guest post by:Cherise “Reese” Charleswell
© 2012 Eclectic Life Books
“If it is yours. It is Natural”, within a few seconds of hearing these words, the statement instantly did not sound right. Now, I never thought of myself as the stereotypical “Natural Hair Nazi”, and have subscribed to the belief that when it comes to hair, like religion and politics, to “each its own”. I realize that hair, like the formerly mentioned topics can be quite a controversial topic, which has the capability of sparking heated debates. For, this reason, I proudly wear my hair in its natural state, while foregoing passing judgment on the sistas who choose not to. Interestingly, this has led to sistas who wear relaxed locks to openly speak to me about my natural hair, transitioning options, along with a plethora of other concerns. Most importantly, these exchanges allowed me to address the myth that natural hair is far more difficult to care for than relaxed tresses; which need to be blow dried, roller set, wrap set, flat ironed, re-touched, and constantly moisturized due to the stripping of the hair by chemicals used in relaxers.
Still, when the phrase, “If it is yours. It is Natural”, were stated, I knew that I had to say something to dismiss this falsehood. The phrase was shared by a promoter who has the desire of increasing attendance and interest in a natural hair show, and wanted to do so by making the obvious attempt of re-defining the obvious and basic definition of Natural hair.
Natural hair is just that, something that is naturally yours; whether wavy, kinky-curly, or coily. In short, it is the hair that naturally grows from one’s scalp. Sure, natural hair can be manipulated and modified during styling, but all of those changes are on a temporary basis. Once a chemical substance is applied to the hair, which breaks the disulfide bonds within the keratin protein, the hair is permanently altered; and thus is no longer in its Natural state. Arguing otherwise would be pointless, critically flawed, and scientifically erroneous.