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Curly Nikki

Excuse Me, You Dropped Your ‘Natural’ Over There…

By January 27th, 202191 Comments
Excuse Me, You Dropped Your ‘Natural’ Over There...by Kurlybella of K is for Kinky

Being “natural” means different things to different people; that is a given, but what does it mean to you in relation to what other women do with their hair? There is a debate within the natural hair community that naturals who press – women who don’t show their “real” texture of hair are not really natural. I don’t live by a sliding scale of naturality, however, I realize that some naturals hold on to these emotions strongly and stand firm in their belief that if you don’t show off your natural – your kinks, curls or waves, and if you choose to press them out and wear your hair straight that by default, i guess some sort of “heat” default, you are no longer truly natural and your hair title now needs to be amended to read – “a natural who presses.”

With these sentiments echoing through the natural hair community, there seem to be unspoken “natural hair straightening rules” that one should abide by when deciding to go natural which leads to the questions of if there are straight hair rules, who sets them, manages them and decides when they change as well as who they apply to? Is it an umbrella situation or are there those that are exempt from these unspoken straightening rules based on their texture?

If a woman who claims natural constantly presses her hair, what does that mean to you? Does it bother you to know that even though she is natural that she, according to some “masks”, for lack of better word, her true texture? And if someone does live by the heat, why do you think it bothers others so much? If said women have healthy hair with no heat damage, is that not all that matters? What say you?

91 Comments

  • Anonymous says:

    It's really amazing to me to read all this controversary over how natural hair is worn. I have worn my hair curly for over 8 years. I am a woman that loves versatility. I love to rock curly hair, twist pin up updos, and straight styles. What an individual chooses to do with their hair is their business. I love these blogs because they are informative. They provide great tips on how to care for your hair. Whether natural, curly, relaxed, or straight. It is a great time for women all over the world to share great methods to help others that are starting this natural hair journey.

  • Anonymous says:

    Ahh mother of pearl instead of black women coming together and encouraging "healthy hair" to pass down through generations we worry about the way its styled…shm! at the end of the damn day WOMEN not only black btw will do to their hair what they feel suits their specific personalities..what we need to worry about is how they get to that style all these chemicals are damaging our babies heads burning their scalps to achieve styles that we can teach them how to do!…grow up see the bigger picture! we can do much better! hair is only hair we can do much better about the health!

  • Anonymous says:

    Who cares about Keisha Knight Pulliam or her "straightened" natural hair?? Seriously, who cares?? We are over it **thumbs down**

  • Anonymous says:

    Well said, Jill!!

  • Jill says:

    It's also interesting how sometimes when bloggers write articles on topics that people are supposedly tired of talking about or think are stupid…these articles are the ones with the most comments, while people barely comment on the so-called helpful hair care posts.

  • Jill says:

    *looks at comments*

    For women who are all about having a more "positive" natural hair community, the rudeness in some of the comments says differently. There might be some "insignificant" issues that are talked about on natural blogs, but there sure is a lot of rudeness from commentators as well…for no reason. Let's get it together.

  • Anonymous says:

    It really doesn't matter if a woman decides to straighten her hair or not. The absence of chemicals means natural. I have been natural since Dec 08, and I like to wear my hair straight, braid outs, twist outs, and whatever else I feel like doing. No one owns the title "Natural". No matter what a person does, someone is always going to have something to say about what you do. As long as you make yourself happy, it does not matter what anyone else thinks.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm a college student in Alabama, born and raised in ny…and I feel like I've seen the progression of 'the natural hair movement' at many different angles. Especially since I've started trolling the hair blogs…there are so many possibilities for ones hair, whether natural or relaxed that I can only wonder why anyone would want to create or spark an argument that trifles with that individual freedom, that versatility that I've always taken as signature of the Natural community? Why must people be so inclined to make a hierarchy out of everything? To be so elitist…it's insane!

    My hair is natural: sometimes it's dyed, sometimes it's pressed, sometimes it's huge and audacious, and sometimes it's sleek. I rock sew ins, clip ins, twist outs, roller sets, and frankly whatever the hell I feel so inclined to. I am NATURAL. Hair, at the end of the day, is just an accessory to ones looks. It should be fun! If one feels their looks are best accentuated by pressed hair…why should they be banished from the natural hair community or assigned some new sub label? They're just keeping it real…and that's what being natural is about.

    -Adrienne

  • Unknown says:

    Are we really putting this out for discussion? This is so rediculous. We should now think of a "new name" to call a particula NATURAL? This "healthy conversations" over hair talk are really making the desire to check in daily almost non-existant. Love the informtion on caring for my hair but that's about it…Sorry Nikki. 🙁

  • Anonymous says:

    There is a difference between natural hair and natural texture. Natural hair is the abscence of chemicals. Natural texture is non-manipulated texture. The issue for me is some naturals claim wash-n-goes as their effortless, natural texture when they have heat-trained/heat-damaged hair. I assume your question is a debate over an ovious "natural" celebrity.

