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Natural Hair: A Journey, Not A Destination…

Ink Eze

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nkechi-bella-naija-hairI was never the greatest fan of getting my hair done. The weekly ritual comprised sitting down for hours on the cold metal of my parents’ garden chairs, my head tucked in the Hausa woman’s ‘lappa’ who lived across the street. The intermingled odor of sweat, her womanly parts and hair grease was an uncomfortable normalcy, as was as the intermittent thumping of plucking of my hair by hair thick fingers on my tender scalp, interrupting my thoughts and sometimes daydreams. Even as a child, I always wondered why my hair was compelled to bow in submission to instruments of heat, chemicals and the manual torture like the Hausa woman’s hands.

A decade and a half later, I have accepted this normalcy as the accepted practice for Nigerian women’s “hair care”, but have rejected it as my own means. I stopped ‘relaxing’ my hair almost a full year ago. Like many women, my journey has been filled with many worries, but many rewards. Whether we admit it or not, on the road to becoming natural

* We worry what men would think.
* We worry about what our friends will say.
* We worry about what natural hairstyles would be acceptable in the workplace.
* We worry about answering questions from our curious (albeit sometimes rude) White friends and colleagues.
* We worry about hair maintenance. As children, we used inch-size plastic brushes through our Barbie dolls’ hair without a glitch. Unknowingly, with every brushstroke, we brainwashed ourselves into accepting straight hair as the only maintainable hair texture.
* Lastly, we worry about accepting ourselves. Will we still be beautiful? Nigerian women sing every Sunday at church that we are proud to be made in God’s image, but yet we run to the hair salon at the glimpse of ‘koko’, ‘natchy’ undergrowth.

As a NATURAL woman (sing it Aretha!), becoming natural involves ridding ourselves of these fears, or being bold enough to fight them on the road to self-discovery and eventual acceptance.

* Girl, you have to realize every man has a preference. If a man cannot look past the texture of your hair into your heart, then he is not right for you. The same applies to skin color, body shape and height, but that is a story for another day.
* Secondly, as an intelligent modern woman in the Google age, you will find countless Natural hair websites and networks that offer a sisterhood of support for your natural hair journey. You must acknowledge that your friends love you, but may not understand what the heck you are talking about, and that’s OK.
* Thirdly, about hair maintenance, articles such as those by Azara will help, as well as countless YouTube instructional videos on Bantu knot-outs, two strand twists, frohawks, which will leave you saying salon-whaaaat? And would save you some money as you do your hair yourself. Over time, you will become faster and neater, and if stuck in a desert island, you won’t need your hairdresser or a carton of relaxer as 1 of 3 essential items to survive.
* Fourthly, love yourself.

You will discover that your natural hair grows up to the heavens, thanking God for every day. It does not bow to the elements of sun, wind or rain. It withstands the wind, is nourished by the rain, and by the natural heat of the sun. It is as resilient as the African woman it is sitting on. Indeed, if a woman’s natural hair is her crowning glory, you are an undefeatable queen.

So when my male friend asked me the other day if I was trying to be like Lauryn Hill, I laughed and said I was trying to be like myself. After nearly 2 decades, I was finally ready to be myself… I look into my mirror and find inspiration in my reflection.

However, in your natural hair journey, you will find resonance with the natural hair role models in the media. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge them as your inspiration and proof that beauty is not only represented by the body in the box that Mattel sells. (That’s Barbie. Lol.) Or the one that Soft Sheen Carson sells, what we call a ‘relaxer’, but often does more harm than good to our scalp and our pockets. It is in accepting that short, long, kinky or curly, healthy hair of any texture is beautiful hair.

For me, this means thanking Dakore Egbuson, Asa, Joke Silva, Ruth Benemasia-Opia, Ayo, Justina, Nyja and many others. These are my living loved examples of no holds barred expression and creativity.

So if you decide to take the road less taken, be proud of yourself Natural Woman, you are on a brighter path to self-love.

Ink Eze is the Founder of AsoEbiBella.com, a platform for sharing African traditional styles. She Modern Culture and Media at the Ivy League Brown University. She honed her skills in advertising and digital media at one of America’s leading tech companies in marketing. She became BellaNaija Weddings editor in 2013, and Assistant Editor of BellaNaija, heading the lifestyle section - Style, Beauty and Living until January 2017. Under her leadership, BN Weddings gained international prominence and became Africa’s foremost wedding media brand with millions of followers across several platforms and coverage on BuzzFeed, BBC & more. #AsoEbiBella became BellaNaija.com’s top feature, with over 1.8 million followers on Instagram. She conceived of BBN Wonderland, Nigeria’s top bridal event since 2015 with Baileys Nigeria. Now she spends her time on AsoEbiBella, and has executed marketing campaigns with local and international brands including HP Nigeria, Orijin and Sunlight Detergent. and sharing her insights with the world. For more Ink, join her on @Ink.Eze | @AsoEbiBella

69 Comments

  1. Sugabelly

    May 12, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Finally! An intelligent post! Natural hair is such a strong part of our identity, and so many Africans have been brainwashed into thinking that natural hair is unprofessional, ugly, primitive, backward, low class, etc.

    It is so sad that in the technology age we still subscribe to a European standard of beauty and seem incapable of loving ourselves the way God made us.

    White people LOVE themselves. We need to love ourselves too and stop worshiping people that already have super-high self-esteem on lock.

    Our hair is part of our self-esteem and it’s the part we hide the most. Even people whose hair has almost all fallen out from decades of relaxing still cling to it in desperation it is so sad.

    A head full of black kinks is just as beautiful as head with thin blonde blowing straight strands.

    Nigerians, other Africans, and everyone else of African descent needs to wake the hell up and stop destroying themselves and everyone around them.

  2. Adaku Stephanie

    May 12, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    I love the natural look…I have thought of going natural..but my relaxed hair is too long and healthy to cut it all off..that will hurt..

