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Curly Nikki

Celebrating Natural Vets & Natural Newbies

By January 27th, 202125 Comments

Celebrating Natural Vets & Natural Newbies

by Autumn of CurlyChronicles

I’ve been pondering about the discussions that come up regarding the seasoned “natural vets” who have been wearing their natural hair for many years and the newly natural ladies who are fresh out the salon (or bathroom mirror!) from doing the big chop. We all know there’s a huge buzz around natural hair and for some reason, articles about it being trendy or about what it really means to be natural or even about hostility between the vets and the rookies have sprung up. I honestly haven’t experienced it but it appears to be an online thing. So I thought, why not write about celebrating what the vets and what the newbies bring to the natural hair community because both play a big role in my opinion. I’m beyond this hostility or animosity that we keep hearing about. I believe in keeping the positive in perspective!

Natural Vets and natural newbies are two puzzle pieces that fit together beautifully. You compliment one another. Bread & butter (vegan butter for me, please lol), peas & carrots — you truly are two peas in a pod – or at least you should be! Like a seed before it becomes a tree, you two are one in the same. Didn’t ya know?

Seasoned naturals! I don’t know if you realize this or not but you showed many women the way to natural hair. You’re a living example of how beautiful natural hair can be. If you have a website/blog/fotki, you provided tips, tricks and even showed past mistakes you made to those who hadn’t taken the plunge just yet or those who just did and were scared out their minds. You were that pep talk, you were that honest guidance counselor, you were that natural hair pro to many who may have been a bit lost, a bit scared, or a bit blind. Until your gorgeous curly fro, twist out, locs, or wash n go came around the corner, many ladies may not have thought twice about going natural for themselves. You served as a beacon of hope and you’re admired!

Natural Newbies! Were you aware that with the explosion of you all walking around proud like peacocks ultimately meant improved access to natural hair products? You putting your naturalness on display in the recent years has contributed to this. The media has noticed and so have entrepreneurs who have been cooking up concoctions and recipes in their kitchens geared towards you. Once upon a time, naturals like myself had no choice but to order certain products online, but today I can actually walk in an establishment with money in hand, and walk out with my product. Ahhh, such sweet excitement when you’re having fun experimenting or desperately in need of more product. Could you imagine having to order your products like clockwork? Imagine running out of shea butter that you could only order online the week of an elegant party or a huge VIP engagement. The horror, right?

So…alllll of this is to simply say, natural veterans and new naturals are and forever will be an integral part of what “that natural chick” encompasses. Let’s stop fussing over who’s in it for the long run or who has been natural longest or who’s probably going back to a relaxer. Let’s stop judging who’s really, ultra natural and who’s not, and stop telling other people what they need to do and give advice when someone truly wants it from us. It’s not as serious as cancer so let’s not treat it as if it is. Handle whatever tiffs come your way with elegance and grace. Do you and do you beautifully. Period. Natural vets have aided natural newbies and vice versa. Let’s remember that always and embrace it!



  • BCopher says:

    Autumn is soooooo awesome. She just exudes positive energy and has a can-do attitude that won't quit. I love her videos and tips. Thanks for this uplifting article.

  • The Retro Natural says:

    Thanks for all the love ladies! I had to put something positive out there because there's really no need for anything negative as it pertains to more black women embracing their curls n coils. I'd prefer to see more positive pieces than negative (actually no negative posts at all) and keep this natural hair thang movin' in the right direction 🙂

  • Lisa Boney says:

    nice review dear 🙂 as always i look up to them hearing from u 🙂 ….

  • The Chocolate Loveliness That Is Fraña says:

    I haven't expereinced or witnessed the vet vs. newbie rivalry thing. What's the point of it even existing? We are women of all colors, ages, shapes, and sizes who need to stop this petty fighting. Don't you realize how strong we could be if we got over our egos and came together as the sisterhood God made us to be?
    Many people lost their lives to fight for our rights as african americans and we are fighting amongst ourselves over hair? Really?
    I'm so humbled when I see a fellow sista with natural hair. I admire her swag and style. I look at my T.W.A. and think of ways to style it when it gets longer. I compliment women with a good heart because I respect them. I respect their courage to love themselves instead of trying to be what society thinks they should be.
    Can we please stop fighting and love? Why do we pick the negative over the positive?

  • The Melanista says:

    Well said!

  • Anonymous says:

    So true and well put. *snaps* ~KF519

  • Anonymous says:

    WOW, Autumn you're AWESOME! The natural hair community needs embrace & uplift each other instead of trying to tear each other down. Like you said, it's not that serious! I've been natural most of my life & I'm still learning tips & tricks from all naturals, natural veterans AND newbies!!!

    ~~*~Chocolat Dipped Curls~~*~

  • Unknown says:

    And this why we love you Autumn…you're amazing!

  • LBell says:

    I too heard about that "old vs new" thing and it left me scratching my head…

    As a veteran natural who was around when the online community was just getting started (late 90s), I am positively THRILLED to see so many black women taking their hair care in their own hands, as well as to see how many of the answers to the basic philosophical and behavioral questions we were batting around back in the day are, for the most part, taken for granted. The best part for me is that the industry is taking notice and starting to realize that they can't take US for granted anymore.

    The funny thing is that I was so deep into discussing behavior and culture that I wasn't paying a lot of attention to actual hair care practices, products and innovations. So when I went back to loose hair in 2007 after having been locked for over three years, it was like, "Wow! Y'all been BUSY!" lol Thanks to the "newbies," this veteran has learned a lot.

  • nappy headed black girl says:

    Co-sign. I've been natural for 6 years and I'm still learning.

  • WMH says:

    Well said!!! P.S. I love your videos…I've been a subscriber for quite some time. 🙂

  • PinkGirlFluff says:

    Amen Autumn!

  • MsFenty says:

    You said it perfectly

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you, that was so nice to read and I agree!

  • Anonymous says:

    I luuuuuuuv this article! Greatly appreciated!

  • Anonymous says:

    I definitely love the positivity of this piece….
    I love all my sisters… Relaxed and natural…. But the naturals have a special place in my heart… Lol…
    I compliment vets and rookies on the street… I'm a rookie myself, 14 months in but I learned frm everyone…
    We all bring something special to the table…
    We are all beautiful queens….

  • cdona says:

    I co-sign….well said!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Well said!!! I have been natural for almost two years and I learn something from seasoned vet and newbies! I am so glad to be apart of this sisterhood!!!!

  • ThisOwl says:

    beautifully said!! you should make a video about this, many people need to hear this..

  • MommieDearest says:

    What a lovely piece! I'm a natural vet and eventhough I have never experienced the "old vs new" hostility, I won't deny its existence. Somebody has felt it, and it's sad. I love the fact that I've inspired others to free themselves from the relaxer and gladly give advice and tips when asked. And I learn more things about my hair all the time. Be it from other vets, hair boards, or newbies. It's a wonderful sisterhood that we share and I'm proud to be a part of it.

  • Anonymous says:

    Beautifully put. I'm a newbie, and I learn lots from both vets and other newbies.

  • Shakirah says:

    Amen sister-girl!

  • Anonymous says:

    Love it! Well said 🙂

  • Milan says:

    Well said! 😀

  • Il était une says:

    Well said.

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