  • Anonymous says:

    If a woman who claims natural constantly presses her hair, what does that mean to you? Nothing
    Does it bother you to know that even though she is natural that she, according to some “masks”, for lack of better word, her true texture?
    I don't care.
    And if someone does live by the heat, why do you think it bothers others so much? From what I understand people bash on others to make themselves feel better
    If said (edit) *WOMAN* (singular) have healthy hair with no heat damage, is that not all that matters? What say you? ……huhhh????

    Um, I'm a natural. Been natural most my life. I did experiment with a relaxer (for fun, because I wanted to. I've been told I have "good hair" so mostly everyone pleaded against the decision) for a year but that's long gone. Ladies, it's just hair. Please do not JUDGE one another based on hair. You don't like to be judged for your natural hair. So if someone decides to press, So what??…Don't get too caught up in titles.
    Naturals who don't use heat alter their texture with braid-outs and twist-out and roller-sets and all that…are you still a natural then??? This is contradicting is it not??

    peace

  • Anonymous says:

    1) There's a difference between pressing/flat ironing natural hair and having it heat trained to the point where the "virgin" texture is altered. Just b/c you use heat doesn't mean you're heat trained.

    With that said, both categories of women are still natural. BUT, if we're sharing hair tips/giving full disclosure, the heat trained lady should mention that that's what she is. "Yes, I'm natural- heat trained". Her hair may respond differently to products than the natural 3b, or the girl who shares her "virgin" type 4 texture.
    I recently switched to tex-laxed (mild relaxer). I still feel natural, I still LOOK natural, but I know this type 3b/c texture is not the same as my unadulterated hair. So, just as I admit to being chemically treated, the "heat-trainer" should admit to her alteration.

  • Anonymous says:

    As many of you have already stated, I agree that natural = no chemicals to alter our God-given textures. I see no harm in pressing natural hair, as long as we are conscious about keeping it healthy and protected from heat damage. To me, pressing hair is just another way to STYLE our natural hair, similar to twist-outs, bantu knots, braid-outs, etc. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you keep your hair healthy and rock it in style that lets your beauty shine and that works for you 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    What's the point of telling a story about this natural nazi blog if you're not going to say which one it was? Such a waste.

  • Anonymous says:

    I wonder why everyone comments about heat yet not about the extensive products and steps that many "naturals" go through to achieve the "curly" look. If people are interested in being purists then they ought to wash and go, a la Florida Evans–no eco styler, twists outs or curly whip. How natural are you if you can only achieve your "look" with a 12 step process?

  • Anonymous says:

    SOOOOOOO WHATTTTTT!!!!!!! WHO CARES HOW SOMEONE ROCKS THEIR NATURAL HAIR. ITS HAIR. NOT THAT SERIOUS PEOPLE. REALLY!

  • gs says:

    Ok, potentially there may be a need to change up the terms a little. Something that speaks to being "psychologically natural" or embracing true texture. I don't know how that can be summed up in a word for those that once relaxed. I can't really claim curly, because my 4c-z hair doesn't come off like that.

    I think that using the word "natural" defines identity in relation to a product (lye, dye, etc.) rather than what we love most about our hair itself (the texture, the kinks, the afro).

    I kinda like saying "I'm kinky" instead of "I'm natural" – though has pseudo-sexual connotations, I kinda like the edgy-ness of saying it in relation to my hair.

    BTW, does anyone know the history behind the word Afro and who used it first? Perhaps someone could get some inspiration to re-define the natural identity with a word more encompassing of the texture and not the "lack of use of some product".

  • arnold says:

    i feel like being natural is about versatility and if someone wants to press their hair from time to time its no big deal. Personally I don't ever want to straighten my hair, but to each is there own.I would only have a problem if they would never be caught dead with their natural texture and only press/ wear weaves. Its kind of missing the point about being natural; embracing your natural kinks and curls. I would feel like they still have a problem with their natural hair and they don't see it as beautiful which is sad.

  • diamondcurls says:

    Natural to me means being true to who you are. I don't care how you wear your hair. If you are happy then so am I. It kind of sounds like going natural is being thought of as a club somehow and if you break the rules you are out. Don't judge me on what I do with my hair because I don't judge you. JMO.

  • Anonymous says:

    Personally for me, natural means no relaxer. I don't care about color or if the girl wants to straighten her hair. The problem for me is if they want to wear weaves constantly with no break and always hide their real hair.

    I don't think we should hate on those who chose to press their hair. In the end, hair is hair. Its a personal choice.

    When I went to the Atlanta meetup, some girls gave me the stink eye because my hair was straight and little did they know, that was my first time wearing my hair straight IN A YEAR! I love my waves and coils and it hurt that SOME girls would be so immature to behave that way.

  • Anonymous says:

    I figured part of being natural was loving you for you. I "personally" think constant straighting or manipulating curls to look like "good hair" is hiding who you are.

    But hey,its your life,enjoy it. Just don't get on the permies case. You're hiding/conforming too.