  3. Deltagyal

    May 13, 2009 at 2:22 am

    Yay for natural hair!!! : )

    Yeah, in the past it was mostly women in Deeper Life church that were associated with natural hair, it’s great to see that more people are choosing to go natural!!! When I let my hair grow naturally, a lot of people made fun of me and some made rude comments but w’eva, it’s my own hair, as long as I’m fine with it nothing else matters : )

  4. Sugabelly

    May 13, 2009 at 4:51 am

    But you will feel so much better though! Your life will be SO MUCH better if you do! 😀 I have natural hair and it rocks! Don’t be afraid to love yourself, and don’t be afraid of the hair God gave you. You can grow your natural hair down to your butt you just have to educate yourself on how to.

    Seriously, if you ask me I can give you sites and resources that will open up a whole new world for you and your hair.

  5. Adaku Stephanie

    May 13, 2009 at 6:42 am

    wow
    I feel great thank you
    I love myself to the fullest and my hair is what God gave me.
    its still my hair. I am not pressed to go natural. 🙂

  6. Oluwatoyin Ajao

    May 13, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Am loving my dreadlocks at the moment. And I don’t care what anyone thinks cuz I have being getting side looks and comments that are discouraging. I am doing this for me and not for anyone else. We really have to take bold steps as many times as we want. We can’t keep conforming to the standard of others. Hubby is now my styles and I am loving it.

    I was in a bus and I interfered cuz a police officer was beating up a passenger for the conductor and the driver look at me and said “see her hair, crazy woman”.

    Go natural, anyway you want, it’s cool.

  7. Ìnk Eze

    May 13, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    http://blackgirllonghair.blogspot.com/2009/05/naturals-from-around-world-antonia-in.html

    just wanted to share this with you guys… it made me cry a little.

  8. Afrodisiaclynaija

    May 13, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    http://aphrodisiaclynaijagirl.blogspot.com/…ladies i’m so happy that more naija women are embracing their natural hair…check out my blog on my natural hair journey…will be keeping it updated as time goes on…thanks

  9. Kpakpando Nwanyi

    May 13, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    I’ve worn my hair in a million different ways (natural, semi-natural and chemically altered) for several years. I loved my hair when it was natural, I love it now that it’s relaxed again.

    I don’t believe that my hair defines me, and because I choose to straighten it, that I have been brainwashed to an European standard of beauty. Personally I’m tired of people trying to convince me it’s more than what it is. It’s just HAIR! I can cut it, relax it, twist, sew it in and do whatever I want. If I’m wearing a straight bob, it doesn’t mean my self esteem is low or I want to disassociate myself from my African identity; if I’m wearing it in a braid out, it doesn’t mean that I love myself.

    To some people, hair is not a big to do; it’s just dead protein that you can wear different ways.

  10. nandos

    May 14, 2009 at 12:21 am

    Nkechi its like you were telling my story!!!! I am one year natural and each day I keep asking God to give me the strength not to go back to the creamy crack… I have gotten the looks from friends and the not so nice comments, but what is also surprising is that most positive comments so far has come from the naija guys I know…. I thought natural hair was razz growing up but its comes from a mindset and a wrong perception and it took me 2 decades to change that….

  11. . conclusive bedlam lover

    May 14, 2009 at 7:09 am

    lol @ sew it, i feel u jo..norrin beats being versatile with your hair, its “your” hair, just as u don’t have to conform with what people think is African, if thta the case lets stop using foreign creams and lotions and start rubbbing palm kernel oil and all that ish, abi that is a traditional african body cream, at least where I come from anyway…ehen..biko this babe, pls update ur blog na…m so hoping you’ll c this, or are you done with blogsville?..Then pls give us some proper closure, u dnt leave ur readers hanging like dat gurlll…not nice….I’ll keep dropping by, hoping by some magic stroke of fate, u’ll have updates with a well deserved long ass post..ciao!!!

  12. Ìnk Eze

    May 14, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Hi Bellas!

    I’m not a huge fan of comment controversy so I tend not to comment on any of my contributions.

    However, I want to make clear that this post is pro-natural, not anti-relaxed, or anti-anyone.

    The beauty of being a woman is in our ability to make choices. However, we should not deny that for many Nigerian women, the obstacles I related above are very real ‘roadblocks’ to our freedom of hair expression.

    As a writer, I related my personal struggle in the hope that others who are considering this journey will know that there is a sisterhood of support for them.

    Relaxed divas are 4 out of my 5 sisters with different hair textures, ranging from tightly curled(4b) to loosely curled(3b) hair, relaxed hair is my bi-racial mum, it is my female teachers, it is my friends.

    I think beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and textures.

    I just want my writing to inspire self love and self pride, if that is by going natural, so be it, I am NOT trying to incite a revolution.

    I am just the greatest fan of self love, self pride, and for me, that has included accepting hair in a chemically unprocessed state. I still wear my weaves sometimes, nothing do am!

    I just want to let people know that this is not the only acceptable way.

    As for my blog, I’m in school and have been very busy, but I hope to pick it up during the summer or at least give a proper goodbye.

    much love,

    ink.

  13. Kpakpando Nwanyi

    May 14, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Your piece didn’t come off as anti-relaxer at all, I think it achieved the goals you wanted. Its just where the conversation in the comments go from there that make my ass itch.
    Enough with the RELAXER = wannabe oyibo or self-hater themed comments that come up every time hair is discussed, it’s really not that serious, it’s just hair to some people.
    @CBL God dey sha

  14. eggo

    May 14, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    will you sharrappp sugabelly!!! WTH are you on about. what sort of crusade are you championing for black women. abi you don kolo finish? all these words like brainwash, destroying, ‘incapable of loving ourselves the way God made us’ – and you say ‘white people Love themselves’? as opposesd to us blacks i suppose. you don craze finish. if you go LA, the amount of plastic boobs and fake hair extensions on white women will leave you amazed. there is hardly any white celeb that has not gone under the knife or suffered one eating disorder or are content with their bodies. this is not a black woman problem, it is a WOMAN PROBLEM ces’t finit. You really think that it is self loathe that make some black women relax their hair or use weaves – why can’t you look on the positive side and agree that some women look a lot better with fake hair or that a relaxer will in making our tresses more manageable? i for one know that my natural hair breaks combs, should i endure pain just to show i am proud of it? na wa o! its just like women who choose a c section over natural birth – are they any less proud as mothers? leave story and get that chip off ur shoulders. we know you are proud to be black, just don’t scream it too loud, hence we will begin to suspect otherwise.

