Ok girlfriends, I’ve been perusing many blogs, vlogs, etc. and there is one thing that I would like to discuss with you. Whether you are newly natural or a vet on the natural scene, there is one thing I’ve noticed that many naturals have in common … we are caught up on hair-typing, curl pattern, hair texture, etc. We have a bad habit of comparing our hair to other natural beauties. But why are we beating this dead horse? Can a Diva just compliment the next Diva’s coifs, and move on? Another persons “hair-type” will never be yours and vice versa.
Instead, proper hair care should be the focus. We are privy to a plethora of information on how to properly care for our mane, regardless of what “type” of kinks you have. Taking care of your hair is just like anything else in life. In time through trial and error, you will get to know your hair more ‘n more, and hopefully fall in love with it. You will learn to recognize what your hair needs by “listening” to how it responds to certain products. An imperative part of the natural hair journey is finding the proper products and a routine that works for you and sticking with it. Once you’ve discovered it, write down the routine, make hair goals specific to your hair, and work towards achieving them. Post it on the bathroom mirror for motivation and look at it daily to stay on track. You may even want to take it a step further and take pictures monthly to create a journal. Whatever you may choose to do, your hair will thank you in return by showing the results of being diligent with your routine.
Often times, we waste so much energy complaining, but forget to be thankful for even having hair! So let’s cease this madness of wanting what we do not have. Focus on taking care of what is yours. Your hair belongs to you. You will never be anyone else but you. So begin by loving you, embracing you, and being happy with what God has given to you. Because, you are uniquely-you!
Its funny cause I use to envy people with curls until I wore my hair in its natural state to realize that i had curls too!!!
Occasionally I'll catch myself oogling someone else's curls with a bit of envy, but unlike in the beginning of my journey, now I am quick to remember that my curls are beautiful just the way they are. 🙂
when i spoke of family and friends not accepting you- i meant to say that they do not always accept certain things about you – but only God loves us unconditionally and perfectly.
MY name is Michelle. I agree with a lot of what this blog is about. I do need to appreciate the way God has made me. Sometimes, it is difficult because sometimes this world and even your friends/family do not accept you as God has made you and you (I) have to understand and realize that you and your hair are accepted and loved by GOD and that is all that matters – what He says and what he thinks about you. He loves you as He made you. I do love this website. I never knew that it existed and now that I do, I appreciate those who have posted how to's on how to help someone else who has had deep issues related to their hair. Sometimes those who have "Good hair" will never know what is is like to have their hair seen as nappy or rough to the touch. Therefore it is easy for them to say "get over it." But yes, I agree that we all need to work with what we have been given and not endlesly debate on good hair vs. bad hair – be content with such things as we have and rock what u got. I never really knew how to take care of it. I have been natural for almost 10 years and now that this website is here, I want to learn more on how to rock my natural hair.
I am just happy to have hair – i could care less about anyone elses. When i went to a family get together, and I had started transitioning, i wondered and worried about what my family would say, since i had been pressing and relaxing my hair for years. Well, i found out that most of my cousins wore WIGS!!! they also kept asking me what i was doing to my hair, and how i got it this way. I think about it all the time, and i have stopped worrying about what people think. It was a huge lesson for me. I love the beautiful coils, but i am realistic – i kind of look like a spider – natural hair with the nasty relaxed stuff on the bottom, but in a french twist, who will know? I am not Rachel True – I am just me.
Luckily i never suffered from curl envy , acually when i think about it when i did my big chop, the question of what my hair texture would be NEVER crossed my mind! I was so elated to have that dam relaxer outta my my head! I actually just want LONG hair:) i dont care about texture,
But as a stylist i think woman jus want easy to manage hair, hair that doesnt break all the time and is soft and shiny. The coarser ur hair is the more care it need, more prone to breakage, less shine, and dryness . Sometimes i ask myself is it "really"brainwashing by eurocentric culture why some black women have hair insecurities or is it jus wanting hair that looks shiny and soft to the touch.
What woman or man u know likes having brillowy, dull hair?? Just a thought
OOOOH girl you ain't neva lied. So true!!!!!
