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Curly Nikki

Black People Who Don’t Like Natural Hair

By January 27th, 202161 Comments

Black People Who Don’t Like Natural Hair

A Natural Hair Discussion
by Dr. Phoenyx Austin

I was part of a discussion this past weekend where the hot topic of choice was black people who don’t like natural hair. The discussion was actually initiated after I received a tweet from a beautiful natural haired girl who asked for my opinion on why black men don’t like natural hair.

Now questions like this are often a touchy subject for black women, and black people in general, but I wanted to offer my honest opinion. So what was my response? Basically I responded that it’s been my observation that most of these black men who dislike natural hair actually have a “complex” – most often due to systematic brainwashing. I don’t think it’s as simple as just having a “preference.”

But do I get angry at or bash these black men? No. Not especially when I see how they (and black women) are flooded with images of a certain “standard of beauty.’ And not especially when these same black men even witness so many black women lending validity to this “standard of beauty” when we choose to alter our appearance to look more like our non-black female counterparts.

And for me, the natural hair issue is really no different than the “color complex”- namely where black people have a preference and greater acceptance for lighter skinned individuals. So when it comes to my opinion on black men who dislike natural hair and have other “preferences,” if I were to put myself in these young black man’s shoes and attempt to think like them, my thought process would go something like this: “Why get the generic, imitation doll when what I really want is the Barbie?” Get my drift?

Sometimes we make jokes about these complexes in the black community- think Uncle Ruckus from The Boondocks- but it’s actually a very serious topic. And the issue is not limited to the United States. For instance, I was reading an article in The Grio just yesterday about the growing trend of skin bleaching in Jamaican slums. It appears that despite widespread health warnings, many adult Jamaicans are obsessed with using risky methods to lightening their own and even their children’s skin. The story created much discussion on The Grio’s site, and many black people here were quick to make statements about how “sad” and “mentally enslaved” those poor Jamaicans are. But for me, this growing practice in Jamaica is no different than when black women in the United States continue to relax their own and their 6 year old child’s hair- especially after we’ve all seen the coda can scene in Good Hair.

Will all black people ever come to a point where we’re totally accepting of our natural beauty? I don’t know. The sad truth is that people, not just black people, do harmful things to themselves to look like other people all the time. It’s nothing new. But if anything at all, maybe continuing to have these types of discussions about race and natural hair, no matter how uncomfortable, will be a source of support and enlightenment for the individuals who are truly yearning to come to a place where they can finally accept and love themselves.

What do you think when a black person says they don’t like natural hair? Is it an issue of brainwashing or just plain preference?

Want to know more about Dr. Phoenyx Austin? Then show her some love on her Facebook fan page and follow her on Twitter @Dr_Phoenyx! Dr. Phoenyx is a physician, writer, & media personality- empowering women by providing fun and informative commentary that encourages us all to be fierce and fabulous!

61 Comments

  • Char says:

    I'm almost fifty and I just started wearing my natural hair for a couple of months now. Havn't had chemicals for a couple of years and cut relaxer out long ago but just got my nerve up to take off the wig and let the world see the real me!! It's amazing how something someone says to you can stick with you in a negative fashion! When I was about 17 ('83) I remember all my friends having relaxed hair and curls but my hair was natural. This really cute guy says to me" hey let's go out" and I was like sure but the he said that I needed to do something to my hair first! That really hurt my feelings and it stuck with me for a long time but the more I wear my natural hair (especially a fro) the more I realize that I look like my mom and I thought she was the most beautiful woman! She passed away when I was 10 but when I look in the mirror now I realize I don't have to relax my hair to be beautiful!!!!! I Am Beautiful!!!!! 🙂

  • Moonlady says:

    Styling is different than Chemically Altering.

  • MoonLady says:

    sorry haha, i had to read your entire comment haha. the first sentence threw me off. haha

  • MoonLady says:

    I feel sorry for you. your thinking is misguided and sad. JAH bless

  • Scylla Charybdis says:

    I got a jheri curl as a pre-teen (I am 38 now) because my step-mother just did not want to wrestle my natural hair every morning anymore. I was somewhat relieved myself but I really hated sitting in the salon every few weeks and after a while I was told I'd have to be the one to make my own appointments and get to the salon on the bus by myself. That was the beginning of YEARS of hair drama. My beautician was like a big sister to me – I spent more time in her shop than I did with my parents by the time I was in highschool (her shop was not far from the school). I used chemicals because I thought there was no other choice and by the time I saw natural hair as an option, I was told my texture was already ruined by the chemicals.

    To make a long story short: I had the curl, a perm, did the Big Chop, permed again, had braids, pressed, stop pressing, and now have locs. Locs = best hair decision ever.

    But that is MY story. I know that many, many African American and multi-racial women struggle with body image, including their hair. I cannot tell anyone that going natural is the holy grail of acceptance. I do think however that coming to peace with your hair is a transformation that begins inside and not out. I was ignorant for a long time of options, and held back by fear (fear that I wouldn't look "right" and therefore would not be accepted).