  15. Sugabelly

    May 14, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    WHY should I look on the positive side when the negative side is threatening to eat us alive.

    You are obviously deluded if you think that it is not self-hate that induces black women to relax their hair. In case you don’t understand, the human mind is VERY capable of doing a lot of things without even realising that it is doing them.

    There are MORE black women in this world with relaxed hair than there are with natural hair, and that says something loud and clear.

    Whether they realise it or not. Whether they know it or not, MAJORITY of black women on Planet Earth consciously, OR subconsciously believe that there is something wrong with their NATURAL hair, and so they RELAX it to make it BETTER.

    Why would you relax your hair to make it worse unless you believed that relaxing would make it better?

    Use common sense for God’s sake. You’re obviously very dim. You continue using stupid words like ‘manageable’. You are trying to say that natural black hair is unmanageable.

    Many black women think their hair is unmanageable because they INSIST on treating their hair like Caucasian hair. Why can’t you just accept that your hair is NOT caucasian hair and stop combing it for fucking starters?

    How stupid are you? You comb your kinky hair with a teeny-tiny comb and then you complain that it hurts. Tiny combs were meant for Caucasian hair. WIDE-ASS COMBS were meant for kinky African hair. Get a fucking clue. I am tired of replying stupid people like you civilly because all you ever do is insult me because you’re too thick to see that you’re destroying yourselves and destroying the future of your children.

    And yes, white people do love themselves. There may be individuals who obviously don’t, but in general and as a race, White people love themselves a whole of a hell lot more than Black people do.

    And don’t try to tell me they don’t. If they didn’t then the MINORITY of Black women would have straightened hair as opposed to the majority.

    We tell ourselves that our hair is bad, unmanageable, ugly, unprofessional, low-class, etc, even though it was the Almighty God that made it and gave it to us as a people.

    Then we look at the hair of Caucasian peoples and decide that their hair is BETTER and that we must do anything to have THEIR hair at all costs. Then because we know we are doing a shameful thing, we deceive ourselves and tell ourselves that we are not doing it because we think Caucasian hair is better but we are doing it because of fashion.

    Let me ask you.

    How many white people sit through eight hours of gruelling torture in order to make their hair into huge super-kinky afros?

    How many white people weep at night because they wish they had kinky naps that don’t move in the wind?

    How many white women are told on a regular basis that they are ugly, inferior, low-class, disgusting, and unprofessional because they have curly hair as opposed to straight hair?

    Zero.

    That’s the answer: Zero.

    As opposed to gazillions of Black women. People like you are brainwashed and far too stupid to ever see through it. I’m done arguing with people like you.

    Good luck and I look forward to the day your daughter runs home crying from school because she thinks her hair is ugly. Maybe then you will feel the pain of millions of women all over the world.

  16. Kpakpando Nwanyi

    May 14, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Sugabelly, again even if you had a valid argument when you started writing, it’s lost in the noise of your negativity and general abrasiveness.

    Let’s not talk about the generalizations you’re trying to pass off as fact.
    “A MAJORITY of black women on Planet Earth consciously, OR subconsciously believe that there is something wrong with their NATURAL hair..”, please point me to the study, i’ll go to the library if it’s not on the webs.
    “There are MORE black women in this world with relaxed hair than there are with natural hair…” Again, please point me to the hair study you gleaned this nugget of wisdom from.
    Just because you believe this is true, doesn’t make it so. Haba!

    Perhaps when you relaxed your hair, you did it because you believed your natural hair was inferior, that’s not the case for every black woman; so please do not project your insecurities (past or present) on all black women.

    Again, I have to say that though you might be relishing in the fact that you’re known as one of the ABCs (Angry Black Chick) who frequents this website; you do yourself and your messages a great disservice with your delivery.

  17. eggo

    May 14, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    SUGABELLY!!! YOU ARE OFFICIALLY MAD!!! You have some serious issues, and now i understand that, i will let you be. You must have had a very tough childhood and maybe you felt like a social misfit, i commisserate with you.
    whether you like it or not, it was easier for me to manage my hair after i relaxed it as opposed to when it was natural afro kinky. i did not say there was anything wrong with afro hair o! mine was tough and wide tooth comb or not, it was painful. And ur advise that i should not comb it at all is laughable – so in order to prove that i love my hair and myself, i should carry uncombed hair? sorry, i like to comb my hair, and do it without pain.
    well unfortunately for oyinbo people, there isn’t much they can do with their hair, and they can’t make it kinky like ours; but we blacks on the other hand, we can do a lot with ours, its called being versatile; just like with fashion ( i bet you tie wrapper and wear ankara and aso oke on a daily basis to show ur african pride) i swear, if i see a pair of jeans and t shirt in ur wardrobe, then i will accuse you of selling out and trying to be white lol!!!
    A lot of white people actually twist their hair so that it can be rasta – i suppose they hate their straigthened hair and are trying to be rasta right? some white women actually braid their hair – are they trying to be black?
    Again i am sure white people love themselves so much that they wear fake tan and lie under the sun to get some colour, why can’t they just embrace their God given pale skin; i bet its because they hate themselves, right?
    My daughter will never come home crying, because she will never suffer identity crisis. It is obvious that i am black, i don’t need to wear my hair a certain way to prove it. I don’t need to prove that i am proud to be black by keeping my hair natural anymore than i need to prove that i am a woman by stripping naked, it is there for all to see.
    you people that are suffering from identity crisis or feel like ‘superior’ blacks, should leave us ‘fake’ blacks alone. If i prefer caucasian hair, is that a bad thing? appreciating the beauty of another isn’t bad. Infact this world is all about copying. i am sure you enjoy the benefits of technology, and i doubt very much that you live in a mud hut to prove ur africanism. and i can see you also write and speak the white man’s language. Maybe you shld communicate in ur mother tongue to prove that you are proud of ur heritage, or are you not proud of ur mother tongue? I suppose you’ve been brainwashed to believe the whiteman’s language is the appropriate form of communication, maybe you should make urs the universal language, to prove you love yourself and your heritage.
    i know your kind, you belive that you have done something noble because you choose to wear ur hair natural, and you look down on others who do not follow suit believing that they live in a constant state of self hate. wheras you are the one who is frustrated beyond belief, fighting your own very un-noble cause and loathing yourself even more, because no one seems to be eager to join you in this worthless crusade by believing that every black woman who relaxes her hair, hates herself and wants to be white. you better get with the programme and on a more serious note, get some much needed psycological help as this is bodering on the insanely ridiculous.