Real talk, I had this long moment when I genuinely thought my hair was 2c. I thought that it was wavy and silky.
My hair is very silky, but it is far from 2a. I had a moment when I realized that my hair was 3c, mixed with a bit of 4a, and I was angry for about 15 seconds. Then I had to remember what my hair was about. Health. I have healthy hair, I co-wash every other week and use protective styling, and food from my kitchen to condition it. I know that my hair is not able to look like Taylor Swift's, or Raven Symone's, but it can look like mine.
I hope that anyone who is struggling with hair envy will stop and tell themselves, "As long as my hair is healthy, then it's GORGEOUS!"
I hate my natural hair. I have very loose girls and none of the natural cute hair styles look good on me. Twist outs, twist and curls, braid outs… They all look horrible. I never get the full kinky look just weighed down soggy looking curls. No matter how much or little products I put in my hair it just looks ridiculous. I have come up with a great regimen and my hair is growing lots since it is staying in protective styles with minimal heat styling BUT my hair only looks nice in protective styles. On the weekends I want to go out in wear my hair in a funky cute style but these loose girls just are not what I was looking for. I'm happy that my hair is growing but once it gets to a length that I really enjoy I'm going to go back to heat styling. That seems to be the only time I get good results besides protective styles. I really envy girls with 4a hair. I think 4a hair has the perfect combo of 3c shine with 4b kinks and coils…. So sad my hair is this way.
Also, sites where the blogger is constantly mugging for the camera to show off their hair and clothes and their supposedly care-free life (for Christ sakes she has a 9 yr and I'm wondering how much time do she spend with her). It's almost like she has self-esteem issues because they need their subscribers applaudes and kudos on how they look every day. One site that comes to mind is Moptop Maven. I can't stomach the daily worship given to her hair and the same old questions asked (and that can be readily found by searching the Internet)–((rolling eyes upward)) And all the hair products constantly touted (product junkie). Thank CurlyNikki for keeping it cute and REAL!
What I love about Nikki is that Nikki she takes pictures to show a particular hair concern or in conjunction to her family and the newest little one, cutie pie Baby Gia
that is so ironic because before i went natural almost 2 years ago, i felt this same way. "how come my hair isnt curly?" well as soon as the relaxed hair grew out my NATURAL hair was really curly just like the girls i envied. but ive learned that good hair is not curly or straight, ITS HEALTHY!!!!
Funny you mention this, there's this misconception that natural ladies are done with hair issues and have fully accepted their hair type. Not always true, apparently. Unfortunately, it'll take a lot of reprogramming for some to get out of the good hair vs. bad hair mentality. It's been deeply entrenched into our psyche from a very young age.
Also, keep in mind that many people went natural not due to the desire to love and accept their hair as is, but due to necessity (damage, etc.). Just some things to consider…
Oh and to answer the question, no, I'm not caught up. Come to think of it, I never did pay much attention to hair types. I guess I'll chalk it up to my upbringing or the fact that I'm a bit too absorbed with my own hair to really covet anyone else's. lol
Nikki this is a great article I completely agree with you. The first thing i learned when i decided to become natural is to embrace what God gave me, there is so much beauty in being natural and hair typing is such a small part of it. Im glad u notice as much as i do. there is soo much truth to this article preach on and keep preaching sista
i def envy any woman with thick hair! i don't care what the type of curl pattern it is or even if it's straight. i do agree though that curl envy is silly. all textures are unique and capable of doing different things. lets celebrate the diversity! curl hate is for the birds…
I am curl envy free! I will say that it annoys me that so many people are. I hate when people assume because a person does not have a looser curl pattern it means that person is going to lock her hair (I get that question soooo much). I love locs but that is not what I want for myself. It's such a silly assumption. If I did not love my hair so much I would probably fall into the trap of curl envy.
What bothers me are the people that still relax their hair and pretend their curls are natural.
I couldn't have said it any better. lots of us get so caught up on "ooo I want my hair to be just like that" that we overlook the potential our own hair is capable of. Instead we should focus on trying to make our own be the best and healthiest it can be. And start accepting it for what it is.