    Contentment with a choice, even joy in that choice, comes with (I think) maturity, loads of research, and confidence. Support and encouragement are nice if you can get them, but once I was put on the bus at age 12, I was in it by and for myself from then on. Women should have courage to do whatever is right for their bodies and their image. Being natural appears to be a preference – a healthy preference, but a preference nonetheless.

    PS. Chris Rock's "Good Hair" has been mentioned a few times on CN and my biggest beef with the film is that it really did nothing to present natural hair as a viable alternative. At the end, he seems resigned to his daughter(s) perming their hair. They (we) have choices!

  • Anonymous says:

    This post had me in tears, this is the most nicest and honest post I've ever read. Ever response is so eloquent , polite, and well written opposed to the usual rude bashing comments thrown at each other over this subject. How could we let our race become so stupidly by media. Media and society tells us we are ugly for so long we buy it and start to hate ourselves. Being natural, I've noticed black men rarely glance in my direction. It's usually white men. Yeah, I too have been dating more white men ever since I embraced, my 3b, 4a hair texture (I know, I've got two drastic textures , even naturally straight hair 4 years natural). Black brothers are more spread very thin these days. Even though this is my first time on here, I feel so close and quilted with these responses.

    Yeah I guess it is time to let the black men sort themselves out. Most of them are to brainwashed for my liking these days. I've tried to defend them but they are just so nasty.It's time to look elsewhere. Much love everyone and may your hair grow healthier than before.

  • Robin says:

    I've been wearing my hair naturally for 21 years. I like the corkscrew curls I have and it looks good. I get compliments all the time on my hair. However, I'm in the music and film industry where straight hair is preferred throughout. You mentioned standards of beauty and how we as black people have to accept each other as we are. I agree with that. However, when our own black and hispanic brothers and sisters in the media and throughout dye their hair blonder and blonder and wear weaves, and we all look up to them for their talent, of course there is a large majority that want to emulate them. Some the the top paid female actresses and musicians have gone straight and blond with their hair.
    I hate seeing that. Once these artists change, I believe followers will follow.

  • Anonymous says:

    Yes it's due to brainwashing, etc and I'm not gonna waste one moment of my precious time defending self hating black men when the favor is not returned.

    Natural sisters GET UP OUT OF THE HOOD. Move out mix and mingle and I do suggest dating outside the race or you'll be a natural headed SINGLE AND LONELY lady waiting for the purple unicorn the black man who loves your natural hair.

    BW do for self as WE are the black community time to leave it, make ourselves scare@

  • Anonymous says:

    I was scared to wear my hair curly because I had heard that "men don't like curly hair" but I hated how damaging straightening was to my hair and how flat and lifeless it was. I think natural hair is making a HUGE comeback. I now wear my hair curly and I love that guys are attracted to the REAL me. In fact, I wish my hair was even poofier. 'Fros are so cool and really in right now (in the counterculture if maybe not in the mainstream culture).

  • teikyo30 says:

    If I were with a Black girl and she took her hair off at any point, the date would be over. I think those wigs, extensions, whatever are gross. Some things you should just keep natural.

  • Nicki says:

    Honestly, I think some of it could be a preference and other parts of it are brainwashing.
    I'm 18, and my hair has been permed all my life. In the past half year I've been letting it grow natural. I'm holding out to let all of my treated hair grow out, and see how I like a full head of natural hair but it's not looking too good right now.
    Not all of my hair curls, and a lot of it is left fuzzy despite the fact that it's new growth. Natural hair is also harder to deal with. With permed hair as soon as the length almost touches my shoulder I can throw it up in a bun or ponytail, my natural hair will grow nowhere near that long, so I'm stuck with a mid-length fuzzy mess, and that is personally not attractive.

    So personally, it's preference because I like the convenience of hair that I can brush and comb and put into a ponytail.

  • Anonymous says:

    Personally, I don't think short tight afros are pretty at all. When a natural afro is longer in length, well cared for & healthy it looks nice. Unkept, kinky, tight dry afros are not beautiful at all. Just my opinion….

  • africa says:

    This is a very honest intelligent post that did not dissolve into bashing. Our preferences and choices are culturally conditioned by history and society. I also agree with the poster who said we are really talking about disdain for type 4 and up hair. Those with silky curls and waves have always gotten a pass..

    I think this statement is so true:"… the natural hair issue is really no different than the “color complex”- namely where black people have a preference and greater acceptance for lighter skinned individuals."

  • Tonya says:

    I think it is preference..due to brainwashing. I started getting relaxers at 9 yrs old and kept it up for over 30. I thought I had to relaxed my hair or wear a
    Afro. Simply, I think the issue is that Black people didn't know how to take care of kinky hair. Relaxers became a right of passage for black girls. I truly think that as natural hair becomes more popular, it will become the norm. I'm amazed at the beautiful styles natural ladies post on this website.