  18. Laura

    May 14, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    Sugabelly … AS INNNNNNNN U HAVE ISSUES, serious ones ohh. You are sha always ranting about one thing or the other that makes no bloody sense. This ur long essay becos of hair again abi?. Yeah if i wasn’t sure b4…. now i know that you def have some deep psychological issues….. FIX THEM WOMAN AND STOP MAKING NOISE ALL OVER THE DAMN PLACE. You were fascinating b4, but now u are just downright ANNOYING! ARRRGGGHHHHHHHHHH (yes i am shouting! hisssss)

  19. lorile

    May 15, 2009 at 1:38 am

    omfg!!!!oh my goodness..
    i have never laughed so hard in my life.
    I read sugabelly’s post and i am like is this girl fucking serious!!!on top hair again… sugabelly?
    Now i know you are a depressed human being who is trying to champion her misguided ideas and force them down on others..na by force
    Youu are getting very annoying and irritating..
    As Eggo said so what if some people like Oyibo hair?are oyibo pple not human beings?cant we fancy and even want something God bestowed upon on another race….I LOVE the way some white folks hair looks..i like the fact that i can wear weaves and YES weaves are easier to manage and guess what? i am still BLACK and very PROUD of it!!!i
    ts okay if you, SUGABELLY chooses to have natural hair but pls dont insult people who choose not too……..Sugabelly,I have seen a picture of you on your blog and you had red lipstick on…are your lips naturally red?so it is safe to assume that you are trying to be white abi?Nonsense…….there was some other comment you left on this site and you cursed someone’s unborn children on top explicating your points..biko shut up and face your studies…all these your rants are getting tiring…

  20. Adaku Stephanie

    May 15, 2009 at 4:34 am

    as in she needs to change her name to bitterbelly. always running around here like a headless chicken making stupid and senseless comments
    me i tok say I want to go natural cos I like the look and I have always wanted to do it, of course not because I feel less than in my present state. the girl started indirectly insulting me talking about
    “u you will feel so much better though! Your life will be SO MUCH better if you do! 😀 I have natural hair and it rocks! Don’t be afraid to love yourself, and don’t be afraid of the hair God gave you”

    did I tell you that I felt horrible about myself because I have permed hair, or that i don’t love myself
    like if I want advice about transitioning to natural hair. I’ll be getting it from someone else who is sane.,not you bitterbelly..,thank you very much

  21. O.A.E

    May 15, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    I went natural in January, 2001. At first it’s a struggle and peoples comments could be discouraging, sometimes. But once you get used to it all you’ll be fine. Today, I’m still natural and I have awesome, healthy hair. Nice write-up Nkechi Eze. Thanks for sharing

  22. miss

    May 15, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    This article is very interesting. Sometimes I go without relaxing my hair for a month but THE PAIN of brushing it is something else and I run back to my relaxer. I have never relied on my hair to feel beautiful, sometimes I even put on hats or tie scarfs and just let people see my face. I like versitility and I like to look different, so I just twist my hair to look more natural sometimes.
    I honestly doubt that because we choose to relax our hair or do weaves, it means we don’t find ourselves beautiful enough, but some pple look nicer with weaves and relaxed hair or braids and that is perfectly okay.
    Sugabelly, has this idea in her hair that ur hair defines ur self worth and natural means u love yourself and otherwise, it means u don’t. I find that sad that someone can just put everyone in 2 boxes that way.. but I keep saying, this babe has a few issues and obviously she has had a few experiences so to each his own jare.

    Right now I am rocking my relaxed hair after refusing to relax it for 8 months, I bowed to the pain when I washed my hair and couldnt comb it without a headache, I had to just relax it. But to be fair, I have always pictured myself with an afro.. its only a matter of time.

  23. miss

    May 15, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Oops.. meant to say I go without relaxing my hair for 8 months. Not like anyone really cares sha.lol.

  24. marian

    May 15, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Adaku, you totally missed the point of this article. And I know why.You would never understand what she is trying to say if you have not transitioned from permed to natural hair, especially in this country where African hair is looked down upon and straight hair is adulated. Nkechi Eze is trying to ENCOURAGE those who choose to go natural to stay strong and if you are contemplating the option, to know what to expect of your hair and the world. Dosen’t she have a right to do so? From a fellow natural and and an avid reader, you are the one sounding bitter, not her.

  25. marian

    May 15, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    OMG! So that is why a friend of mine made fun of me and asked if i was in “Deeper Life” I was wondering what she was talking about. Anyway, I can laugh at it now.