    Personal opinion,not fact. (^_^)

  • Anonymous says:

    SMH… a person can be natural and not be anti-straight. I like straight styles and kinky styles equally. They are both equally beautiful. To me, kinky styles make a woman stand out more since it isn't the norm. I currently prefer to wear my hair kinky because of the newness of my hair being relaxed for 20+ years. But that doesn't take anything away from straight hair styles and it also doesn't mean 2 years from now I won't want to wear straight styles more frequently….

    My motives for going natural was to change my view of kinky hair not to become anti-straight. I love and embrace my kinky hair. I wear my hair kinky 90% of the time. But every once in a while, I will, using a blow dryer and flat iron, straighten my hair. And so what? I like that, too.

    And wearing my hair straight does not take anything away from my love of my kinky hair, it just means I needed a change.

  • bkKinksnCurls says:

    Natural can be taken to extremes: perhaps truly natural is not even using the chemicals available in shampoos and conditioners. In which case, this would be a state that most of us would find hard to achieve. This debate reminds me a bit of the debate over the interpretation of the Bible and those who argue over the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law. I would say the letter of "natural" law would be no coloring, no heat, no chemicals. I would say the spirit of the "natural" law is to honor your hair by causing as little damage to your delicate strands whenever possible and above all to be proud of the unique and beautiful texture that grows out of your head. My personal choice is to follow the spirit of being natural. No, I don't think that if you press, that you are showcasing your hair in its natural state…but twist outs and braid outs aren't curl patterns that happen naturally either; yes, they are healthier options for the hair when styling but one can argue over whether they are "natural".

    I don't think being natural is like a license that can be revoked if you happen to press your hair. Those who do, should just be conscious of the possible ramifications to the health of the hair, and those who don't should politely mind their own business. To me, pressing seems like an unnecessary hassle (aesthetically and practically). But unless you wake up in the morning and put pure water on the hair you were born with and that's all you do, then we all alter our hair in some way, even if it's just slightly. So let's stop finding excuses to exclude and marginalize others and focus on ways to be more inclusive to the goal of being natural: which is positive hair health and positive self image.

  • The Melanista says:

    Funny story…

    I was lurking on another natural hair forum (shall remain nameless) and they had a whole thread dedicated to heat damage. They are so anti-heat, anti-straightening, they affectionately call it "heat-laxing". Clearly, they do not condone the use of heat of any sort and enforces to their posters to post nothing about it; unless it's from a bad experience with heat. Basicially trying to discourage others to try it.

    Anyway, after 20 months of growing my hair naturally, I pressed my hair for the first time about a month ago and I posted pics on my fotki page. The next day I received an email that one my my fotki friends removed himself from my friend list. He happened to be a frequent poster on that hair forum and I knew he removed himself because of my pressed hair. So he felt it necessary to "de-friend" me because of my style choice. Are you serious??? In my mind, I was thinking, "Dude, keep it moving!!! I don't know you and you damn sure don't know me!" I say all that to say that what I decide to do with MY hair is my business. Miss me with the natural hair nazi nonsense! I couldn't care less about what anyone's definition of natural is, because guess what, we all have different definitions and different reasons why we wear our hair the way we do. I found it extra petty and the tone of that site is like a natural hair cult! They seem extra judgemental and very closed minded, in my opinion. Will I press again in the future? It's likely, but I love my kinky hair much more. If I want to break the monotony for a little while, let me do that. It's a waste of energy worrying about someone else's personal hair journey.

  • Annie L. says:

    Agree with Shamed Face and I'd also like to write that I admire and commend the tone of her reply. Though most of the posts were in support of women who heat straighten and expressed frustration at a topic they considered 'old hat' and divisive; reading through the comments, I was a little alarmed at how aggressive or even explosive the tone of some of the replies was. I have been guilty of this as well. I abhor censorship and dislike people suggesting 'appropriate' ways to express themselves, some of the virtual yelling just made me pause and consider the differences between the online communities I frequent, my input, and in light of that, what I hope to get out of them. Sorry to be OT.

  • BeautifulMess says:

    Okay…. I don't usually post responses to questions but I figure… why not?

    If a woman straightens her hair, good for her… using ANY method she chooses. Pressing hair does not bother me at all. She's still natural. I think that the reason that it bothers some women who are natural is simply because of their individual motives for going natural. Some people take other people's hair practices to represent a lot more than what they actually do. I did not go natural for any reason related to my personal opinion of myself, how the world sees me, or any deep personal revelation about self-love… no disrespect intended to the ladies who did. I did it because I wanted more versatility and I saw a picture of a woman with pretty hair…. NATURAL HAIR. I think the problem comes in when women assume that everyone went natural to "be unique" or for "self-love" or something of that nature… and everyone wants no heat, no color, ect. I've heard the opinions that relaxed hair is a form of conforming to the norm, but if all naturals have to be the same, what's the difference? Imposing your view of what it means to be natural on someone else is unfair. Do all naturals listen to the same music or wear the same type of clothes? What ever happened to just liking how your hair looks? What happened to just being you. I think that straight hair is just as beautiful as kinky… and I intend to rock both with pride.