    I'm the only naturAl lady in my office that wear my hair out. Based on conversations with several ladies, they are scared it won't look good on them. One lady told me that she didn't think it looked professional, but she likes my hair today….I guess that was a compliment. My philosphyis that I'm not trying to convert people, but I will give encouragement and tell my hair story….if asked.

    In the 7mon since I BCed, I realized that people get over the change fast….most people don't care if you are short/long or relaxed/natural. The hardest part is accepting your natural self.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think it's a preference issue. As I always say, "do u." Let me do me and u do u.

  • Anonymous says:

    This is such a frustrating topic! There are a ton of things we as women do to alter our natural appearance. At what point is it due to brainwashing and/or self hatred. Much of the look enhancing things we subject ourselves to are uncomfortable. I know I for one don't enjoy waxing or wearing high heels and underwire bras but that doesn't stop me from doing these things. Furthermore, it's not just "black people" who dislike their natural "selves" People bleach their skin, hair and teeth on a regular basis. Others are obsessed with plastic surgery or binging and purging. I honestly think that unless society becomes less celebrity obsessed, many women of all races will continue with these practices of not fully accepting self as is.

  • ColdDiva says:

    I completely believe that our men have been socially groomed to accept, acknowledge a stereotypical type of beauty with long straight hair. I have heard it first hand from male friend and men I have dated. It saddened me in the past to be quite honest because I thought I was beautiful but it would seem the majority of the type of men whom eyes I wanted to capture differed with my belief. Now that I am a 2 year natural it was even harder to garner the attention of black men because I no longer had mid-back length relaxed hair. So this is the funny thing of it all. Black men no longer seek after me but White men Do! I am constantly told whenever I travel (flight attendant). You're hair is so beautiful, or Oh My God you are such a beautiful woman and your hair is simply gorgeous. I lie to you not it is not a week that goes by that a male caucasian or a white female, feels compelled to stop me and compliment me on my natural hair. And to be honest it feels good to receive a compliment but I just wish my brothas' would see the beauty too.

    Needless to say I am more and more open to dating white men these days…

  • Anonymous says:

    It's a preference based on cultural brainwashing. Why did our female ancestors feel the need to change the texture of their hair? To be accepted by white society and look as less African as possible even if their skin was as black as this typeface. Many years later its become a cultural norm, so what is next skin bleaching en masse so we can have skin colour like Beyonce or Mariah? The black community is messed up on this issue along with Asians changing their eyes, Indians/Africans bleaching their skin. Time to dump these eurocentric beauty standard in the dustbin of history where they belong. No wonder some black men lust and call it 'preference' after white/latina/asian/biracial women cos we mothers, aunties, grannies, sisters are teaching them that the traditional African look is not good enough.
    If a company invented a pill to change our afro hair from coily to straight or wavy permanently they would make billions…(sadly)
    Denny from the U.K

  • Anonymous says:

    I believe it is definitely an issue of self-hate.
    "Preferences" always come from somewhere.
    How could one have such hate for something that grows out of his/her own scalp?
    Someone must have told him/her it was ugly, wrong, unacceptable.

  • Anonymous says:

    So what are your thoughts on men who only date women with natural hair? Personally–I think we all have preference that are influenced by our enviroment and a reflection of ourselves.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think those individuals have been conditioned to believe that straight hair is more beautiful and desirable than natural afro-textured hair. It may be difficult to change that person's opinion after many years of brainwashing, but it is still possible. I don't let people like that tear me down because I know their minds are not in a good place. I love and accept my natural hair texture, but I know that many Black men and women do not love it! I could care less, because I'm at that point in my life where the only opinion that truly matters is my own.

  • ibrock1 says:

    I feel it a matter of preference. To each his own. I don't care who doesn't like my natural hair. I love it.

  • Anonymous says:

    Let's be real here – it's not that some folks don't like "natural" hair. It's that they don't like NAPPY hair (aka that kinky, 4a, 4bcdefg, "slave" type hair as some ignorantly say). If it's naturally silky, shiny, naturally like S curls, they might be down with it. To me, it's self-rejection, brainwash, ignorance, a "preference" to be unlike their true inner selves. A rejection of the blackest ancestry and an unwillingness to come to terms with their history. Some are so so blinded by this self-directed racism that they mistakenly call it a "preference" as if they're exercising a right to free thought – not realizing that they've been programed all these years to self hate and depreciate. Please. They got you, son.

  • Anonymous says:

    I wonder how these black men and boys who reject black women in their natural state would respond if black women (especially the most desirable ones)rejected them in droves for nonblack men with the reason being that"my PREFERENCE is to get with nonblack men , because nonblack men aren't (fill in your own stereoptype of black men here)."
    Just a thought.