  26. marian

    May 15, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Sugabelly, you are soo on point. Let people get mad and defensive. EVERYTHING you have said is the God honest truth. It takes someone who is observant of our hair issues and willing to go beyond the surface to note some things you have mentioned. Dont mind anybody!

  27. Amma Mama

    May 15, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    WOW GREAT article that is the story of my life. I have been relaxing my hair since I was about 6 or 7. But for the past 4 years I have been wanting to go natural but was too scared of what people would think. I was ecspecially scared of what men would think. When I relaxed my hair I got ALOT of compliments and my hair used 2 be long and thick. But over the years its has become THINNER and SHORTER! And that’s the only thing on me people notice and compliment. My hair, so I always FELT the need 2 relax it and straighten it so now Im tired of doing it and Im tired of my scalp burning and I just want healthy hair so decided to STOP! I feel a little insecure but hopefully I can continue and not give up. Right now my hair is in cornrows with weave. I just want the natural to come in longer so I can CUT all the relaxed hair off.

  28. me

    May 16, 2009 at 12:28 am

    Hey marian adaku was refering to the comment sugabelly wrote and not Nkechi’s article

  29. me

    May 16, 2009 at 12:37 am

    Marian what sugar belly said may be on point for those…it just maybe…but why must she always result to insulting people..for those who love natural hair carry go for those who perm their hair…its their wahala…as far as i am concerned it doesnt have anything to do with self hate.

  30. lurker

    May 16, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Me, u’re even assuming that sugabelly isn’t marian, I bet if u run the ip addresses u’ll see they’re one in the same.

    Its clear that some of the relaxer defenders do have hair issues, talking about relaxed hair is more manageable, when in fact relaxers break the hair down and makes it more fragile and in need of care, protein treatments, deep cons etc.; however if the same care was devoted to hair in its natural state, the hair would be just as easy to manage, and I’m not talking about those ones who wear braids 360 days a year thinking they’re doing sometging, but wearing their natural tresses out.

    Now this doesn’t mean sugabelly the crusader isn’t talking from both sides of her neck, because all that one of white women not having self-image issues is silly and clearly wrong as rain. Sugabelly must be really young to be acting like body dey pain am all the time. I’m sure when she’s tasted more of life all of this displaying will stop.

  31. binti

    May 16, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    @ sugabelly…pls find something constructive to do.natural hair or permed hair does not solve the problem of world hunger so this your name calling and attack is rather unnecessary!its just hair…just because you have insecurities about permed hair and you think permed hair mean self destruction doesnt mean everyone feels the same way.If your natural hair makes you feel black and determines your African status so be it.

  32. binti

    May 17, 2009 at 4:16 am

    truth be told…relaxed hair is more manageable on an everyday basis!!!honest truth

  33. Toke

    May 17, 2009 at 6:34 am

    Lotanna/Sugabelly there is nothing wrong in perming your hair, putting extensions or whatever. As Indie Arie says “I am not my hair”; your hair is not your defining feature why then do you continue to ride on people’s dicks?
    I perm my hair because I feel its essential if not, it would break. I’ve been perming it since I was young. It wasn’t my decision it was my mother’s and I have realized it does work so I would continue to do it. So I find it insulting that you would insinuate that we perm our hair because we do not love ourselves. Like seriously, is this what your really think? because if it is you must be shallow gutter trollop!
    People of other races perm their hair too, and use extensions so what exactly is your point? I am sure you use make up which has achieves the same goal that perming or adding extensions to your hair would; maintain and enhance beauty.
    I think you have chosen this Afrocentric route because you cannot deal with the person you have become; fat and ugly. You know this is true, stop trying to bring everyone down and deal with your own issues. I know its hard to go from being one of the hottest girls in school to just plain unsightly.
    I love you and hope that you would stop hating on everyone that appears to be hotter than you, I advice that you channel all this energy into bettering yourself.
    This is straight from my heart!

  34. bebe

    May 17, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    my hair is natural and short.i tried the bantu knots and they were nice.Does anyone have tips for short natural hair.
    thanks

  35. sade

    May 17, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    AMEN!!!!!!!! absolutely LOVE this comment!!!! and sugabelly honey, you need to get laid. and if you’re getting laid, you need to get laid some more.

  36. Ìnk Eze

    May 17, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Great! Bantu knots look great on my hair too.
    These websites have been helpful for me:

    http://www.motowngirl.com/
    http://www.nappturality.com/
    http://blackgirllonghair.blogspot.com/

    bonne chance!

    • Natural girl

      January 23, 2011 at 2:12 pm

      Hi Nkechi I would love to see an update of your hair now, do you have a blog? Are you still natural how has it been. Tia

  37. Bebe

    May 18, 2009 at 12:17 am

    The VAST majority of Nigerian women use relaxers, whether they are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, professional woman, market trader or artistes (especially artistes), young or old, (believe me, I have seen relaxed hair on a four year old, and an 88 year old too, so sad), Christian or Muslim, married or single, etc.

    Most women also have extensions all the time, not giving their hair and scalp a chance to rest and breathe fresh air They braid their hair constantly or hide it under wigs and weaves. It is really bad.

    I really really want us African women to stop saying we have “bad” hair. Stop treating your natural hair as if it is a birth defect that needs to be corrected with relaxers as soon as possible. PLEASE!

  38. Penelope

    May 18, 2009 at 12:20 am

    PS: Y’all need to check out this article on Nigerian women and natural hair:
    http://blackgirllonghair.blogspot.com/2009/04/sunday-retrospectives-natural-not-hot.html

    The VAST majority of Nigerian women use relaxers, whether they are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, professional woman, market trader or artistes (especially artistes), young or old, (believe me, I have seen relaxed hair on a four year old, and an 88 year old too, so sad), Christian or Muslim, married or single, etc.

