Google Header -->
Skip to main content
Curly Nikki

Food For Thought…Defining ‘Natural’

By January 27th, 202132 Comments

Deanna writes:

“What does being natural mean to you? Does it mean you NEVER straighten/flat iron your hair? Does dyeing your hair make you non-natural?

I’m in the ‘to each his own’ camp–as long as it works for you, and it’s healthy, rock it!
Who are we to judge…But, can we say…SLIPPERY SLOPE!

I agree that relaxed/texlaxed hair is not natural. But as I’ve said before, I don’t believe that heat styling, wet setting, or hair dye makes someone any less natural. There’s nothing wrong with a little enhancing!

Weigh in…how do you define natural?


  • Nickye says:

    To me, natural is the hair that has not had the texture altered by perms, relaxers, etc. I also agree to each his own on the meaning.

    To address those who believe color alters the texture of the hair…not true. It can be damaging, but it can also have no ill effects at all. I should know. I've colored my hair every shade known to God and 15 saints, and never had an issue. I've been natural for over 3 years, and a bleached blonde as well. My hair is VERY healthy, strong, well conditioned and moisturized, with a wonderful soft texture. To me, color is just an enhancement, like earrings, and because I know how to take care of color treated hair (which isn't difficult) I have no problems.

  • KyaDiva says:

    I think if God didn't make it, then it is not natural. If you aren't all 100% natural so what?!

  • Leilani says:

    those who wear straight hair every day (flat ironing or pressed) are chemically natural. But, because hair gets "trained", i.e. damaged and parts do not revert is that still natural?

  • LBell says:

    My definition of natural hair has always been the hair that your follicles are programmed to produce. FOR ME that means texture AND color. However, because I understand that people have far less of an issue with color than they do with texture, I respect the texture-only definition as well.

  • Maria says:

    To me natural means no flatiron, no BKT, no henna, no relaxers, no hair dye, no tap water. You have to use only rain water from Maine and put fruits and berries in your hair to cleanse it, otherwise shampoos and conditioners make you unnatural too. LMAO I'm joking of course!

  • Unknown says:

    ANYTHING THAT CAN ALTER YOUR TEXTURE PERMANENTLY IS NOT NATURAL. This includes using direct heat (curling, flat, blowdryer), dyes, and lyes. If you straighten your hair on occassions and your hair reverts back, kudos to you, but if I see you in public I'll assume it's either a weave, wig or a relaxer (perm). The use of commerical hair dyes (chemical dyes) is not natural, not only is it not your natural hair color, it also damages, slightly to permanetly alter your texture and dries your natural tress out.

    Natural to me is wearing your hair in it's natural state with or without the aid of products. Hair Products do not permanently alter your texture but enhances and defines.

  • Unknown says:

    I believe it means sporting your natural hair texture. Basically not straightening it, with chemicals, OR heat, and not wearing wigs, pieces,texturizers etc.

    No one can wear their hair like ours, or look like us. So why do we try so hard to wear our hair like others, and look like others. I realize the common answer to this is…"but you don't understand, my JOB." I disagree. As Nikki and many others have shown us there are plenty of ways to sport your natural hair to work no matter how conservative the environment. Just my thoughts…

  • b. says:

    I *love* whan Anon 11:23AM said: "To me it's un-nautral to want to look unlike yourself."

    That's the best explanation I've heard in a long time. "Unlike yourself" may mean many things to many people (just like the term natural) but it's often easier to point out.

    Personally, my features are flattered most when my hair is "out" instead of pin-straight. Even when I had a relaxer, I spent countless nights in rollers. Curls are so vibrant IMO. My short answer definition is natural = sans-relaxer/tex. I must be honest though…in some ways I'd rather see a perm than a weave. I just don't like weave…especially when a person uses it all the time. But that's just me.

  • MissFierce21 says:

    I believe that being natural means that having unpermed/unrelaxed hair, no chemicals, as well as using only natural ingredients. I myself have used different products before, but when I did my research, I realized that products such as Garnier Frutis, Aussie Moist, VO5, and etc. are not for me. Those products contains some of the most harsh ingredients "chemicals" and are not good enough for my hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    I believe being natural is not altering your hair's texture using chemicals (including hair dyes). Hair dyes tend to alter your texture a little.

  • Namun says:

    Being natural to me, means not using chemical products to permanently alter the original texture or color of my hair.

    I like Nappturall's 5th definition of natural: "growing spontaneously, without being planted or tended by human hand, as vegetation".

  • BSB says:

    I believe the term "natural" in relation to Black hair, is hair free from harsh, texture altering chemicals…

    I also belong to the "each to their own" camp :)

  • Anonymous says:

    In my book it means that your hair hasn't been chemically processed. A relaxer or texturizer would mean that your hair is no longer natural because it's not in it's normal state.