  • Anonymous says:

    I was surprised when I went natural how everyone embraced my "new hair." Ironically if anyone does make fun of my hair (i'm a senior in high school) it's always black boys and girls. I definitely agree with the brainwashing complex. There's still a lot of us out there who don't know how to love the way we were made.

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't think it's a preference, and here's why: if you're saying you don't like natural hair, that's not a preference. A preference is saying, "I prefer this kind of hair." No one says, "I don't like wavy hair," they say, "I think wavy hair is pretty, but I personally have a preference for straight hair." See what I'm saying? If someone can say to me, "I prefer chemically-altered hair over a person's natural hair," I'm going to ask them why, since it's not a matter of mere texture anymore, it's a matter of preferring something that isn't authentic, and I'm personally interested in understanding why you would be attracted to something chemically-altered.

    If someone can really explain that to me rationally and clearly, then I'll consider this whole "preference" thing, but for the most part, it is "brainwashing" (although I personally believe that's a little bit too harsh of a term).

    Also, personal experience has led me to confirm that this is "brainwashing." My father has been begging me to get a relaxer claiming that it's the only way my hair will look nice and that I don't want to "look like those people from Jamaica or some place" (I swear, not my words). I find this hilarious because his sister does all kinds of chemical processes to her hair to make it look "decent," and her hair isn't even chin length and actually began to fall out to a point where she had to stop doing them– but then she continued anyway!

    Furthermore, when I asked him why my natural hair wasn't good enough, he had no answer. In fact, he avoided the entire conversation, which is something he NEVER does. He NEVER backs down from arguments, but he didn't have a case. This, to me, cements the fact that this "preference" for relaxed hair is the result of societal conditioning (that's the word I wanted to use).

  • Anonymous says:

    It really depends on the individual as to why they dislike natural hair unfortunately I believe that for my younger brothers, who are 7 and 11, its brain washing. Before I went natural I had long relaxed hair I big chopped after only 3 months of transitioning and my brothers told me that my face was still pretty but my hair made me ugly they said pretty girls need to have light skin and long hair I asked them why and they siad because that's the type of girls you see on tv and in magazines and they told me that they wanted to marry white women because they have the lightest skin and the longest hair needless to say, I was very saddened by this i tried to explain to them the beauty of all skins types and hair lenghts but they just weren't having it

  • kayDub says:

    I believe hair is hair… it's what the individual likes, as a new natural I've come to the understanding that a lot of people don't think that way… but honestly, who cares as long as we love our hair does it really matter… Yes its nice to have other people love your style but if they don't its not the end of the world…. just a young ladies take on it…However, I do understand other generations issues on this matter… a couple of my family members are pissed that I became natural… But I'm not living for them. I'm living for me… so preference, brainwashing either way it shouldn't apply to us. p.s. my boyfriend hates it but he knows where the door is if he can't take it,cause I look and feel great!!!!

    sorry I wrote so much 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Brainwashing, which eventually leads to preference. I have had conversations with little black boys as young as 7 or 8 who are already saying they like girls with long, straight hair, or that they don't like dark skin and kinky hair. It breaks my heart.

  • Yam84 says:

    I can't believe it 😐 I had a great comment and there was an error posting it 🙁 here goes…

    "April 12, 2011 12:03 PM
    Anonymous said…I think its brainwashing and learned behavior. IF your a child who started getting a relaxer early and everyone around you has them… Thats all you know. Ur not intentionally hurting urself or ur kids, but you believe its just normal practice."

    Perfect summation of what I think. It starts at home. If we don't have strong images of beauty there, how can and why should we expect to go out in the world and find them? Most women with relaxed hair have no choice because Mommy makes the choice for them. My mother's reason for relaxing my hair was 'I just didn't feel like dealing with it' 😐 and when it was time for a touch up, she would scrunch her face up at my hair and say 'oooh girl, you need a touch up'…as if to frown on my natural hair. I doubt this experience is not unique to me or other women I know. Her reaction communicated to me that my natural hair was ugly, plain and simple. Can you imagine never knowing what naturally grew out of your head or how to care for it? Astonishing! Honestly I believe the European standard of beauty has ruined many women/people but it's not just specific to the black community. Asian woman lighten their skin and have eyelid surgery, Indian women lighten their skin as to dissociate themselves from the caste system there, Caucasian women nip/tuck, implant, enlarge, snip, starve, binge, purge…Hispanic women lighten their skin and get butt implants…Here is an article about Jamaican women lightening their skin using a cream that is detrimental to their skin because they believe being lighter will give them a better quality of life:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/11/skin-bleaching-jamaica_n_847373.html

    Read Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye…it's not an easy read, but it's powerful. This book was recommended to me by my white high school English teacher.

    I believe we can combat this problem with self love and knowledge. Let's start this at home. I love that mothers are going natural so their children won't want to look like Miley Cyrus 😐

    As for the young men, we need strong male and female role models. Not just entertainers! People with real power and influence. Mothers, Fathers, Aunts, Sisters, Uncles, Teachers…etc!
    The best role model though is a good parent (or person who has immediate contact with the child(ren)).

