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!