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Curly Nikki

Poster Child for Natural Hair

By January 27th, 202137 Comments

Poster Child for Natural Hair
Carol writes:

Do you ever feel like you are the poster child for natural hair in your church, school, workplace, family, etc?

Sometimes I do. Its like, I cannot afford to have a “bad hair day” because chicks will equate my bad hair day with natural hair in general.

37 Comments

  • Ronnie says:

    This is sooooo true! Too funny. That said, I find that my church has become a natural hair 'safe haven'–We have monthly hair powwows and the ladies love it. Even some of the older ladies are transitioning. It is quite hilarious.

  • MidnightBaker says:

    @Renise B I agree totally! Some of the negative comments in this post are discouraging. I myself have only been natural since May 2010 but I feel that the knowledge that ive gained is something that I definitely don't mind sharing. In fact I get questioned rather frequently about my hair and how I care for it by permies and naturals. Im indeed flattered when my schoolmates tell me that i encouraged them to BC/transition!!! The constant admiration motivates me to always present myself/hair as best I can, great hair day or not!

  • Wassila says:

    i've felt this way but i really don't mind the attention and all the questions that people have. I've been able to give a lot of my friends the confidence they need to make the decision. they have been able to see me deal with my hair first hand so they have a clearer idea of the time it takes to be natural

  • Renise B says:

    I, for one, don't mind answering the questions. I think it's not only helpful to someone who may be overwhelmed by the wealth of information on the internet and it may encourage someone on their journey. And whether some of us admit it or not, we all needed encouragement outside of ourselves to take such a big step.

    Also, wow at some of these negative comments! Why are we revisiting the "new vs. old" natural yet again? We're all natural and learning so being an old head doesn't make you any better than a newby. You may have more experience which the newby values…get it…values! I'm sure no one is intentionally invading anyone else's personal space or intentionally being rude by asking you what they hope will be valuable advice. And so what if a woman feels comfortable looking her best and her worst arnd her husband? Isn't that part of the reason he's was chosen? To accept you at your best and worst? No one can look perfect 24/7. Better be slightly imperfect arnd someone who won't judge than arnd pple who will do so as harshly as possible.

  • Anonymous says:

    well, I am glad people feel like they have to always be on their P's and Q's. There should never be a such thing as a bad hair day whether you are at home alone or otherwise. I don't understand thinking it is okay to look a mess around your husband. I would rather look good for him than anyone else…

    But, I guess to each their own…

  • Anonymous says:

    Nope. I have actually recently RELEASED myself from answering questions about my hair. I was tired of it. I've been natural for several years now, and I didn't hound other natural women while I was relaxed. Shot, for two, I had to recommend products b/c they didn't know what they were doing. I realize now that I wasn't as "curious" b/c there are several women in my family who have never had a relaxer, and b/c my mother cut off her relaxer nearly 20 years ago I've seen natural hair all my life.

    But frankly, it is not my responsibility to educate every woman on the street that I meet about natural hair. That's what google is for. I'm happy that so many black women are embracing themselves, but I'm not personally responsible for helping them along their journey, especially if it is help that they are asking for at inappropriate times and there are other avenues. Sometimes, I'm having a bad day, or in a rush, or am on the phone. There are seriously people who do NOT respect personal boundaries and will try to touch your hair in grocery stores and farmers markets while they ask questions. Honestly, a chick in Whole Foods who wouldn't quit asking questions while I was trying to talk on the phone was my line in the sand. I'll write down some websites on a napkin or a piece of paper if I have the time but otherwise… no. Too many folks "new" to the game will try to get all in your face about curl patterns, or ask "how your hair does that", but at the end of the day, sometimes it really is genetics, self-acceptance and health habits. And for those who are new to the game, if someone doesn't answer your questions right away, realize that you are actually asking someone about personal grooming habits, and that public spaces are not always the place to do so. I'm all about community support, but folks just got ridiculous this past year.

  • Unknown says:

    OMG YES!!! I get stopped ALL the time, but I don't mind it all.

  • Anonymous says:

    Interesting, I've never felt like a poster child, but for my family and close girlfriends, I guess I kinda am. I do feel that I'm entitled to a bad hair day but find, since going natural, that they don't occur very often.

  • Noel says:

    You're not alone, this sounds just like me. I can't go anywhere without answering questions about my hair, but I find it flattering.

  • Anonymous says:

    OMG, yes girl, I'm THE POSTER CHILD for my office.

  • Anonymous says:

    Excellent post and yes, I'm a poster child at my all white colloege… but I guess it's not all white cause I go there! I like it though, I love my hair and love feeling different.