    If a natural woman wants to straighten her hair… I say good for her. I hope it turns out the way SHE wants it cause it really has nothing to do with me.

  • Anonymous says:

    All I know is this, I've been "natural" for the past 5 years. I don't know what that means to the rest of the world but to me that means that I no longer relax my hair. I don't flat iron it or straighten it in anyway and even it I did, it wouldn't make me any less natural. I find it very interesting how back in the day how my mother didn't need anything but shampoo, conditioner, and a hot comb to care for my hair and it was VERY healthy might I add. And nowadays folks swear we need everything from grass, milk, and all kinds of organic this and that. It's hair people, and if it's not your hair, it is not not YOURS to worry about. Black women, yes black women need something to own, but you cannot own what other people choose to do with their hair. Get over yourselves and worry about self. And then you would realize that all the little stuff doesnt even matter. If this argument isn't much like the brown paper bag I don't know what is. If it's not one thing it's another. Will we ever evolve past ignorance and things that are flat out petty?????? I DOUBT IT!!!!! SAD!

  • Anonymous says:

    If we all shaved our heads tomorrow, I wonder which "issue" we would find to debate next. (ie: How bald does a person have to be in order to be considered truly bald?)

  • Anonymous says:

    I've blow dryed and pressed n' curl for most of my life, but have never put a perm in my hair. Just like bantu knots, two-strand twist, and curly afro, the press n' curl is a style. A natural hair style used for women who do not decided to get a perm. To me natural means that you have not chemically altered the state of your hair.
    As far as I'm considered wear your hair the way you want. Not everyone is comfortable with wearing there hair in its natural state whether it be due to their job, judgement from family and friends, or just plain discrimination…

  • Branddiggy says:

    In the words of my girl India.Arie. I am NOT my hair! Natural=no chemicals, press it, flat iron it, twist it, loc it…it's all love!

  • Candace4life says:

    Check out this gorgeous picture of naturalchica aka nikkimae2003 fellow youtuber. She was a bridesmaids for a friends wedding, and her hair isn't straightened. So it can be possible to still be natural and not have straight hair.

    http://blkgirlsrock.tumblr.com/post/3984753419/thenaturalchica-me-at-a-friends-wedding-as-a

  • april says:

    If you decide to wear your natural hair straight then by all means do it. I'm not going to call a woman natural or not, whatever she wants to be called then that's what it is. I wear my curls all the time and I'm proud of them. If my hair were straightened and not by chemical means, I'd probably call it unprocessed, but not so much natural. All in all, its up to the woman. I'm not the natural hair police

  • Anonymous says:

    Whenever I think "natural hair" the first thing that comes to mind is kinky, coily and wavy hair textures.

    But the whole pressed hair thing doesn't bother me. It's just hair, it's just someone else's opinion.

  • Anonymous says:

    Oh no not this debate again! Whatever I do to my hair is nobody's business. I straighten it, leave it curly, fluff it out into a huge fro… Whoever cares that much about my hair should really get a life LOL

  • Brianna says:

    If we put things into perspective, natural hair doesn't always mean healthy hair. Just like being skinny doesn't always mean you are healthy. This is important to remember when we start to judge people based on appearances. Let people do what they want with their hair. It shouldn't make anyone mad.

  • Anonymous says:

    "i meant hypocritical"

  • Anonymous says:

    Ok… we can take this a step further because I feel that some of us are being a little hypicritical.

    I've noticed that many on this board have their opinion, "as long as it is HEALTHY," etc.

    What does that mean exactly? Do we have a right to judge someone, or feel some kind of way if WE feel that there hair isn't "healthy?"

    Maybe we need to define healthy, because argueably any kind of heat is "unhealthy" especially since we wouldn't dare put 200 degrees of heat on our skin, correct?

    My point is that, what someone else is doing, their appearance, their health, etc is their bizness. Period.

    Otherwise, how can you get mad for naturals with unaltered hair having their opinions about naturals who press it out?

    It is their opinion, and honestly… who really cares? DUH WINNING!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Straightening natural hair doesn't bother me and idk why it bothers others. To me natural means you're not chemically altering your hair with relaxer. In fact I've been natural for 3 years and only since October have I worn my hair without straightening. I like my hair straight. It was only when I decided (on this 1 VERY rare occasion) to do a wash and go and realized "heeeeeeey why are the ends still straight" that I became more aware of what heat does to my hair. Honestly when I wore it straight I thought I was being careful because I only used heat on my hair once a week lololol smh. Either way, the fact that women straighten their natural hair regulary doesn't matter to me I'm just happy that they're not risking their health by using stinky relaxer ewwwwww lol (just kidding about the "ew" but relaxer does smell pretty terrible)

  • Anonymous says:

    In general, people need to stop being defensive about their styling choice. I find that people who are this way are actually insecure about the choice they have made and are looking for external signs of support. Whether bald, weaved, loced, braided, relaxed, lacefront (ed), heatstraightened or kinky, just be content with YOUR choice enough not to try and make life miserable for others who chose differently. And by all means, keep your hair clean!!! Nothing worse than smelling dirty hair!!! LOL

  • Amber says:

    I can't be so bothered to care. And I'm speaking as someone who's thinking about straightening her hair this weekend.