    Most women also have extensions all the time, not giving their hair and scalp a chance to rest and breathe fresh air They braid their hair constantly or hide it under wigs and weaves. It is really bad.

    I really really want us African women to stop saying we have “bad” hair. Stop treating your natural hair as if it is a birth defect that needs to be corrected with relaxers as soon as possible. PLEASE!

  39. Penelope

    May 18, 2009 at 12:28 am

    Hi there Bluu,

    Please may I ask why people like you think having dreadlocks is “dirty”? Perhaps it’s because you have been brainwashed (read: without realising it) to think that only one way of styling hair is beautiful (read: long and straight). I know many beautiful women and good-looking men who rock their natural hair in twists and locs. Search on google images for a few photos, trust me they are out there. Thinking of locked hair as dirty is just a disgusting, outdated and harmful stereotype. So you really think Asa’s hair is dirty? Gosh, we have a very long way to go.

  40. Angela

    May 18, 2009 at 2:03 am

    NATURAL HAIR TIPS

    1. Do not buy hair poducts that include ingredients such as alcohol, petrolatum and mineral oil. Please note that not all alcohol is bad for your hair There are two types of alcohol:
    a. The “good” types of alcohol: Cetyl alcohol, MYRISTYL alcohol, Stearyl alcohol, Cetearyl alcohol and Behenyl alcohol.
    Why: Because they make the hair soft .
    b. The ‘bad’ types of alcohol: SD alcohol, SD alcohol 40, Alcohol denat, Propanol, Propyl alcohol and Isopropyl alcohol.
    Why: Because they dry out the hair , with causes also more frizz and hair breakage as a result
    Avoid products that contain mineral and/or petrolatum oil as an ingredient. Do not use products with these ingredients for your curly hair or scalp. Both of these synthetic oils coat and suffocate the hair shaft blocking moisture out. Further, they clog pores in your scalp and can retard hair growth. Always read your labels before you use products.

    2. Heat is killing for curly hair.
    Why: it causes hair breakage. Whenever possible air dry your hair

    3. Do not comb natural hair when it is dry. So comb your hair when it is wet and start at the ends and work further towards the roots. Preferably with a wide tooth comb.
    Why: Dry combing causes hair breakage.

    4. Sleep with a satin hair wrap or on a satin pillow case.
    Why: a cotton pillow case dries out your hair, making you to do more work the next morning in terms of styling and plus it is unhealthy for your hair.

    5. Your hair needs enough moisterizing and conditioning products.Use a deep conditioner once a week for your hair to smoothen and to moisturize .
    Why: Think of a plant that gets no water and eventually dies, you should visualize the same effect for your hair.

    6. Comb your hair with a wide tooth comb and a brush with protective ends.
    Why: Avoid unnecessary hair breakage and it is easier to comb through your hair. Also see tip 3.

    7. All chemical products such as relax, japanese straightener, perm, you name it are super super bad for your hair.
    Why: It takes the curl (structure) from your hair and makes it super weak, with resulting hair loss. Especially if you do not care for it properly.

    8.If you are using new products do an allergy / sensitivity test to check whether it is a good combination with your skin. Here I suggest to apply a small quantity of the product behind the ear or the inner side of your arm. These areas usually have a greater sensitivity. If you experience any sensitivity after applying the product – often characterized by a burning or prickly, tingling sensation, redness or other temporary discoloration of the skin – remove the product from the area with hot water and a damp cloth if necessary. Such reactions show that the product is not suitable for your skin and you should stop using it. Finally, also read the ingredients list of the products you want to purchase if you know what causes your allergy or sensitivity.

    9. Last tip: Gather as much as possible information and read the descriptions carefully and what works for another does not mean it will give you the same results…

    Above all love your hair and the rest will follow…

  41. marian

    May 18, 2009 at 5:26 am

    To ME–
    Hey me, I happen to think and so does the author that it DOES have something to do with self-hate. But most often, people are not even aware that might be he underlying reason. Whatever the reason, there is a level of discomfort with oneself. If you do not think so, that is fine, but let people be free to express it anyway. She came off strong, but that is the level of denial among a large number of people.

  42. OMG!

    May 18, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Kai, I’m speechless!

  43. yay

    May 19, 2009 at 3:10 am

    Wth do you you mean by that comment???!!!!

    Relaxed hair requires more attention than natural hair!!!
    If you’re not ”actively” natural, please stop posting dumbazz ignorant comments like this and calling them ”honest truths”… You done lost your mind for that nonsense!

  44. MISS E

    May 19, 2009 at 3:33 am

    EVERYBODY, LISTEN UP!!! (lol)

    1. DON’T JUST ASSUME THAT NATURAL HAIR WOULD BE EASY TO COMB WHEN YOU’VE LEFT IT DRY AND W/O CARE FOR A WHILE… IMPOSSI-CANT. THERE IS A WAY TO TREAT NATURAL AFRICAN HAIR JUST AS THERE IS A WAY TO TREAT OTHER TYPES OF HAIR! (check out tips from ‘nappy’ blogs)

    2. WHY DO WE THINK THAT AS FOOD IS MEANT FOR STOMACH, COMB IS MEANT FOR HAIR??? PLS RE-MODEL YOUR FRAME OF MIND AND GOD WILL BE WITH YOU… THERE ARE MANY OTHER WAYS TO GROOM KINKY HAIR…

    3. NATURAL HAIR IS INDEED WHAT YOU ARE BORN WITH! IT’S NOT A PROBLEM OR A CURSE!!! IT DOES HAVE IT’S ISSUES, JUST LIKE CAUCASIAN/INDIAN/CHINESE NATURAL HAIR BUT DO WE HEAR THEM COMPLAIN? NO! THEY JUST FOUND ANSWERS LIKE DAILY WASHING, CURLING/ STRAIGHTENING IRONS, CONDITIONER, PUTTY GEL, ETC… PLS, YOUR HAIR IS SOOOO NOT A PROBLEM! IT IS A BLESSING!!! WORK WITH THE BLESSING GOD HAS GIVEN YOU!!!