    Are you a good role model?

    Let's set high standards for ourselves and watch our communities thrive!

    OK, I'm off my soap box 😀

  • Anonymous says:

    A Few thoughts about the article and the comments:

    1. While I do believe that some people of all race and both genders prefer straight hair (for whatever reason), I know that the concept of beauty is SUBJECTIVE. I choose to subject myself to people who are free thinkers with strong convictions and mental flexibility for self examination. Such people aren't usually swayed by a magazine or TV to define ANYTHING for them.
    I'm not really concerned about how others think.

    2. Slave Masters often found themselves attracted to "nappy heads"- as evident by the physical appearance of black Americans today. Sure, some of those interactions were forced (through rape), but many of them were not (i.e Sally Hemmings and PRESIDENT Thomas Jefferson).

    3. No matter how much a society tries dictates an image of beauty, there will always be people whose beauty is undeniable ( a universal beauty, if you will). There will always be people who do not agree with that dictated standard. For example, if you show a tribal Aborigine a picture of a blonde haired, blue eyed white woman and asked hom if he finds her attractive/beautiful, he'd probably look at you like you have 3 heads.

  • Anonymous says:

    "One thing I keep noticing is that we are tying in not liking natural hair with self hate. These are two different things. If someone prefers to wear their hair straight why would this mean they want to be white?

    On top of that, does it mean I hate my hair if I wear twist outs and use curl definers? This is not how my hair grows out of my head. Natural hair shouldn't be turned into another form of tension among black people."

    Read the article.

  • Anonymous says:

    this is a good post.

    i believe every word that black men have been brainwashed about natural hair.

    i live in atlanta and when i see girls from spelman and those other colleges sporting their natural fros and such, it is very powerful.

    this hair of ours is intimidating because it stands up and looks kingly and queenly. so, i strongly believe this natural hair hatred goes back to the slave master trying to whip the slave into submission.

    and i don't think no slave master would want to look at a slave with their fro sitting high like that so thus you have the nappy hair names.

    i tell my husband that he has brainwashed all the time. because i know i am cute and my hair is too.

    i feel like if i don't believe it then why wear it.

    i love my hair. and it is gorgeaous. and i want the world to see that natural hair is all that and maybe i can brainwash my husband and the world.

  • Teira says:

    I know that this is a bit off topic but I found an article from an asian man that has such an enlightened view about natural hair after watching Chris Rock's good hair. He pointed out things I didn't realize and even detected "the complex in himself". I believe that many people aren't aware of it because it's ingrained in our society. But hopefully things will change with time. Here is the blog post:

    http://ranierm.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/asian-guy-speaks-i-think-black-women-have-sexy-hair/

  • Anonymous says:

    I think the trouble also comes from black women who have gone natural, but don't know how to care for their natural hair. They do the same things that they would do to their relaxed hair like using oil stripping shampoo and not conditioning or moisturizing their hair. They don't realize that natural hair needs way more moisture than straight hair. That is exactly how my mom tries to care for her hair and I have to constantly remind her that no you shouldn't use thick grease and a tiny comb. Or that she needs to co-wash and condition her hair. I see so many natural women everyday with dry, brittle looking hair and that's what society sees and they think "is that what black peoples natural hair looks like?" It's just not aesthetically appealing. Before black women start blaming white society they should make sure that they know how to take care of their hair first. We should all work together to let the world see the beauty of natural hair, and manage our hair better.

  • Anonymous says:

    we don't live in a vacuum so it can't be personal preference ALONE although I think it's part of it for some people. Some people prefer relaxers cause they are easier to comb but then they go to the extreme and NEVER get to even know their real hair..that is an effect of brainwashing IMO…Learned behaviour is also a factor..IDK i think it's more complex than plain brainwashing although it is a big part of it.

    I just think we should let this healing take it's time. The more men and women in our community and outside of it see natural women as the norm, the more the reception toward it and understanding of our real hair will change.

  • Na says:

    I get where this article is coming from, but some people prefer relaxers because it is simply easier to comb their hair, is that not also a reason? Its not brainwashing all the time.
    Yea you can have these celebs who young girls look up to (Rihanna, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, etc) start rocking briads, natural texture, oh but wait, when they STOPPED doing that then they becamse MORE popular. Sorry people, you are talking about something that is a lost cause.
    Worry about your community, start your own movements in your community, hold parties, and encourage young girls to be real and themselves.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think its brainwashing and learned behavior. IF your a child who started getting a relaxer early and everyone around you has them… Thats all you know. Ur not intentionally hurting urself or ur kids, but you believe its just normal practice.

    What about the black women that are getting silicone injections in the butts to make them have a bigger butt like the black woman stereotype?? Women are dying due to that..