    Though if we were to have a longer talk, I'd have to ask if it was just a style to change things up or if it's a deeper seated thing. Like would she *never* consider showing her real hair texture?

    Even so: at the end of the day, she's living with her hair not me.

  • KeetaRay says:

    It doesn't bother me at all. I wear my hair as I like and I'd hope other women would do the same, whatever that means to them 🙂

  • Queenofthe4s says:

    I don't think until someone has seen their true, virgin texture with NO heat damage can they appreciate the difference in their hair after it's been consistently pressed.

    If you've pressed from the beginning, then you are more likely to think that the irregular/looser curl pattern is "just your texture" and that is not the case at all.

    Consistent pressing= heat damage, but to each his own..

    queenofthe4s.blogspot.com

  • Anonymous says:

    just a question… who comes to a hair blog to talk about "more pressing issues"?… I can not relate but I understand where the writer is coming from. I just think that if you didn't know you'd think a pressed girl was relaxed especially if she is Black… being relaxed is practically a cultural practice lol just saying 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Oh man….here we go again

  • Jeannette says:

    Although I don't care if a natural wears her hair straight or not, I sometimes wonder why a natural would ONLY choose to wear it straight all of the time. However, I'll straighten my hair every now and then but for the most part, it's in twists, braids, a fro etc. I once saw the Tyra Show and it was Natural vs. Relaxed Women. There were like three natural. One bald, one with straight hair that was flat ironed and one I think had extensions. Tyra said that the only person on the panel she considered natural was the bald headed Woman. Now, although I feel that Tyra was judgmental, I can see where she came from because if you're gonna show your natural hair, wearing it straight can be somewhat misleading. But it also shows how myopic society's views are about natural hair because we can wear it in a variety of styles.

  • Anonymous says:

    i haven't read the rest of comments but i just wanted to say i find these types of topics RIDICULOUS! nobody gets to decide who or what u are except YOU! who cares what ppl say and why are ppl so concerned about what other ppl are identifying as anyway? why does it bother you so much? this applies not just to hair but issues of racial identification as well. I have yet to encounter any other group of ppl who spend so much time defining subgroups and who belongs and who doesn't and judging ppl's self identification etc etc. it really is asinine when you think about all the other things we could be throwing all this thought and energy into instead of judging each other.

  • Pecancurls says:

    I say do you and do whatever makes you feel fierce that day! 🙂 If you see another sister and she looks just as fierced whether relaxed, flat ironed or otherwise pay her a compliment and we can all just get along.

  • Jeannette says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think London2011 said it best. The natural community needs to be more open minded…remember we were all born natural and because you chose to go back or stay natural doesn't mean you've got the market on how everyone should wear their hair. I'll be 17 months into this journey and once I reach my 2 year mark..straight hair here I come!! I will flat iron and be very careful with my hair, but I will wear more straight styles than curly styles cause that is what I want to do. Everyone should do what works best for them!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Why do we always have to look for ways to create division? Just worry about you, let others take care of themselves.

  • AishaSaidIt says:

    I don't have time for group mentality. I fully plan to straighten my hair whenever I feel the urge to. If this means I get my natural flag lowered to half-staff, then it is what it is.
    I am over using chemicals to alter my hair. And I am also over wigs/weaves and anything that pulls on my scalp. It bothers me that people who relax their hair are normal (no title needed) but to decide to NOT DO SOMETHING means you get a title and a whole list of rules to go with it. ?? You can take my natural card and burn it, I’m over that too.

  • Carla says:

    For me, I never had a relaxer, but for all of my teens and early 20's I pressed my hair within an inch of its life. I did not consider myself natural looking back – but that's me. I don't berate anyone who choses to do the same though.

  • Anonymous says:

    One of the reasons why I stopped relaxing my hair was because I was bored with my hair. Personally, I wanted more versatility. When I first went natural, I straightened my hair by pressing it with a hot comb. Eventually I got into twist and curls as well as braid and curls. Years later I don't straighten my hair anymore but I do wonder whether I will ever get the urge to straighten again. I personally love the versatility of natural hair. There is nothing wrong with switching it up from time to time if one chooses to. The important thing to remember is to take care of your hair by conditioning it and be careful with the heat if you choose to use it.