    4. HAVING NATURAL AFRICAN HAIR DOES NOT LIMIT YOU! YOU CAN STRAIGHTEN IT TEMPORARILY (pls don’t do it too often. you need your tight God-given curls to be ‘nappy’), WEAR IT IN ITS NATURAL STATE, ROCK YOUR LACE WIG, STAY OUT IN THE RAIN/SWIM, ETC., ROCK YOUR FRO, 2-STRAND RUBBERY TWISTS, FIX YOUR WEAVE WITHOUT HAVING TO PERMANENTLY, PERMANENTLY GIVE UP YOUR ORIGINAL SEXY HAIR TEXTURE TO SOFT-SHEEN CARSON OR WHATEVER CORPORATE WICKEDNESS PROPAGATES RELAXERS…

    5. WHITE MAN SAYS “NAPPY HAIR= BAD”, BLACK MAN CAN ALSO SAY “STRAIGHT HAIR= LIMP AND LIFELESS”, BUT DOES THAT MAKE ANYTHING BETTER? NO! IT ONLY CAUSES INSECURITIES AND MORE PROBLEMS!!! IN OTHER WORDS, DEFINE YOUR SELF (HAIR IN THIS CASE), AND STICK TO IT. BEFORE LONG, EVERYONE WILL LOVE IT AND SEE THE BEAUTY IN YOU!!! STOP ALLOWING VOGUE AND GINUWINE’S MUSIC VIDEO DEFINE YOU!!! YOU’RE BLESSED ENOUGH TO FIND A ROLE MODEL IN YOURSELF AND NOT IN MAGAZINES AND THE MEDIA….

    IF I WANT TO GO ON ABOUT RELAXERS AND EXPOSE THE REALITY (WHICH I MUST ONE DAY, LOL), SOME OF YOU WILL SHAVE YOUR PERMS OFF INSTANTLY. RELAXERS ARE JUST AS BAD AS SHAVING CREAMS!!! THEY ARE HIGHLY DETRIMENTAL TO YOUR SCALP AND HAIR… ”NO LYE” RELAXER IS A BLUDDY LIE ITSELF! DON’T BELIEVE THAT MESS!!!

    BUT FOR NOW, I’LL LEAVE Y’ALL WITH THIS MESSAGE:
    NAPPY= HAPPY AND ELASTIC=ECSTATIC.

    I ADORE MY NATURAL HAIR AND WOULD NEVER GIVE IT UP FOR THE WORLD!!!

    PEACE+LOVE,
    MISS E

  45. Ruki

    May 19, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    My hair didn’t like to be fried every three months
    It feigned baldness when I blew it out
    Knowing this was my biggest fear
    It made me touch it to see
    That it hadn’t left me
    And the stress of that was too much!!

    SO I began to plait it, twist it and kemet bump it
    And it thrived and thrived
    Made me realise the myth that
    Black people can’t have natural long hair
    Was a big lie to sell perms
    My hair just wont stop growing
    And showing off.
    Just stands there, attracting attention
    Allowing itself to evolve me
    And make me appreciate the beauty
    Within me, leading me to love me
    As I am, NATURALLY
    -RUKIYAM

  46. MISS E

    May 20, 2009 at 12:50 am

    Whoever you are, ‘Nappy’ hair is NOT more time-consuming! Do you sincerely KNOW how to manage natural hair? If you did, you’d never repeat that comment as frivolously as you just did!

    Also I never said it was mandatory to have natural hair. I never will. But you think about how it has somewhat become ‘by force’ to have relaxed hair and that’s not a problem for you… Well done, you’re very intelligent.

    I can’t even start replying all the gibberish you put out there… Educate yourself and comprehend mini passages. And if you think I’m being judgmental, think again… You’re clearly the one catching feelings for whatever reason (which I don’t even care to know).

    Peace!

  47. MISS E

    May 20, 2009 at 12:51 am

    Marry me! lol x

  48. Bluu

    May 20, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Penelope..a very long way indeed.!!

    My point if you did not get it is ‘our hair do not define us’ And our ‘roots’ which sugarbelly is rooting for us to go back to doesn’t involve dread locks but AFRO.

    Am a big Asa fan, still i think the dread lock is a dirty look. My opinion. But then, if i begin to go ‘every one should carry the natural afro to display self love’, then i would be like sugarbelly and worse of all YOU. Read btw d lines next time okay.

  49. nappy gal

    May 20, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    I am so happy someone is talking about this. I went natural about a year ago coz i have folliculitis. Relaxed hair was a pain to me but on the other hand, i have the thickest,kinkiest hair i have ever seen in my life .I prepared myself mentally and dove.I have to say it hasnt been easy but its a learning adventure for me. I moved to Nigeria in December from the U.K.Imagine, my surprise when people comment on how crazy my hair looks.People would say: oh,relax it,u cant manage coz of ur texture. Believe it is not easy having hair like this when u are hausa-fulani.yes,i know most people think the hausas have soft hair.well, not me. I have to constantly go on website and forums to soothen my mind. But at last, I have finally learnt how to tell people to buzzzzzz off.I know how to take care of my hair. No need for your concern. All i need is water and shea butter and viola!!! I comb/brush my hair without winking.Yes, I have stood up and embraced myself. I am going through my pursuit of nappiness and loving it!!!!

  50. nappy gal

    May 20, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Lol, you know the people having the comment war. You all need to take a chill pill. People should respect others opinion and not impose theirs on others. Whatever the case may be. There is a freedom of choice, whether we have natural,permed,extensions or whatever, it is YOUR OWN CHOICE! So no need for the exchange of insults. Please argue nicely.lol! i am still cracking up.