  • Bree says:

    @LaMaraVilla I agree. Just because hair is natural doesn't mean it is going to be fly all the time. I don't take on the responsibility of the poster child or pretend to know all the answers concerning natural hair or even my hair…lol. We are subject to bad hair days just like anyone else. I understand being used as a reference or a semi guide but a poster child, no especially with other avenues and outlets for natural hair that you can direct others to for info so why carry the burden on your shoulders because it will lead to you doing, thinking and styling your hair for others first instead of YOURSELF. And if someone base natural hair solely on the basis of a bad hair day, the fact that you put it into a bun that day, etc. then they aren't serious and still disillusioned with natural hair as a whole

  • Lola says:

    Wow, this hits home. My work place is in Metropolitan area and most of my co-workers are African American. Since I have gone natural, I feel like I’ve become the natural hair guru at my job. Mind you, I've only did my BC in April 2010. I must admit I really did research, I am completely obsessed with natural hair, and I'm a quick study. People assume I have a plethora of knowledge when it comes to natural hair. Evens folks who have been natural for years are asking my advice on how to handle their own natural hair. A few of my friends have even gone natural at work as well. Whatever I’m doing, it must be ok, people compliment my hair frequently. I love being creative with my hair and I love taking care of my hair. I’m enjoying all this because like I said earlier, I’m obsessed with natural hair….

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm a poster child at work! Sad, but true.

  • MsKraizy says:

    It annoys me, but I don't feel like I'm the poster child just because I'm NATURAL. I feel like I'm the poster child because I do so much research on my hair so people feel like I should KNOW what I'm doing to my hair. If I'm having a bad hair day and my hair is starting to look a little matted but decent enough to run and get a few items from the corner store, it's like I've insulted the president or something cause it should be "shiny" and "glossy" and all that. =/ Some days I get tons of compliments, some days I get tons of stares. (O_O") lol It's kinda funny actually.

  • iri9109 says:

    people are always asking me about natural hair, and while most of the time i dont mind, i feel like sometimes its some pressure there…like i did my friend's sister's BC, and she hadnt seen my natural hair b4, but her sister told her, and as soon as i came in the door she was like "OMG i want my hair like yours right now!" & we had totally different textures and curl patterns…i'm hesitant to give advice b/c i dont want people to think that their hair will automatically look like mine if they use product x or go natural…

    & i think my friends think because im natural and i like natural hair that i wanna convert everyone else lol…like my friend told me she wanted to transition and so i was talking to her about it and my other friend walked in on it and was like "you and your damn natural hair, let people have their perms!" & i wasnt even the one who brought up the topic!

    i'm also afraid of bad hair days lol, but luckily water and condish is the cure-all for most of my hair woes…and like porchia, the days i'm not really feelin my hair are the days i get the most compliments

  • Porchia says:

    I do feel like I'm the poster child for natural hair at my job and my church. My coworkers, fellow church members, and even the store customers all ask about my hair. I don't feel pressure because I love my hair. As long as I like it, I don't care if everyone else hates it. Having said that, on the days that I have not-so-good hair, I get the most compliments. How great is that? 🙂

  • Tara Shenéa says:

    Most definitely! Chile, I am a natural hair ambassador and my styles are always well thought out and on point. I can't tell you how many people have taken steps towards transitioning after seeing how versatile being natural can be. I make it my business to represent the natural community in the flyest most positive fashion. I want them to look at me as say "If that is being natural, then being natural is something I've got to consider." I love the questions and curiosity daily. I love helping sisters embrace themselves the way God designed them and not how society brainwashes them into thinking they should look. There is a beautiful freedom being outside of the "Matrix" of society.

  • LittleOne says:

    Absolutely! I suppose I asked for it a little by creating a website (http://hairliberty.org), but still, it's a little frustrating.

    I was complaining to my relaxed friend about how fine my hair is and how that makes it difficult to style sometimes. She said, "See! What's the point of being natural then?" I told her just because my hair is natural that doesn't mean it's PERFECT. It is what it is and it do what it do! Besides, just bc I'm natural doesn't mean I think everyone else should be.

    Other than that, I'm like kitka82…I just don't let anyone but my fiance see me on bad hair days, haha.

  • Anonymous says:

    OMG!!! YES YES YES. EVERYDAY MY HAIR HAS TO BE ON POINT, I HAVE A FEAR OF HAVING A BAD HAIR DAY.

  • Anonymous says:

    Yes! Folks are always coming up to me with their natural hair problems, especially when my hair is looking good and healthy. Lately, I ain't feeling it I tell them to go online and look up whatever they want/need to know. I know it sounds means, but he** thats what I did…

  • kitka82 says:

    Nope, not a posterchild. I don't have a blog or YouTube channel. I do get lots of questions aboutmy hair, which I direct to CurlyNikki and YouTube. My sister stopped relaxing way before I did, and my mom and I thought she was crazy for not combing out her hair every day and for only washing it with conditioner. She started doing that years ago, and knows nothing of the CG method.

    As for bad hair days, no one really sees those (except my hubby and kiddos). I practice new styles over the weekend, and stick with the tried-and-true ones for work during the week.