  • Anonymous says:

    WOW.. HAIR IS JUST HAIR! WHO CARES IF THEY WEAR IT STRAIGHT OR NOT.. IT'S THEIR HEAD.. I wish a "natural" would judge me because I use a flat iron. I wear my hair curly now but I always used a flat iron from the time I went natural in 2005 til December of last yr. And I never had a problem with damage or length. SO all these natural nazi women can kick rocks! 🙂
    Just my opinion

  • Anonymous says:

    Being natural encompasses a wide range of styles and styling options. I suggest less focus on categorizing, labelling, judging and more focus on supporting, encouraging, accepting.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think sometimes people take things to another level of foolishness with hair.There more serious things going on in the world than worrying about if someone is pressing their hair or calling themselves a fully natural. It's their hair not mines! I think this is why some people are turned off to natural people who want to waste time giving someone the side one because they were a weave, press, flat iron really! I have experience the snub first hand from other naturals because I were weaves but its my choice!(I can laugh because my hair was longer than theirs lol) I would say some people need to find a hobby or do more with their time!

  • Anonymous says:

    On a personal case by case basis, it doesn't bother me in the slightest.
    Do you.
    What does concern me in the broader scheme of things is the message we're sending our daughters about their hair being 'good enough' and to our sons about the perception of beauty.

    That said, curly haired women all over the world start their day blow drying or flat irong their curls away…again, do you.

  • Anonymous says:

    well said NikNak.

  • NikNak says:

    CORRECTION: A naturally straight haired person isn't going around calling themselves "natural."

  • NikNak says:

    And it is very plausible not to have the term. The term in itself seems to be something only used by curly-haired folks. A naturally straight-haired person is going around calling themselves "natural."

    And I might narrow it even more and say it's predominantly used in the Black community. My non-Black friends don't call themselves "natural." When they sraighten their hair, they say they straighten it. They don't qualify it with "but I'm natural though."

    Like what is the big deal about not wearing a relaxer, if you are going to do the same thing but through a different method? Relaxers are killing folk. So what is the deal?

  • NikNak says:

    I think I'm usually the one bringing up the question about what is "natural."

    Firstly, I am NOT opposed to chemical relaxers. Many women have lived their entire lives relaxing their hair and it hasn't broken off and actually looks gorgeous.

    With that said, when I (emphasis on 'I') think of going natural, I think of it as having a meaning more than achieving the same ends through different means. I think of it as embracing one's true self, i.e., the natural texture of your hair. I guess it's something very personal what someone chooses to do to their hair.

    But then I ask, what is the purpose of the distinction in the first place then. If I'm not supposed to care about what "natural" means, then what is the point of having it? It's like before there were regulations regarding 'organic' food.

    I mean if we are going to make a big deal about having this category in the first place, wouldn't that mean it matters what is included in this category?

    Again, if there is no specific meaning of natural, or it changes depending on what the person feels, then WHAT IS THE POINT? Why even have the term?

  • Anonymous says:

    I say as I always say, "do u." Whether your hair is relaxed or natural – pressed or has color. As long as u are doing U and you are happy to hell with what others think and say! Do you.

  • curlsoncampus says:

    I commented on something like this on another post. I don't see what the big deal is. Everyone says they love their natural hair because of the versatility. Can the pressed and curly/kinky/wavy naturals sip a cocktail and chill the heck out! It's not that deep! Sheesh.

    To me, natural hair is hair that is not chemically altered. For those with heat damage, they are naturals with heat damage…

  • Anonymous says:

    Subject change: Has anyone seen/purchased that new Milani glitter nail polish at Walgreen's…it's HOT!

  • Latoya says:

    @Anonymous at 10:13 a.m.

    Thank you 🙂

    All of this banter takes the fun out of getting good tips and advice on these sites. Let's not forget that hair is "dead". You don't bleed if you singe your hair. There are much more "pressing" issues to argue about.

  • Anonymous says:

    P.S. I don't have the energy or desire to blow-dry, flat-iron (did enough of that when I was relaxed) but for those want to…leave them alone!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Ladies can we just keep it SIMPLE? If a woman doesn't relax her hair with chemicals she is in fact NATURAL despite her pressing, blow-drying, flat-ironing. If some of you went crazy with using heat and messed up YOUR hair and don't want to use heat anymore then more power to you but STOP judging others who do! Just like it's your hair, it's their hair and they're entitled to do whatever they want to it, if they screw it up then they'll have to deal with that consequence!

    I'm a 50 something newbie natural myself (B/Cd in August 2010) whose really enjoying knowing and appreciating her texture (I had a relaxer since I was 15 and never experienced some of the bad effects some of you had but was tired of all the chemicals and after seeing what some of you lovely young woman could do with textures similar to mine, decided to take the plunge and I couldn't be happier!) But, I swear some of you women who spend your time obsessing over hair on this site and other sites really suck the life out of a sista so I learn to take in all the good tips, advice and ignore all the nonsense such as this topic but I just had to chime in!

