate being different and standing out.
There is a need for women of color to embrace their hair more. It is special. Charles said, “Yes. It’s beautiful, it’s just really hard to deal with.”
Even though natural hair loses its popularity at times, it never disappears. Gelin said, “It’s becoming more popular because I think more people are going against the norm now and are like, ‘why shouldn’t I be able to wear my natural hair, it’s the hair I was born with.’”
Learning to love and deal with one’s natural hair is a process many girls are still undertaking.
Coming to terms with one’s natural hair takes time. Gelin stated, “I’m trying to learn how to love it because I want to love my natural hair. As I move onto college and stuff I don’t want to keep straightening my hair and damaging it. So I’m learning to love it.” All a girl can do is try to love the hair she is born with.
Casseus knows to love her hair, “I do… I need to experiment with different hairstyles to see what I like and what suits me.”
Similarly, Charles said, “It’s like a love hate relationship. I love it because I like to embrace my heritage and background but I hate it also because it’s just a pain in the butt sometimes.” The relationship with a black girl's hair can be complicated.
There are many reasons why black girls prefer to wear their hair the way they do and how women wear their hair is their choice. However, it is never a bad idea to embrace the hair one is born with and wear it in its true glory.
It never hurts to give natural hair a try!
Milord added last words about natural hair, “Wear it, wear it!”