  • Anonymous says:

    I think that many of us view it as a cultural thing: relaxing hair is just another thing that many black women DO and/or are expected to do. So many of us have our hair relaxed that it has become perceived as "normal." There is no denying that the practice stems from the desire to be more accepted by the mainstream, which has a lot to do with self hatred. But since many black women see relaxed hair as normal hair, that can make natural hair seem almost foreign. And to many, foreign (unfamiliar might be a better term) is out of the comfort zone…just like many other things that are foreign to people of other races are out of their comfort zone. (It's sad that something right on our heads can seem so foreign, but it's the truth!) Obviously it doesn't mean that every black woman who relaxes her hair hates herself. The same can be said for black men: they're just not used to seeing natural hair. It's not normal to them. They might not hate it, they just cannot relate to it.

  • Jeannette says:

    Yes, I do think that those Black Males who don't like natural hair are brainwashed. For instance, I was watching The Wendy Williams Show (which I adore) and Toni Braxton was her guest. For those who watch Wendy, she is a wig Diva lol. I thought it to be sad when she and Toni mentioned that both their Son's like the long hair straight wigs on them, compared to the short ones. At that moment I thought, dang, forget about natural hair because that has gone out the window LOL. Because both Wendy and Toni wear wigs, weaves and they mentioned two other celebrities their son's have crush's on (who also wear wigs and weaves), it's no wonder why certain types of Black Males are brainwashed, it starts in the home.

  • Anonymous says:

    I cringe when people start with the whole "you don't like yourself/self hate" because you wear your hair relaxed. Why can't anyone just accept preferences? I personally prefer my hair natural instead of relaxed and I don't like myself anymore or less because of my choice. Some people just honestly like their hair relaxed and others like their hair natural. Let's try not to knock the choice. Many ladies will continue to wear their hair relaxed because they simply like it that way. The phrase "Self-hate" is thrown around way, way too much!

  • Sharmer says:

    I definitely believe its brainwashing. Society has made us all scared straight of anything that is not considered " the norm", and that includes natural textured hair. Ladies I dont know if you guys realize how much confidence and strength we actually have to say "fu#k society, I am going to rock my hair how it grows from my head." The sad fact is people dont like change, and there are going to be people who think natural curls/kinks=bad hair. Its a sad and ignorant train of thought, but it is what is. Just keep rocking those curls with your head held high ladies!

  • Brianna says:

    One thing I keep noticing is that we are tying in not liking natural hair with self hate. These are two different things. If someone prefers to wear their hair straight why would this mean they want to be white?

    On top of that, does it mean I hate my hair if I wear twist outs and use curl definers? This is not how my hair grows out of my head. Natural hair shouldn't be turned into another form of tension among black people.

  • Curly Girl says:

    Great article! I think it's a combo of both brainwashing until it becomes a preference. The media is flooded with one truth: Music videos, TV shows, commercials, Ads. On a positive note, I for one have noticed a better integration of multiculturalism and more of an acceptance of natural hair in my personal/professional life and in the media. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Some people argue that relaxed hair does not equate to self hate and I agree with that. But I also think that what started the practise in the first place was a disdain for hair that would not stay straight. Starting from the days of slavery when black people slicked down their hair with whatever they could find including kerosene! The idea was to fit into a society that excluded them. The same mentality has been handed down and it's so ingrained that people think it's normal.

    @Chimmy above wrote about her Nigerian experience. I have a similar experience. I am Kenyan and growing up, natural hair was the norm for young girls and also women. It existed alongside relaxed hair, jheri curls etc. Fast forward 10 or 15 years later, most people have relaxed hair and weaves. Back then stylists could work with both types of hair, no one put you down if you had natural hair. Now when you visit a salon someone is likely to suggest a relaxer or tell you that your natural hair is too "HARD" or too difficult to style etc. SOME people have an OPEN DISDAIN for what grows naturally out of their heads. There's definitely a problem!

  • Dr. Phoenyx says:

    Hello Ladies! Thank you for checking out my article and commenting. I wanted to reiterate what I wrote in my article. When asked about the black gentlemen that did not like natural hair, I wrote "MOST of these black men who dislike natural hair actually have a “complex” -MOST often due to systematic brainwashing." That being stated, I do not believe that ALL black people who prefer to wear a relaxer, weave, or whatever, are ALL dealing with “self-hate.” That is a blanket statement that I would never make. Each individual is different. And every adult is free to make their own choices about aesthetics. But ultimately, it is my sincere hope for all us ladies that no matter how we choose to wear your hair, that we all ultimately love ourselves AND support each other despite what society tells us. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts 🙂 And I hope you all have a fab Tuesday! Dr. Phoenyx

  • Anonymous says:

    Good topic!
    Before i went natural i thought natural hair was dirty like u can not wash it comb it etc. because where i used to live they were only a few naturals(mainly homeless men) and their hair were always uncombed+dirty+tangled just a hot mess.. so i automatically thought that natural hair is ugly and for poor people who cant afford a visit in a saloon.. i never knew that natural hair could be beautiful until I accidentally clicked on a natural hair blog..
    also my mum was a hairdresser she influenced me
    a lot with the good hair vs bad hair and light skin vs darkskin stuff!
    Thank god that i educated myself

    EDUCATION IS KEY PPL!