  • Anonymous says:

    OMG! Really give it a rest,

  • JustTrena says:

    Agree 100% with GS and Ashleigh!! Leave folks alone already…

  • Anonymous says:

    What annoys me, are people with such militant view points. I don't generally use heat in my hair, I may blow dry on occasion, but for the most part I wear my hair in an updo, wash n go, or a braidout. My choice not to use heat, particularly direct heat, is because it may cause incurable damage. However, if I choose to use heat, direct or indirect, that is my prerogative. The same mentality that forces people into the "good hair" and "bad hair" categories is the same mentality that forces people into the "real natural" or "natural who presses" categories–that is, the need to feel superior. Seriously, those militant naturals need to get a life, jump off their pedestals, and realize that people are entitled to express themselves however they see fit. I know going natural is a liberating, but the beauty of it is, accepting one's self and loving what you see. Loving your hair does not mean you may not have the desire to change it up from time to time. Come on.

  • PhenomenallyMe says:

    No matter how liberated we get, there is still always something wrong with what one is doing. I am transitioning and just got a blowout for the second time this year, yesterday. I was absolutely against it after the first time because the lady who did my hair really made it an unpleasant experience. More heat than I had ever dealt with and it was painful as well…I tried again yesterday because I found a HAIR SCHOOL in DURHAM, NC called Regency who did blowouts for $9. I have an interview tomorrow and this week is a lazy week. So I went and had an amazing experience. They took their time on my hair and it looks great.
    I see nothing wrong with having straight hair if it someone is natural or trying to go natural. It is nothing different from putting dye in one's natural hair. If your hair is healthy and you feel good about it, thats pretty much all that matters.

  • Rae says:

    I normally don't do this but the dialogue has tickled my fancy. When my mother decided to embark on her natural hair journey with me, I would tease her and tell her that she couldn't be "part of the club" because of the grade of her hair. All she needs to do is get in the shower and her hair curls right up. No additional products needed. And when she would decide to use a curling iron, her hair would be soft & flowy like she stepped right off the cover of a magazine. I, on the other hand, would need a blow torch to get my hair straight sans a relaxer. But after reading this article, I feel pretty bad about the jokes I've made. What makes my Mommy any less natural than I am? We both have eliminated the use of any chemicals on our hair for the purpose of straightening or altering the texture. And while we both have very different reasons for going natural, she has changed her whole lifestyle. That's a lot more than I can say. Thanks for this eye-opening article. I won't be making those jokes anymore!

  • Anonymous says:

    yeah, i don't get the heat phobia at all. while some people do and have deliberately used heat to "relax"/damage their texture, it's a good way to achieve a different look and can be done safely on hair.
    i was getting blowouts regularly for a while but moved to an area where no one can do them, and charge through the roof for their rather lame attempts, so that changed how i handled my hair (now only straightened to get it cut). it made it easy to wrap up and of course keeping hair tangle free meant that the only hair that came out was what was shed. but it's a bad method if you live in a rainy area or if you work out a lot (which is the case now).
    i have no issues with relaxers and had really nice relaxed hair, and if you prefer pressing or blow outs, that is great too.
    but why is this surprising? you have people claiming that people with curly or wavy hair aren't natural either, and that is just about the most stupid thing I've read.
    what is so funny to me as always is that black people obsess over this minutiae regarding hair and non-black people just see black and don't really care. this idea that there is a more favorable way to look black is silly too (unless you are being judged by other black people, who clearly have some issues).

  • Anonymous says:

    really wow!!! we continue to create divisions among ourselves with topics like this! what about the lady who doesn't press her hair out but adds a nice color… is she " natural" too?

    To each is own. Let whoever wants to press,press… and those that don't, don't!

  • lolol says:

    Wow… Really?? This topic is the pettiest of them all. Sounds like this trend is going to end in bloodshed..lol

  • Anonymous says:

    I simply don't care how other people choose to label their hair. There are just too many other things to think about.

  • Anonymous says:

    To each his own.

  • Anonymous says:

    Let me just say this. Naturals who are pressed tend to push their pressedom on naturals who are kinky. LOL.

    Seriously… the one time I pressed out my hair everyone (the pressed naturals, that is..lol)was like, "OH ARE YOU GONNA KEEP YOUR HAIR LIKE THAT!?" "Isn't it much easier to manage, PRESSED?" LOL…

    Trust me, the pressed naturals can mind their business, too.

    🙂

  • DrChuck24 says:

    excuse my ghettoness…but I just simply do not give two flying fudges about whether a natural chooses to straighten her hair or not. We have options. It's their hair. Natural means no chemicals. *shrugs*

    You know when I was relaxed, there was no beef between the women tlaking about "Oh you aint a true relaxed person unless you use that Motions…" or "Oh you aint a true relaxed person since you wear your hair in pin curls all the time.." or whatever -______-

    (Why must the minority of ANY-and-EVERYTHING divide themselves even further?????????)

