by Bree McCarthy of The Mane Source

un·kempt
1.not combed: unkempt hair.
2.uncared-for or neglected; disheveled; messy: unkempt clothes; an unkempt lawn.
3.unpolished; rough; crude.

I’ve been natural for over 3 years. Along the way there has been a certain adjective that comes up quite a bit when someone shares their thoughts on natural hair. That word is “unkempt”.

Last week my hubbie and I somehow got on the subject of natural hair and he used the word a couple times when he was referring to my shrunken afro. At that point I realized that a person’s perception of hair being unkempt is sometimes relative. What my husband considered to be unkempt would be considered a cute shrunken fro by my friend Nikki.

Now before you pick up your clubs and go after my husband I have to tell you that he likes my hair natural. I also have to admit that sometimes my hair does look unkempt, BUT that’s usually when I wake up or when I’m about to go to bed.

What’s irritating to me is that some styles that we considered to be cute are viewed by others as being unkempt. I remember when I first went natural, I wore my hair in a twist outs all the time. A friend of the family (who was also natural, but decided to wear her hair straight or wore wigs) decided to have an intervention with me. She pulled me over to the side and said, ” Just because your hair is natural doesn’t mean that I don’t have to comb it.” O____o Whaaaaat????? I couldn’t believe my ears and my eyes couldn’t believe the broken, stringy MESS that was sitting on top of her head. The nerve. I thought my hair was cute and she thought it looked unkempt. Go figure.

I think sometimes people who have negative thoughts concerning natural hair in general are the quickest ones to use the word. I also believe that it (sometimes) has little do with the style and more to do with their personal issues with natural hair. (i.e. natural hair not being attractive, doesn’t look polished, professional, feeling that straight hair is better, etc.) They, in turn, project their negative thoughts on others who fully accept their hair in its natural state.

Enough about me and my perception. What do you guys think? When it comes to natural hair what do you consider to be unkempt?