I think that you do have some 3type hair sistas that do envy type 4hair sistas that are able to have a really good twistout or afro in their hair. I personally have type 4 hair and I really enjoy its thickness and hangtime depending on what style I have it, but it mainly grows out which I like. I've seen alot of 3hair types with twist/twistouts that didn't look to good because of how loose their curl pattern is, but then see a type 4hair sista and it's a different thing it's just much thicker and grows out fuller looking.
But then again, just appreciate what you have because you never know one day it can be gone whether by illness, or by tight braids, excessive weaves etx.. Love your hair whether you're having a good day or not, and it will love you back, but will give you grief every now and then if you put the wrong product in lol..lol..
I agree with what many previous posters said about healthy hair being the main proirity. While it is normal to occasionally admire someone else's hair; a person should not be overcome with envy. In those cases, I think self-esteem problems start to emerge…
Ladies, ladies, ladies… It is raining cats and dogs here in NY and at the same time in the high 70's with humidity through the roof, so you know my hair is POPPIN!!! looking extra fluffy and fly. Just got back into the office from a fire drill where I caught several relaxed sisters staring at my do with clear curl/nap envy (or at least thats how I interpretted the look. I was the victim of curl envy and it felt GREAT!!!
I don't have long hair but I like long curly wavy hair. I found this post really great. Keep posting. I will keep visiting this site often.
Hey there! Faren here!
Curl envy def exists. But, I'm curious about the model in the picture. Does ANYONE know how to do a braid like that. I've been searching the web for instructions to no avail.
Nik, do you know by any chance?
they type of braid is called "fishtail" its really easy to do. You can easily find tutorials on Youtube!
Anyway, I'm new to this whole er… natural community and "curl envy" sounds beyond foolish to me. I think it is human to want what you don't have, this is not significant to "curlies" I think its best not to be to judgmental because the truth is everyone gets a little envious of other people for one reason or another and it might not be anything deeper than that. I think its best to let people go through their "natural journey" they way they want to because lol this hair business is different for everyone. For some, going natural is this really spiritual-like processes and for others (like me) its just dead proteins.
I've already responded but I just wanted to add a question for thought:
Is it me or does it seem like the ones with curl envy ususally have type 4 hair?
How many with type 3 texture do you honestly hear/see loathing their hair & gushing over type 4 texture?
In my experience, it's hardly ever the other way around
Just a thought….
I can totally relate to this. My hair is 4b/c type, and it takes ages to detangle. My hair is super healthy, though, and as long as detangling is really the biggest problem that I have, who am I to complain? I feel blessed to have long hair to detangle. 🙂
Initially when I went natural, I was definitely guilty of curl/hair envy. But as I have gotten older and found so many websites that help me progress and do so much better with my own hair, I have really come to enjoy the tresses on my head, just as they are. It's a wonderful, confident, relaxed feeling and I love it. Thanks for sharing.
Allnatural1 (Michelle in Texas)
I would say that I have curl envy. When I BC I was hoping for something different. I did not like my hair and I don't wear it out now. Like some others I hate to spend so long detangling and it just tangles back. No one likes my hair in my family. I do like how poeple can slick their hair back. I can'. I don't want to go back to perms so I will have to wait until it grows out. I really want to learn to like my hair.
YES! YES! Finally someone touches on this subject. I need to keep it real right now and say something people do not want to hear. I think that a good percentage of "naturals" today went natural because they saw someone with curly hair and wanted their hair to curl the same way!
I am in college and natural, and I have had so many conversations with people about natural hair/going natural…and most of the time it ends the same "so you think my hair will curl?" We need to get away from that. I am tired of hearing about 4a/3c…whatever. Embrace what you have. BUT if you don't I can find some products that can help.
At almost 3 years natural, I feel I should be past it…but I admit that I still deal with curl envy. To me it is a continuing part of the "mental transition" which is the hardest part of going natural, if you ask me. The days I crave others curls are getting less and less, but some days I see other girls, even with my same hair type (4A), whose curl diameter is bigger, or has more hang time, etc…But no sooner than I do that, than someone is complimenting or expressing envy over my hair. I agree with others that it has to do with the "grass being greener", and I work on affirming what is beautiful about my hair to myself every day!
