Why “Team Natural” Needs To STFU


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Look, I’ve proudly been relaxer-free for 3 years (and transitioned for an additional 1.5 prior to). And not an ounce of me regrets crossing over to #TeamNatural. Whenever I get online and read people’s comments under a natural vlogger’s youtube videos or even go to a natural hair event, the love and support girls show for each other within the natural hair community is usually overflowing.

But then there’s a flip side. And on that flip side, well….sometimes #TeamNatural needs to STFU.

And I say that with all due respect.

After reading some articles such as this one, about the divide within the natural hair community, and hearing about how a popular Natural Hair YouTube blogger Glamfun got backlash from her followers after deciding to relax her hair, I felt like the time had come for me to write this post.

From what I gathered, Glamfun was a natural that was used to wearing her hair braided up and protected under wigs and weaves. She decided to take the leap and try doing and styling her hair herself, and as a result experienced alot of breakage. The breakage was so bad that it caused Center Centrifugal Cicatrical Alopecia, and after being diagnosed, her only choice was to either chop off all her hair and start all over again, or relax it (by the ill advice of her derm) and transition her hair back to good health. So right before she went on vacay, she relaxed her hair.

Her followers response? Well to say they hated it would be an understatement. These chicks completely went ballistic from creating forum topics with their opinions on what she should’ve done to her hair, to vlogging all about why they unfollowed her! I mean really who has time to be that concerned? Okay, on one hand I could see why. She had girls who looked up to her and may have related to her hair journey so they probably felt a loss in no longer being able to look to her for guidance on her hair progression. Not to mention, I’d give her dermatologist a major side-eye for the perm suggestion….like really, have they not seen this? But the uproar was definitely overboard.  And it’s this, as well as other 4 reasons why I felt the need to call SOME of you members of Team Natural out on your foolery. So here we go:

Disclaimer: Ladies, honestly, if this doesn’t apply to you, then there’s no reason to be offended. Let’s just keep it real, there are a grip of naturals we all have encountered that have some or all of these traits. So moving along…

Some of y’all are:

Self righteous– In a perfect world, every girl would accept her hair the way it grew out of her scalp. But it’s not the case. And just because you’ve come into the light of making the decision to step away from the creamy crack forever, doesn’t mean every natural is on board with you. I can admit that when I was relaxed, one of my friends who has a finer, silkier texture of hair, and has been natural her whole life, kept telling me to go natural. My excuse for not following through with it was that my hair wasn’t going to be like hers. Though I hadn’t seen my natural texture for almost 2 decades, I could tell by my new growth how kinky it was going to be and wasn’t ready to deal with the change!

Needless to say, I finally went natural a couple of years later. And though I’m glad she was there to support and guide me along the way, I don’t feel that I’m better than someone else because I did so. It was just a better decision for ME. But some of y’all come off as these high and mighty know-it-all natural goddesses. I admit, that it would be cool to see some of my relaxed friends who have the same excuses I did, take the leap into the natural world just so they can realize how much easier it is than they probably think. But at the end of the day, we all don’t know what anyone’s lifestyle is, nor every girls’ reason for being relaxed. And let’s not forget, a lot of y’all used to be relaxed too so who are you to judge anyone now?

Hypocritical– Some of you ladies have so much confidence online, and proceed to cyberbully people when it comes to their hair views especially a particular celebrity’s baby, but can’t even do the hair on top of your own head. Y’all wanna make snarky comments on how someone else should wear their hair but your edges are non existent like Naomi, from you pulling your hair into tight azz buns everyday….

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Y’all wanna throw shade online about someone with a looser texture not understanding the natural plight and get in these petty azz debates about it, yet you stay with a wet and wavy weave installed 24/7/365 because you don’t want to “deal” with all the work it takes to get your hair presentable looking, and/or never figured out how to learn how to work with your own kinky texture. Um how about you take several seats, because as long as you don’t give yourself a chance to learn your hair, you won’t understand the plight yourself….Go join #TeamHypocrite

Posers (aka rookies)- This doesn’t happen that often, but a couple of times before, I’ve seen some of these girls online that think they are the “National Ambassadors for Natural Hair” the moment they cut the last strand of relaxer off. Getting on youtube to share your journey for personal reasons (like being able to look back on how far you’ve come) is cool -I’ve even done it. But otherwise boo, you are new to the game and quite honestly are the last person I’d look to for advice on what to do with my hair.

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I’ve been natural for 3 years and still consider myself new. I can still get clueless on different dilemmas I face with products and weather having an impact on my hair’s outcome. I still look to YouTube for help and guidance. Newsflash to the newbies: Absorb as much information as possible, ask questions and humble yourself – there are women who have been in the natural game their whole lives.

Technical for no damn reason– While I love all the wealth of information online forums bring, there was a particular one that I loved that used to flag and take down anyone’s thread if it asked about coloring hair (I’m talking actually permanently dyeing hair as opposed to henna). Why? Because there are chemicals in hair dye and some naturals believe that placing anything with chemicals in your hair makes you no longer natural.  Of course if you put a relaxer in your hair, you have officially exited stage left out the #teamnatural club. But these girls were lumping texturizers and permanent hair color in the same category as relaxers!  Sure some people have experienced their hair pattern changing after coloring their hair and yes, texturizing makes your curl pattern looser and easier to handle, but to say one isn’t natural after going through these procedures, is utterly ridiculous! I’ve had my hair permanently dyed twice since being natural, and I’ll be damned if someone has the nerve to tell me my STILL kinky, coarsely textured 4a/4b hair is now relaxed. How about YOU try detangling my now “relaxed” hair on wash day and then let me know what you think then?

I’d say overall, #TeamNatural is a pretty supportive community. But it’s those few bad apples out there that have me thinking we need to take one major cue from #TeamRelaxed: their acceptance of one another. After all, you never see online debates about someone not being relaxed enough because they have 3 inches of new growth….. Right??
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2 comments

  1. As a 28 yr old black guy, I can’t help but notice the discussions black women have about their hair, especially when it comes to going natural. I must admit, that as I’ve gotten older I’ve come to prefer women with natural hair over weave..because it’s REAL. I want to know what she really looks like and I want to know that she’s confident in her own skin. My perspective is different than most guys though (most guys don’t care either way as long as the girl is cute.lol) because my Mom and family are super afrocentric and growing up I’d never ever seen them with weave, ever. Growing up, I felt that weave was abnormal, actually. I always felt that “natural” was the norm and that weaves were..extra. Extra like an attachment. Like this thing on your head that is not part of who you really are. Like a costume piece. I don’t think that it’s wrong for a woman to rock a weave, she has to do what works for her of course, but all else considered equal, I would choose the woman with natural hair over weave any day.

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