  • Passion says:

    You can color it, flat iron it or press it. As long as it can go back to it's natural state.

  • Passion says:

    The original textured hair that grows from your own scalp.

  • Anonymous says:

    Natural hair to me is having hair in its natural state, the way it comes out of your head. Hair that isn't chemical altered. I was on YT oneday watching a tutorial and someone made a comment that if you blow dried your hair then your not natural. I can't agree.

  • Girl Friday says:

    Hmmm, I would say natural is hair that is not chemically altered to appear straight. If you flat iron your hair, I guarantee the next time you wash it, it will return to it's curly state, so I dont consider that not natural.
    Hair dye is the same thing, it's not altering the curl in your hair, so if I say someone with a honey colored fro, I would still consider her hair natural. Natuaral to me means letting your curls/locs show without any chemical altering that effects the texture to cause it to look straight. PHEW!

  • Hard Work Pays Off. says:

    When I think of natural hair I think of no chemicals that will alter the texture of your hair. I don't see anything wrong with the occasional flat iron as long as your hair is healthy.

  • Anonymous says:

    No chemicals

  • KeetaRay says:

    I think natural is not using any chemicals to alter the TEXTURE of your hair. Dyes not included.

  • NappySince10/01/08 says:

    using NO chemicals to alter the structure of the hair, meaning that those chemicals will not straighten or curl the hair. Even though I plan to never color, I'd love to know why some/most people are so uptight about that? I love my own natural color but I also love to see naturally curly hair colored too. Any opposers to color and an explanation of why that isnt natural to you?

  • Milan says:

    If you don't use a chemical service that permanently alters the structure of your hair: relax, perm or texturize your hair than you are natural in my book.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think natural isn't using chemicals at all, even color even though its not that bad. That's my opinion. My friend would disagree with me, she is white and has naturally pin straight hair. She would curl her hair to get waves. When I decided to go natural she hopped on the wagon and she decided to go 'natural' too. By putting away the curlers and wearing her hair straight. Enough I think she was all ready natural

  • Ishea says:

    I view natural hair as hair void of any relaxer/texturizer…basically the natural state of your hair as it grows out of your scalp. There's nothing wrong with flat ironing your hair or trying out different styles… just no chemical altering of your texture.

  • GG says:

    hmmmm…i'm very interested to see the different perspectives on this one. It's definitely open to interpretation. To me, natural means no relaxer. But I can see how some folks might consider any chemicals, including hair color to be unnatural. Straightening your hair is not a permanent alteration, so to me, straight, unrelaxed hair is still natural.

  • Anonymous says:

    Natural for me goes beyond hair….I think natural is simply being the best possible you using your God given features, whether it's hair, eye colour, skin colour or body structure. So if it means you feel the best possible you with relaxed, texlaxed, coloured hair, then that's great cause it's still your hair. To me it's un-nautral to want to look unlike yourself. I know a girl who got married and she had a gold weave, hazel contacts and a ton load of make up…i literally did not recognize her she just did not look herself (unnatural).

    So ladies learn to love yourself and just aim to always be the best possible you and put your best foot forward in all that you do.

    sorry I strayed a bit.

  • Chaka_Millz says:

    It definately is a slippery slope when you think about all the natural nazis out there that are anti-perm, anti-weave, anti-haircolor, anti-FUN. I mean I feel like as long as your hair is basically in its natural state not chemically straightened you're natural. As far as haircolor who cares, just have fun with it (as long as there's no breakage invovled ;)

  • Anonymous says:

    I believe being natural means that you aren't using any chemicals to straighten or alter your hair.

  • Nappturall says:

    a natural substance or a product made with such a substance: an ointment containing mink oil and other naturals.

    not treated, tanned, refined, etc.; in its original or raw state: natural wood; natural cowhide.

    true to or closely imitating nature: a natural representation.
    unenlightened or unregenerate: the natural man.
    being such by nature; born such: a natural fool.

    having undergone little or no processing and containing no chemical additives: natural food; natural ingredients. Compare organic
    free from affectation or constraint: a natural manner

    growing spontaneously, without being planted or tended by human hand, as vegetation.

    existing in or formed by nature (opposed to artificial ): a natural bridge.
    2. based on the state of things in nature; constituted by nature: Growth is a natural process

    those oare some of the few definations that came from a dictionary off of the web.
    there were 38 meanings..I didn't list them all…just a few….

  • PuddinCake says:

    Natural is what I've been all my life — No relaxers or perms, period. That's just my opinion…

  • Anonymous says:

    Great topic! I too, have been curious about what it means to be "natural". I've always thought it just meant no chemicals. Although hair dyes are chemicals, I've never considered dyed (unpermed) hair to not be natural.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think you are natural as long as you dont have a perm, relaxer, texlax etc.

Leave a Reply