I have very densely packed 4B hair and these are the things I have been envious about when it comes to those w/ other textures:
1) EASIER DETANGLING!
Now don't get me wrong, I am in no way discounting the detangling issues ALL naturals have but I can't help but get a little mad when I watch countless YouTube vids of divas w/ type 3 or even type 4 hair w/ LESS density than mine reveal their detangling process – it is truly RARE for me to find someone w/ my texture and density (btw Mwedzi on Youtube/Fotki is the closest I've seen so far even though her hair is much longer than mine)
2) ABILITY TO DO WASH N GOS WITHOUT INCCURING SEVERE KNOTS/TANGLES
As my hair grew out beyond 3 inches, I have written off wash n gos due to the damage I suffered – my texture does not form clumped coils but rather coils that are intertwined (forming the beautiful afro cotton/cloud appearance)- so If i allow my hair to dry in its shrunken state I am asking for SERIOUS setbacks due to the single strand knots & tangles – so while I love stretched styles, I would also love to have the CHOICE to do wash n gos on occasion.
3) OTHER PEOPLE'S ADMIRATION
While I'm not hung up on what others think of my 4B texture I do get a little envious when I see some people gush over the shiny popping coils/curls & slick wavy edges of others and then having really nothing positive to say about my gorgeous hair too – I know it's their problem & not mine but it still stings and I really feel sorry for those with my texture who allow this good hair/bad hair misconception to prevent them from wearing their natural hair or celebrating their daughter's natural hair
So all in all I LOVE my texture and only envy the ease of detangling of others NOT the appearance b/c I think my texture is absolutely fabulous … I admire so many different hair textures without neccesarily wishing that I had that texture
As I figure out the ingredients/products/tools & techniques that make my detangling process easier, I fall in love with my hair more & more 🙂
Nope I can truly say that I've never had curl envy…now was I confused when I bc'ed. Yes ma'am!! I never wanted anyone's curls per se' but I didn't have a clue about what my curls of lack there of would look like. I really don't have what most call curls. I have to use products to encourge (yeah…make my hair curl with assistance) and enhance what I have. I love and drool over other naturals with beautiful hair…I love their look and will give them props in a minute. I'm just trying to do me. (whatever that is..LOL) I'm enjoying this journey, and I like the fact that my CN sisters like Chrs and Lynn who will suggest I use a certain product (Chrs) or try a certain style (Lynn) that is what this is all about, and they both have BEAUTIFUL hair. Check them out on Curl Street. Ooops…. I do that a lot, lose focus on the topic at hand. Anywho…I accept what God had given me(well not everything I want to be 20lbs lighter) and love everyday that I am bless to see my natural no curl pattern hair!!! LOL Sorry for such a long post!! KinkyNappyHappy
Cant front, when I started on my natural hair journey, I wanted the boing boing curls like Amiel Lareux and tried in vain (and quiet a pretty penny and many products later)realizing I had to work with what I had. NOW my row dog, has THE most beautiful curls and he hair grows like weeds, and so shiny…hmmmm(can you hear the envy…lol) and I was using her prods for a while til I found my own concoction and lemme tell you EUREKA, my hair will never boing boing BUT I've got style and I'm fearless (even when I look like a fool) so I just work it and it works. Hair type is like body type, if you were born petite you can diet til the cows come home but if you born to be 5' 6" and 150lbs, you will NEVER by 5ft and 100lbs. Aint gonna work! No sir. My hair is so strong it breaks plastic combs!!!!..whatchu know about that 1-3a b and c..HUH!!WHAT!
Hey there! Faren here!
Curl envy def exists. But, I'm curious about the model in the picture. Does ANYONE know how to do a braid like that. I've been searching the web for instructions to no avail.
Nik, do you know by any chance?
I agree with the accidentalnatural curl envy has a lot to do with the hair idols showcased on hair blogs, even on here there are a great deal of 3a/3b hair type. So when people big chop they are confused that their hair type has nothing to do with what they expected it to be. When you asked the question do you like your current hair type , would you change it, girls with 4 hair type said they would have prefer to have a 3 hair type because even though natural is popular it is still a certain type of natural that is showcased in ads, commercials, magazines. So I understand curl envy.
