Naturalistas, did you know there is a great debate going on about protective styling? What is a protective style to you? There is actually an argument out in the natural hair universe that if you wear weaves and wigs YOU ARE NOT NATURAL. Guess what, there is even an arguments that suggests, if you have color, use certain products, or straighten your hair YOU ARE NOT NATURAL. Before we move on let's dissect the meaning of a PROTECTIVE STYLE. We of course are going to use the definition from CurlyNikki's website:
"...protective styling is basically putting your hair into a style that involves tucking your ends away from the atmosphere to protect them from damage..."
More traditional protective styles include braids, twists, cornrows, roll, tuck & pin, buns (debatable also LOL); as well as low manipulation styles such as twist outs, braid outs, and wash n gos. Here recently naturalistas have also been rocking natural hair inspired protective styles such as poetic justice braids, box braid, marley twists, havana twists, faux locs, wigs, and weaves. Once these styles started trending is when the great debate really went full force.
Remember the documentary with Chris Rock, "Good Hair"? Someone (clears throat, Nikki Walton) really needs to have a follow up interview with him because I remember him making fun of beauty supply stores not selling African textured weaves. And look at us now! There are so many natural textured extension companies out there taking over the hair industry. Companies like Private Stock Hair, Kinky Curly Yaki, Heat Free Hair, Curlkalon, and so many more.
I don't know if I can be personal on this article but I have my own signature wig, FROSACE with Private Stock Hair. FROSACE is so bomb! We created her to mimic my signature heart shape fro. I also recently worked with RPG Show who allowed me to review their curly unit. Both mimic african american textured hair so well. I'm having so much fun with a new look. I feel like I have the best of both worlds...have the convenience of a wig and I'm still promoting the beauty of our unique texture. Does this make me "unNatural"?
In conclusion, those who choose to wear weaves, wigs, faux locs, box braids, etc. it is ok to rock such styles. You are promoting the beauty of our textures and unique styles. It is only problematic when you are not comfortable going back to your true natural state. If you only feel beautiful while wearing weaves and wigs there may be a deeper rooted issue. Handle that! And its ok to admit that...its taken us so long to get to this point of loving our natural hair. We still have a lot of work to do. That's what the natural hair community should be...a place to promote the beauty of natural hair as well as to uplift one another to get that unconditional love of our strands!