  • Anonymous says:

    In my honest opinion, if your hair is chemically altered to stay permanently straight then u are not natural. Even if you are a natural and u use a flat iron, you are still a true natural. It's the chemical alteration that makes it no logger natural. Just because people use a flat iron and uses heat on natural hair it now means that u arenot a true natural? That is so silly. So if I use some other heat on my hair such as a blow dryer or bonnet to dry my hair, would I be a natural that uses heat? Natural hair aka virgin hair is hair not altered by straightening chemicals. Can we all just get along? Lol

  • Anonymous says:

    i don't think anyone is against people straightening their hair. i say do you BUT i don't view someone as being natural if they press their hair so often that their texture changes. doesn't mean i have issues with that person's choice. i'm all for it. doesn't mean i have to see the person as natural either and i don't think the person should care if i do or don't to be honest

  • Ashleigh says:

    I think that the people who have enough time to gripe about who shows their true texture and determine who is truly no heat using natural is a self loathing individual with too much time on their hands. If you are satifisfied with your own hair and your decision to manage it either naturally or whatever then you really would not be concerned with how other women wear theirs. Be natural and be happy.

  • Anonymous says:

    I blow out (works better for me than a press) my hair to straighten it every two weeks and wear it straight or bantu knots or waves etc. Sometimes I do not want to/nor do I feel I have to have my hair curly all of the time. Its MY HAIR, its HEALTHY so what is the beef? This whole "natural" craze and what it means to be a "REAL" natural has gotten totally out of freaking hand. What you do with YOUR hair is no one's g-damn biz.

  • London2011 says:

    My two pence as i live in the UK:

    Having natural hair which for me is defined as not altering your natural texture with chemicals (relaxer,keratin or texturizer) does not waive the rights to straightening your hair. Creativity and versatility are there for a reason and should be embraced.
    I really get bored of doing the same ol' style so straighten and then will go back to my first love which is braid outs. At the mo my hair has two textures and braid outs don't last so i lightly blow dry as that works for me.When i reach my 2 years post relaxer i will cut off my relaxed ends and will most likely do braid outs and straighten on special occasions. The natural hair movement needs to be more open and not so narrow,its fun embracing your kinks but its nice to change once in a while and people shouldn't be made to feel bad what they do with their hair.I think sometime we can be too nosey its not really our problem as long as the hair healthy straight or not.

  • Chaunece says:

    I don't really have a problem with pressed maturals as I do many different things with my hair including press. I guess my annoyance however is in the fact that they always have to announce their naturalness even though they always wear their hair pressed. It gives off a message like "No I don't want to wear my natural texture, but I just wanted to let you know that I got my hair this straight without a relaxer." Basically just another way of saying "I have good hair"
    Additionally, pressed naturals are always complaining about their hair not staying straight. If you want your hair to be straight all the time then get a relaxer! That's how hair that is not naturally straight stays straight. *shrugs*

  • Anonymous says:

    OMG Can't believe that people are still arguing about this. shhhhh 🙁
    the most important thing is to have healthy hair, doesn't really matter if its pressed or all kinky/coiled/curly.
    I just want people to knw how to take care of the enigma that is our hair and be happy the rest is just a wast of time, like looking for the perfect curl definition

  • Anonymous says:

    I think it is ridiculous to say that a woman who presses her hair is not natural. So what…I wore my hair in braids, twists and twist outs all year long no heat or NOTHIN' and the one time out of the year I press my hair, I'm not natural for the day? LOL. Come on, son.

    On the other hand, I had a discussion the other day and I do think that a woman who would not be caught dead with her natural hair in its natural state and therefore continuously presses her hair has some internal issues to deal with.

    …..Everyone has a right to their opinion, but I really don't think THAT hard about it. Meaning, I don't really care what someone else (especially a random person) is doing with her hair. It is none of my business.

  • Anonymous says:

    Frankly it's no one's business what anyone decides to do with their hair. I am a natural who wears lace front wigs or braids at times; and frankly I don't know if I'll ever wear my natural kinks or curls in public. I have co-workers who are naturals and press their hair. The primary goal in my mind is for black women to achieve healthy hair and if you can achieve that with relaxed, natural, naturally pressed, wigs, weaves, etc., then do it.

    Each of us may have had a different reason for going natural so for some to insist that to be trully natural you must showcase your kinks and curls is really not a topic worthy of debating.

  • Anonymous says:

    gs, I agree.

  • Unknown says:

    No, it doesn't bother me if a natural presses her hair. Even though I'm natural, I still like the look of straight hair. I wear my natural kinky curls on a daily basis, but I will press my hair twice a year just to switch it up.

    I think some naturals who are bother by pressed naturals is that they may view is as 'what's the point'. Why are pressed naturals still trying to emulate relaxed hair. In their minds, the purpose of being natural is not to conform to those standards which have been unfairly placed upon us.

    I think some naturals view it as the pressed natural is still afraid to show their true texture.

    The fact that there is still a divide with women after going natural is sad in my opinion. Live and let live.

  • gs says:

    OMG…WHO gives a isht! Lets leave the "expectations" out of it already. If your natural and you press your hair, great. The more information out there to care for all OUR hair the better. Set up the blogs, strike up the youtube tutorials. The more the better. For those of us who are natural and don't, and want to find the best ways to live a no lye, no heat lifestyle great too. Just put it all out there, but don't put any expectations on me to do one or the other.

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