I have had curl envy as well. For a while I was envious of people's who hair "hung." Whenever I did a twist out, it would want to go "up" not "down" mind you my hair was only about 6 months post. Yet and still I saw other naturals whose hair "hung" and had been natural the same amount of time. I hated that and was envious of any natural whose hair hung. Still am, however, being natural teaches you patience. You may not have the hair you desire at first, but you grow to love it, and figure out that someday someone else will admire your hair the same way you admire others. ♥ Simone
Anonymous who posted at 2:05 PM is right. We should be thankful that we are able to grow hair out of our scalps. We should be glad we don't have conditions like alopecia or cancer and have to take chemo. Because those conditions can wipe the hair clean off our scalps regardless of curl pattern.
Never really "curl-envy" but more like "style-options envy". Just this past weekend, I got together with a few girlfriends for a hair event. One of my friend’s hair gives her the option of having hanging bangs. *Achieving a bang has been a goal of mine but for some reason, my curl pattern doesn’t allow it at this time. Funny thing is, she kept asking me how I got my hair to do my “curl-coil-handspring” thing!! Maybe it’s more of the “folks always seem to want what they don’t have” type situation than true envy?? 🙂
I definitely have hair envy. But I think my envy is from not knowing what to use on my hair. I've been natural for 10+ years and before I started reading this site, I didn't think it was hope for my hair and I definitely did not wear it out. It was always covered with a wig, weave, scarf, or hat. I'm not comfortable with it yet, but I think I'm getting there. I adore each an every model on this site and sites like this. I pray one day I can submit my picture with a capture something like "I'm loving my every inch of my hair." I love you all.
I had hair envy when I first BC because I didn't have the information I have now to take care of my hair. Oh, its funny now to think of my husband's reaction when I walked through the door with my TWA, I thought he was going to cry, which is when I started to have envious feelings but today I love my 4b/c hair and my hubby does too:); it's about keeping my hair healthy.
I have curl envy. I didn't realize it till I read this post.I work at a racially diverse elementary school and I find myself counting the number of girls who don't have a perm. So out of the maybe 12 in the whole school, I have envied the long, soft curlies. My hair has tight coils and I've been natural for ten years but it I can't see any length unless I press it out. Once I get into the pressing it mode, I have to wind up Big chopping to cut out the damage. I'm waiting on the new world to have a better view of my hair. I can't say I hate it, but I do know what curly envy is. 🙂
I have at times had hair envy creep into me, but only during my moments of having to detangle my hair. At that time I would give anything for it to be a looser curl pattern, so that I wouldn't have to be in the shower like forever lol..lol.. But I like my 4b/c hair with 4a in the back part, considering that I can shape it however that I want. I can have a nice afro that many type 2 or 3 hairs can't do :), but I really love wearing my twists/twistout styles. So I say we all have a tad bit of hair envy to a certain degree, but just be happy with what you have and learn to appreciate what it can or can't do for you.
Thanks so much Takeysha for the sealing response.
…and who would have ever thought that natural black hair would become the envy of anything…let alone amongst ourselves!
..my thoughts…BE THANKFUL that you have hair no matter what it looks like!
Having a child with alopecia areata puts everything in perspective!
I have almost fallen to curl envy when I see curlies with 3a-3b big bouncy ringlets while I have tighther 3c ringlets. This is just a classic case of the grass being greener senario. As long as you are not obsessing over it, its fine and natural to envy another curly. Use it as motivation to kick start your healthy hair regimine.
As a matter of fact, hair-envy flares up within me just about every time I see a hair idol on this site. This has nothing to do with the site (I love this site); it's really just a personal issue I have to surmount at some point. I'm trying. Seeing women with a similar curl and texture as myself with big, long, Chaka-esque hair just knocks the wind out of me, especially when I go to read that they BC'ed only 3 years ago or some short period of time like that. I've been natural for a little over 5 years now, so I do find myself wondering why and wishing I had, so on and so forth. However, I do know that genetics, routines, all that stuff play a role in hair growth. I just have to be patient and focus on healthy hair only…but it's difficult to keep the green monster from exploding to the surface. One thing I am going to stop doing is whining to my friends about it, I know that ish gets on their nerves…
I do have hair envy over other people's curls but i wouldnt say I even envy just really think the person's hair is cute..