  • Anonymous says:

    I felt that way too.I actually toyed with the idea of becoming the posterchild. Not that everyone HAS to be natural but I want to help natural hair loose that stigma of being ugly.

    Plus, people would ask me product questions all the time. However I was never really any use with that.

    However, that all end when I decided to cut my hair panic and put in a texturzer. SMH NEVER again. toying around with getting some braids until it grows out long enough to twist.

  • Anonymous says:

    Indeed! I have locs, which is another post… but even prior to locing, when I had loose natural hair, I felt as though I had to be the ambassador of natural hair everywhere I went. Now, I feel that people a bit more open to natural hair now. I have three daughters and my oldest daughter feels like she has to have elaborate hair changes each week to prove how versatile her hair is. And, I feel like I have to justify to the permed, weave wearing moms why I will not allow chemicals in my daughters' hair.
    In my family, I am the black sheep, the rebellious loc-wearer who does things just to be different. So, no one in my ill-informed permed and lovin' it family will ever think that being natural is an informed decision.
    My husband's family, however, is full of natural wearing women, and I feel such a bond with them because of our common hair. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    OMG! Especially at work! I really do feel that if I have a bad hair day I have taken a backward step of all of curlykind! The people at my job (black and otherwise) are so supportive until if I don't get at least one comment, I begin to feel as if my hair is a terrible mess. I know I'm a hot mess for it, but over the last six months this is what I have become accustom.

  • Anonymous says:

    LaMaraVilla thank you! I had that awakening when I went home for one holiday wearing a bun and with a few twists in the front. I was going home to relax and my family are not big holiday party people so I wasn't worried about it. However, I started to feel like a "bad example" to my 9 year old niece. Then I had to check myself. The fact is my niece is far more influenced by her parents (her mom is a weave queen!) than me. Also, as she develops into a young lady she has to find her own beauty path and make her own decisions when she hits her teen years. I'm happy to support her if she wants to know about natural hair, but I'm not her mother. At the end of the day it's MY hair, and if I'm feeling a bun rather than one of my super glossy swirly bantu-knot outs everybody loves then so be it.

  • StaceyMarie says:

    I feel like a natural hair poster child, particularly when someone says "my hair doesn't do that, it's just nappy" or "wow, see I don't have the patience/confidence/fortitude/support system to cut all my hair off". Then I have to explain that no one knows what their hair will "do" until they see it and that each natural journey is different. I feel pressure not to have bad hair days or dry hair days because I don't want to discourage anyone's natural journey. I also try to wear my hair in different styles to demonstrate the versatility of the natural life. Oh, and after waiting almost a year for my Granny to come around, I ALWAYS make sure my hair is cute when I visit her or she'll start the "good hair" talk again!

  • Unknown says:

    @ LaMaraVilla…:(

  • Anonymous says:

    My co-worker/friend was my POSTER Child, for natural hair! She's the reason I began researching the GREATNESS of natural hair care. I would have never went natural, without atching her go through the process and see how healthy her hair was. Now we're both, NATURAL BEAUTIES! 🙂

  • LaMaraVilla says:

    No, I am no one's poster child. I am not the only natural that runs in my circles, whether it's church, school, work, or my social groups. And even if I was I still wouldn't be anyone's poster child. The way I wear my hair and how it looks is for my purposes only. Naturals need to get over that hubris they feel thinking that the acceptance and public opinion of naturals in general rests on their shoulders.

  • Anonymous says:

    Yes. I'm the poster child for natural hair at the university I attend. I've been natural longer than most of the other natural girls I know and I'm good at "caring for/styling" my hair. Folks ask me questions all of the time. I can usually help them out or point them in the right direction. It's nice to help and spread knowledge about natural hair. It's something very close to my heart.

    With that said, I feel no pressure to be "on point" with hair styling all the time. I don't have "bad hair days". If I did, no one would know…I'd just slap some water on my hair and put it in a puff. In fact, I get the most compliments on my puff. Haha

  • Julissa says:

    yes, I feel that way in Church, at work and with my family.

  • Yolanda says:

    Most definitely. People always come to me and ask me the most random questions. or they have my friends relay the message! its crazy.

  • G Jones says:

    I feel the same way even though I am still transitioning. If my hair is not put together, I don't want people assuming that this is how it will be when I am all the way natural especially with my big chop on January 1st!!!

  • modest-goddess says:

    I feel like I'm not allowed to have a bad hair day. When I go home to visit family I try to have a fresh twist out cause I feel like if my hair is dry looking people will judge all natural hair as dry looking.

  • mood_indigo says:

    OMG, I feel like this all the time. Even my friends who were natural before me are now coming to me for advice. Plus, I have a YouTube channel and post my journey on Facebook so bad hair days are not an option.

  • Anonymous says:

    yup definitely in school…whenever the topic is brought up, my friends are quick to point out that i'm natural…even if im not there

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