  • Qalil Little says:

    It is crazy that we get so focussed on our own issues with the hair and skin, forgetting that other races are dealing with their own complexes. White women injecting poison into their skin to keep what we take for granted, deaths from butt implants gone wrong, losing hair from the glue of hair extensions because they want to have thick hair like people from India, Asian women getting eye surgeries… I mean it goes on and on and on.

    One thing I have learned about the whole issue regarding hair and skin is that when you stand in confidence and feel sexy about being sexy from the inside, then it doesn't really matter how you wear your hair. The aura you give off will convince people about the way you feel inside.

  • Anonymous says:

    Interesting read… However, while I think the 'brainwashing' may apply to some, I truly believe it is a matter of preference to have relaxed vs natural hair. I can personally say I love my hair in both states and I dont give any credence to one over the other, as my hair is healthy and grew very well in both.

    And to be perfectly honest, maintaining a healthy head of hair, natural or relaxed, is a lot of work. Some just dont have the time, so whatever is easier for them, who are we to criticize their PERSONAL preference…

  • Anonymous says:

    I remember when I first decided to go natural. My younger brother, who is currently engaged to a Caucasian woman, looked at my hair and said "do you like your hair like that?" This question was posed to me in front of a young man I was interested in at the time and all I can remember thinking is, "OMG, does he feel/think the same way?" All of those insecurities I had been struggling with resurfaced. I have never felt more ugly after that question. As much as I love my brother, I will never understand his frame of thinking. He equates long hair with beauty & since "black women can't grow long hair"…..he's dated women who are anything but. Ok so his 1st girlfriend was black but I digress. I feel sorry for him and other black men and women who have brainwashed by our society. For some, going natural isn't a choice. While I have no medical diagnosis, I feel strongly that the continued use of relaxers would have caused severe hair loss and that's a risk I wasn't willing to take. In the two years since I've been natural, I still struggle with insecurities but I have no regrets about my decision. And when I have run across some blacks who are actually bold enough to comment on my hair and wish to perpetuate the constant state of ignorance, I laugh and think to myself, that must be some kind of bliss!

  • Dorian @ Big Apple Style says:

    I understand the idea behind this post, and totally agree that there are a lot of people who are against being natural based on social/historical issues. But the tone of this article also makes the other ultimate assumption that anyone who chooses not to be natural is indulging in self hate and caucasian emulation. This isn't necessarily the truth. Without making the clear statement that; although many people who wear relaxers (or many men do prefer women with relaxed hair) may not want to go curly/natural, it doesn't inherently mean that they're ashamed of who they are or are desperate to pretend to be white; what you're doing is as equally fallacious an argument as the one you're claiming others are making. Yes, I'm wearing my hair natural, but I also have no problem with wearing extensions – and it doesn't mean that I have deep self-hate issues. That argument above is as weak as someone telling me that because I don't wear skirts very often I must be ashamed of my legs – when in reality I wear jeans almost all of the time because of the convenience & comfort factor.

    For some people being natural might be great in theory but isn't something that they're equipped to do – or even interested in doing. We all have to admit that when you decide to wear your hair in it's natural state, that it can sometimes be more time consuming than someone who's used to having their hair relaxed with a simple flatiron or roller set in the evening. Not everyone is up for the time commitment that natural hair can be. So, it's unfair to stereotype all relaxer wearing people as self hating.

  • KeetaRay says:

    Wow. I couldn't have said this better myself! Great post. I have to share this w/some friends…

  • Chimmy says:

    Sonya: I definitely understand where you are coming from. But I honestly do not understand why anyone would ever want to have a thin nose, thing lips and a small butt lol. I love being black. I'm a Nigerian born girl who's lived in America for years. When I went back to Nigeria I saw that relaxers were still very rampant. At the time I was still getting relaxers and my aunt asked me if I wanted to get braids in my hair. Next thing I know we go to a salon, relax my hair and two days later put the braids in. Now I know it was very wrong to relax the hair before hand, but then that's the mentality black people have all around the world. You can't work with that hair, it's too nappy.You would think that Africans would embrace their hair, but if I were to go back to Nigeria with my hair all natural like it is now, wow heads would be spinning lol.

    I love having natural hair, I love not having to freak out about not getting my hair done at the salon.What I really want more than anything for every black person on the planet is for everyone to have a strong respect for natural hair. They may not choose to have natural hair themselves, but they should respect it as much as they respect relaxed straight hair. In all honesty I hate straight hair, to me it's absolutely no fun. I love having big hair that reaches for the sky. My hair looked waaay too thin relaxed lol. Now I have volume, yay!