@Kaden's Mom–You need to seal the moisture into your hair but pay greater attention to the ends since they are the most fragile..it helps in length retention..I seal with Oyin Burnt Sugar on my sections of hair prior to twisting and then after twisting I seal my ends …hth
i've never really suffered from hair envy. i also don't have a problem with the hair typing system. i think it's very helpful. i have hair idols, but it's mostly because i admire their swag or hair shape, moreso than their curl pattern.
Yes I have! My sister, who isn't natural, has this lovely type 3 hair while I have 4a/3c hair. I've learned though, my hair is beautiful for me and I love it.
I'm probably in the minority but I do feel that it is part of human nature to want something that we cannot have. I love my curl pattern and I have embraced it, but I do know that certain processes that I go through with my hair (such as detangling) or some of the things that my hair does (shrinking) would be different if my hair was different. I even find myself being envious of people's hair COLOR sometimes.
While I do agree that healthy hair is key and that accepting our hair for what it is whether it be color, texture or length is important, I don't find it detrimental to envy someones hair or have a hair idol even though there is no chance of having that hair type. Now if it gets to a point where it is altering your life, that is when it becomes a problem. I also agree with theaccidentalnatural that hair idols are rarely showcased as women with short, kinky coils and that is a testament to what we deem as "attractive" in society.
I think one of the problems with natural hair envy are the people who are shown as hair idols. I've seen people on a number of hair blogs showcasing certain types of hair – curls rather than coils, longer hair rather than shorter hair, etc. as their hair idols. In the natural hair community, we like to compare and contrast so-called good hair and bad hair too. Many of us don't accept our hair the way it is. We want long, flowing curls – bump the kinks.
There's nothing wrong with having hair goals – I have my own, but I refuse to idolize or envy someone else's hair. It serves no purpose and stops me from enjoying my hair the way that God made it.
I agree with just about everything you said; proper hair care really should be the focus.
However, I'd like to argue the other side of the hair typing issue… I think hair typing can sometimes be useful. For example, when I’m looking up new hairstyles or styling techniques, I find it helpful to find someone with the same hair type as mine so I can have realistic expectations of how it will turn out. I have 4a hair, so I can’t expect my results to look like someone’s with 3b hair and vice versa.
That being said, if you are caught up in curl envy, it’s probably best to steer clear of the hair typing system all together. But for me, someone who embraces their hair (not just the hair type), it has definitely been useful at times.
I found myself guilty of this when I first BC'd and discoverd that my "natural hair type/curl pattern/texture" was NOTHING as I thought it would be. My littel fro kinked right up and although I was a little envious of some of the other naturally curly heads I've seen, I have grown to love and respect my do because it's MINE! Thanks to so many forums and support groups. The natural hair community is highly supportive and has really helped me in the times when I'm not feeling so pretty or "like a boy," lol!
now that we are here, quick question,
sealing the hair or sealing the ends– is this literally rubbing the product on the ends of the hair?
This reminds me of a youtube video I did called "Natural Hair Hostility"
yes when i first started , which was literally maybe 3 weeks ago. i was wanting "that" curl, just like "hers" and focusing on the products they say they are using to get that curl. I wasnt thinking "oh i want her hair", more or less, i want it healthy like that, and thinking that is what HEALTHY looks like (you get it)
anyway, i have had some trial and error and realize that for MY hair, which i love, those products dont work, or i simply dont like. So now im searching and trying products that i like, am comfortable with, and my hair responds well too.
currently im stuck on being natural and using "natural products" as some of you have put it, i read some products as being praised, and others products as not being praised because its not NATURAL, not that it doesnt make the hair look and feel good.
im on this journey, and im having fun, and im loving it, im getting good feed back from others as well. even though i been natural for 5yrs (dreads), i recently combed them out, and this is NEW NEW NEW to me. thanks so much for this site, and all the stories and trial and errors that come with it.
It's all about healthy hair. Otherwise, it's just another good hair vs. bad hair rehash.