|Photo is not of the columnist|
I recently read this article on a natural hair care forum. It made me think, hmm are we new naturals a little too serious about this natural hair thing?
Here's my opinion: Hair has long been a "serious" thing for woman no matter what race, no matter what length or condition (chemically treated or not). Open any woman's magazine, I would dare say that 40% of the advertisements are related to hair products. So I don't think hair has just become serious to women. Hair is just as serious to women as is cosmetics, purses, shoes, shucks...shopping in general. I think the sensitivity comes to this particular author because her experience as a natural has changed so much over the duration of her "journey". When she first went natural in 1996, wearing afro textured hair not relaxed was not the norm, she was not in the majority. So the few negative comments that we experience in the post "Good Hair" movie era, she received in abundance and relatively alone. There was no natural hair meetup for her in the mid-ninety's, no blogs, no Youtube channels (was there Youtube in 1996?). Bitter? Possibly. As she talks about doing her 2nd big chop in 2009 and having new naturals giving her advice, I can see how she might bristle at this. It's like a teenager who just got their license trying to tell someone who's been driving for 20 years how to drive. It's just the excitement of gaining new knowledge and wanting to share with everyone. So to net it out (because I feel a rambling tangent coming on), I do believe that there is a crazed passion that is going on in the natural hair community right now. But I embrace it. My hair (relaxed or natural) has always been important to me as it is to most women. Our hair concerns are an experience unique to women that bonds us together as much as our monthly visitor from Aunt Flo. Men don't get it but we all do. And as with every new experience I have in life, I've learned and continue to learn a little bit more about myself. I would caution that we not look down on our sistas who have chosen to chemically treat their hair (and I've seen touches of this in various places). Their decision should be respected just like we want our decision respected. All in all, whatever a woman's decision is regarding her hair, if it brings HER joy, that's all that matters right? Ms. Lady, chill out, it's not that serious. LOL.
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