by Amanda Starghill via NaturallyCurly

Through the eyes of the unfamiliar, this unofficial natural hair
movement can appear to be vain or even political, but it is far more
complex than that. Every woman’s reason to big chop
or transition varies due to health, aesthetics, convenience, lifestyle
and a multitude of other reasons. I can understand how a swarm of women
cutting off their hair can look like a trend, but the connotation of a
trend seems to undermine the bigger picture of a decision that is
significant and seems to be final.

Building a Community

An element of the natural hair revolution that is undoubtedly true is
that the nuance of camaraderie amongst women pushing for a common goal
has broken so many barriers and strongholds. Because this popular niche
is continuously gaining recognition, more women are coming to understand
just how diverse the group is within itself. Many women are
professionals, mothers and students who live completely different
lifestyles but ultimately all desire healthy hair. The misconception
that rocking natural hair is more difficult is being refuted, and as a
result, more women are embracing their natural tresses. As women begin
to fellowship, learn, decipher, and apply certain methods and products
to their hair, on their own terms, they have begun to see that
maintaining and styling natural hair doesn’t have to be laborious after
all. The statement that you make time for what you want stands true in
respects to maintenance, but this applies to all hair, chemically
treated or not.

Taking Curly Mainstream

Many women are starting their hair care journey as natural. They are
not transitioning from maintaining healthy relaxed hair to healthy
natural hair. Learning how to apply a wealth of information about
natural hair care is challenging due to a lack of familiarity with their
own natural hair. The mere introduction to the plethora of information
that is available about hair care may be overwhelming, but it is very
helpful in identifying what works for your lifestyle and needs. This
growing awareness is spreading so fast that hair care companies are
seeking to cater to this new audience that appears to be transitioning
from the minority to a majority, especially in consumer consumption.

I say all of this to get to this final point: the day that taking
care of your hair in its natural state is no longer a foreign concept
will be awesome. You know? When I realize that it’s been a minute since
someone asked “why is it that Beyonce’s hair is straight and yours looks
like that?” *insert side eye* and thinking in the back of my head “if
they only knew.”

As more people come to understand the essence of what is being
achieved with this movement, they will begin to realize that women with
textured hair are only trying to redefine their different as normal.
Everyone who decides to “go natural” is not necessarily doing it with
the intentions of making a statement, but inadvertently they are sending
a message to the rest of the world. Women are altering and reclaiming
their unfamiliar as normal.

When Natural Becomes Normal

The day when moisturizing and sealing will not be considered “too
much” and deep conditioning is not considered any more time consuming
than getting a relaxer will be amazing simply because it will be normal.
To those oblivious to natural hair care, reading this article may have
you thinking “You don’t know how to wash and comb your hair?” Quite
frankly, no. Everyone’s story is different, and they probably all share
similar elements, but ultimately, the answer is no. Have I put a comb
through my hair before today? Yes. Properly? Probably not.

Not everyone remembers the who, what, when, where, how and why of
this huge misunderstanding of curly hair, but somewhere along the
timeline of birth until the start of their hair care journey many
consciously or subconsciously understood their hair to be too
unmanageable, unattractive and unprofessional. To say the root of the
misconceptions are neither here nor there is very false but learning and
acceptance always take time, whether it’s for yourself or sharing
information and testimonies with others. The greatest subliminal efforts
of this movement are the small elements that are transforming natural
hair to becoming normal.

Every contribution of this normalization process is important. In Jill Scott’s new music video “Blessed” she wakes up in the morning and spritzes her hair with Ouidad Botanical Boost
spray. To a little girl watching the video, waking up and refreshing
her hair before starting on her day will be a simple element in her
morning regimen before school. To some, Jill Scott appears to be an
unofficial advocate of natural hair, and I wouldn’t doubt her support,
having worn her hair natural for years, but somehow every natural has
become one.

Although many find sharing information to be fun, there are also
those who could care less to be the self-assigned spokesperson for the
natural hair community. For some who have surpassed the newbie stage,
they will be more than relieved to stop answering questions of whether
you should pre-poo before you shampoo and ACV after the DC of your TWA

By no means am I saying that you shouldn’t reach back and help others
but those who have come down from the excitement of being newly natural
are ready for natural hair to just be normal. Do they understand the
thirst of curiosity? Of course, but the constant preaching, teaching,
and defending is a lesson of patience that many did not prepare for but
none the less they must be equipped to do. People will always agree to
disagree on hair care and style. Will the masses ever understand? Who
knows and ultimately this movements screams “who cares?”

Weigh in!