  • Butterfly3000 says:

    There was a topic several months ago on CN about a girl who doesn't get as much attention from men now that she's natural. I had a discussion about it with my hubby and these were his thoughts. "Depending on the environment, clubs in particular, most black men will holla at the girl/woman with the relaxed hair or weave because there is a preconceived notion that she will give it up quicker versus the natural girl/woman. The natural sista is often times perceived as the girl that you can take home to mom, wifey material, respectable, etc."

    That's just one man's opinion. He likes me any way I do my hair and actually would love a brush cut on me.

    I beleive it is brainwashing which ultimately leads to preference. If all black people lived on an island and never had any connection to western world we wouldn't know that something that we didn't possess even existed. Therefore we would be perfectly happy with our true selves. But as soon as another culture comes over to our island or we venture off to theirs and we begin to procreate and the textures/features begin to change, then the remainder of the population realizes that something is different and new and will try to find ways to immulate it on themselves. Majority rules and no one ever stops to wonder why. Hell we're all on the lookout for the Holy Griale product that will soften our tresses and define our curls so some aspect of the brainwashing still exists for us naturalistas. Unfortunately slavery really, really messed us up and until black people begin to read more and study history/truth we will never have a true love and knowledge of self.

  • Sonya says:

    It's more than brainwashing (as so many have said here). A person of African descent who proclaims that they "do not like" their hair in its natural state, to the extent that they must chemically change the texture, is in essence proclaiming that they "do not like" themselves. Chemically straightening hair, chemically lightening skin, surgically augmenting African features so that they resemble white European features are all symptoms of a bigger issue: SELF-LOATHING. I have listened to ladies and girls debate about this on natural hair and beauty blogs for years. There is no other valid explanation. The white paradigm of beauty = straight, long hair, white skin, thin noses, thin lips, and small butts. If we are lusting after this paradigm, we need to face it and change our wounded, sad thinking.

  • mangomadness says:

    Considering the fact that I did not grow up with "good hair/had hair" and "light skin/dark skin" issue drilled into me by family–I only learned of the phenomena in books on Africana studies when I was older–I would say it's a result of "brainwashing".

    It's sad and inexcusable. I challenge the negative ideas/beliefs surround ding Black folks and there appearance ("good hair/bad hair", "light skin/dark skin", etc) every time I hear them.

  • Breanna says:

    Ladies check out this gorgeous 4b/c interview with Ciprana on BGLH, it's so great to see more women being interviewed with this hair type.
    http://bglhonline.com/2011/04/cipriana/

    ————————————————
    Also well I guess not everyone will like natural hair. I mean on certain days I don't care for it, especially when it's not behaving the way it should. I've often thought of getting a perm and who knows. But I want to try the curlformers and give me a new way of styling w/o over manipulating the hair. But at the end of the day it's your hair whether people like it or not, do what makes you happy and let the naturalness embrace you.

  • StaceyMarie says:

    It makes me sad when another Black person says they don't like natural hair. I cringe every time I hear someone use the term "good hair", as my 19 year old cousin and our 72 year old grandmother have both done. My supervisor, who is also my friend, has emphasized that she doesn't like her 4 yr old daughter's hair "when it's all nappy". Everyone's entitled to an opinion, but it hurts when your opinion is more than whether or not you prefer twistouts or braidouts. Skin bleaching and deciding whose hair is worthy of being unpermed is going to far. Honestly, other Black folks who do not view natural hair as beautiful or sexy are one of my motivations for making sure I always look nice so that I represent the natural family well.

  • BKelz says:

    I think it's brainwashing. I've never had a relaxer and all throughout my life I've heard, "girl you need to get a relaxer". Even my mom and best friend tried to get me to get a relaxer before going off to college. I'm glad I stayed true to me. Most of the ppl who were telling me that probably don't remember ever not receiving a relaxer or never got to an age where they could do their own hair. It would be so different if a woman said, "I prefer relaxed hair" and they actually grew up with natural hair AND styled it for themselves. Trust me there's a big difference in having your mom/grandmom do it when you are younger and doing it for yourself as you get older. And it especially kills me when mothers love their baby's hair (even on little boys and don't want to cut it off) but as soon as the child gets older and that texture changes it's time for a relaxer! Are you kidding me??? Brainwashing with a mix of "good hair/bad hair" mentality.

  • Aishah says:

    It depends on the person. I think different people dislike natural hair for different reasons. Sometimes it's brainwashing and sometimes they've just never seen any natural hair that they like. I think most naturals will admit that after relaxing your hair for 20+ years there will be a HUGE learning curve when it comes to dealing with your natural hair. I used to have a lot of bad hair days LOL

    I think these people will start to come around when they start to run into more curlies that have been natural long enough to REALLY understand their hair and know how to manage it.

  • Gina, CPA says:

    Brainwashing plain and simple. Until the images of dark skinned black woman with natural hair are shown as sexy this problem will continue all over the world.

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