On the Couch with Coren…

Hi Nikki,

My name is Coren and I LOVE your blog. Very informative and inclusive of all curly hair types. I wanted to present something that I encountered to your readers. I recently got my hair blown straight–I wanted to switch it up a little and needed a more accurate cut. I knew it would receive a lot of attention because I have been wearing it natural for 1 1/2 yr.

Recently, I attended a social gathering and people came up and looked, complimented, and wondered if I had a relaxer, etc. A couple of comments stood out from the crowd. One lady said, “Oh let me see your hair. That looks nice. I like that. You should keep it like that.” With that last sentence she had a tone in her voice that said don’t go back, you look better like this. And it was written all over her face. Later on, another lady came to me and put her hand on my shoulder and said, “I like your hair like this. It looks good on you.” She motioned to my husband and said, “You can run your fingers through this.” I got my hair straightened in May and she (the latter) always makes a point to overcompliment (if that’s a word) my straight hair.

I have 4B highly textured kinky hair. To be honest, to a lot of people, that is the most dreaded hair texture. I was and am fully aware of this. I really dug down deep when I decided to go natural. Feeding into the lie, I also thought my natural hair would be unmanageable and that those with a ‘looser’ curl pattern could more readily wear their natural hair. While deciding whether or not to go natural, I did a lot of research (how I found your wonderful site 😉 ). Through this process, I found acceptance of my hair and that beautiful hair comes in all textures. Beautiful hair is hair that is well-maintained, healthy, and the owner loves, respects, and nourishes it. With ALL of that said I have embraced my hair and I have learned and I am still learning the do’s and don’ts.
I began to wonder, “What if I wasn’t secure in my decision to wear my hair natural? How would this situation have affected me?” It’s one thing to have your own opinion (however ignorant it is), but to share it with others without any regard to their feelings, fears and/or regrets is unacceptable. There are so many women that battle with self-esteem and self-image issues; we as women need to be more sensitive and mindful of what we say and how we treat one another. Every woman I know has on some level and at some point in their lives looked in the mirror and not liked and sometimes hated what they saw.
I just wanted to get input from the CurlyNikki community. I wondered if anyone else has had this experience…whether their hair was straight or natural. Have any of you ever felt the pressure to keep or go back to straight hair? Have you received unwarranted, and unsensitive comments?