  51. rasta

    May 20, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    i have worn my hair natural for over 9 years and commited to being a nubian queen 5 years ago.
    i can gym, swim and still get dressed and for an evening out.
    its absolutely fab

  52. GamGam

    May 22, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    The thing is, Relaxed hair is now the Default, If your hair is natural, people would say its “due” that is, due to be relaxed or retouched or processed. People just shouldnt look down on it, thats all.

  53. Nigerian Chicana

    May 24, 2009 at 3:06 am

    Natural hair is indeed a journey. A journey to know what works well for you.

    I’m sure we all know that there are different types of nappy hair. So while the sister with type 3A finds it easy to rock her natural hair, sister with type 4C may find it more challenging.

    I have 4C and I’ve worn my hair natural a few times. The only thing I could do with it was keep it short at about 1/2 inch. It was that or dreds.

    By the way… I love the book “Andre talks Hair”. I think that’s the name of the book, written by the guy that does Oprah’s hair. I found the book more informative than most of these natural sites. It helps you to understand “your” hair type and what your hair type can and can not do, and how it reacts to different treatments.

    In the end … everyone should be comfotable with their decision.

  54. miss me

    May 27, 2009 at 2:36 am

    I LOVE MY RELAXED HAIR…YAYYY ME! XX

  55. tatafo!

    May 27, 2009 at 3:24 am

    great tips this is one of the best comments thus far.
    I think a lot of girls have a misconception about managing natural hair because they just go pay someone to get it done.

  56. lifeofastranger

    May 29, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    I guess I’ve never really had a mentor. Since I’ve always known (or thought) natural was the way, and thus my entire life have never ONCE relaxed my hair. I do however have started to realise just maybe I might be loosing out, especially, when I have always had long natural hair, and can’t seem to do anything interesting with it. A friend of mine, even today asked me that same question countless others have always asked, why is your hair always in a bunch? My answer, I have exhusted all the styles, and now at my wits end. Just maybe after twenty nine years, it is time for a change 🙂

  57. O.A.E

    June 9, 2009 at 11:17 am

    The Lagos Natural Hair Gathering.
    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=115109607626
    Everyone is invited

  58. ngum

    August 14, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    i have never understood this fuss about hair. i wear my hair anyway beause i like it.

  59. Z

    September 2, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    All you people hating on Sugabelly need to chill out. If you want to take it so personally and start insulting her (“shallow gutter trollop”? Really?), then maybe something she said applied to you and you just don’t like to hear the truth. The response of spitting ignorance doesn’t make you look any better. And for the record, if all you can throw back are personal insults instead of logical points, then you need to

    a. go back to the playground and b. get some home training.

  60. Frankie

    September 3, 2009 at 12:26 am

    Beautifuly written

  61. Ola

    September 11, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Maybe you could get Sugabelly to do the same, while you’re at it (Go back to the playground/ get some home training).

  62. Jenny

    September 11, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Intresting comments……………………., for me the important thing is being confident, comfortable and above all loving the way i look. This thing is personal so stop the preaching/persuation.

  63. Omalichanwa

    September 19, 2009 at 12:04 am

    it’s a freaking free world…you can shave your head, curl your hair, straighten it or dye it ultraviolet blue… whatever works for you. i wear my hair anyhow i want and it suits me just fine.

  64. olayinka

    October 6, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    I recommend reading the novel, “Nappily Ever After” by Trisha R. Thomas, an American author. It is a novel based on one woman’s audacity to cut her hair short and the consequences/ negative opinions she encountered. I recommend it to you ladies. Happy reading.

  65. pamela stitch

    November 28, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Wow…..been reading the battle of words between Sugarbelly and the rest of the world. Don’t know what to say. I am a natural. Been natural for more than 7 years. Cut my hair really low several times last year. Final cut was a week after my birthday last year…been growing it since then and I have to say I love it. I love reading, and having my hair natural gives me the opportunity to explore different botanical, natural herbs. I love it. I feel blessed that I work in an industry where natural hair is okay. I repeat I love it. When I have a daughter – she will carry her hair natural till she is 16. I have been writing all these hair care techniques to pass on to her…. 😛

    Anyways…sha!!

    Keep battling…

    pammy

  66. Interested

    March 17, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Granted that I agree that her point was lost in the manner she used to portray it, I think it is fair to agree that a significantly larger number of black women in the world have relaxed hair versus natural. All a study will do is provide confirmation of what we see everyday. In my experience, I’ve noticed that it is only in recent times that I’ve seen a rise in women growing out their perms or going down the big chop route. In any case the point I’m trying to raise is that demanding a study or whatever form of documentation for something we’ve all see daily is kind of pointless

  67. Interested

    March 17, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    I have to admit that at the beginning of your post I was riding with you as far as you having a choice on whether you choose to relax your keep it natural. But towards the end, where you could have stayed on point with this topic you chose to go the route of Sugabelly which was to resort to insults in the quest on a point which weakened both your points significantly. Personally, I wear my hair natural and I am aware that there are a significant number of women who where their hair relaxed for several different reasons:
    1. Choice – as you mentioned
    2. Self-hate (Society Standards) – as Sugabelly mentioned
    3. Fashion – as many have mentioned
    4. The idea that it is easier to maintain (which personally I don’t agree with)

    Whatever the reason may be the fact remains that people have a right to a choice and should not be insulted, frowned down upon or ostracized because their choice is different from the status quo or vice versa

  68. smiley

    July 8, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Hmm..i must be really jobless cos i read all the comments and i have to say that
    i agree with everything sugarbelly said and i noticed the insults rolled in cos she felt
    insulted first and i’m suprised that no one noticed that…anyway, the end of issue
    is that black women in general do not like their natural hair, i have white friends who
    put in weaves but i am yet to see one who is even going to consider putting in an afro
    or an african textured weave, which means that they love their kind, lets stop fooling
    ourselves by saying they are artificial and all that cos at the end of the day they just
    enhance themselves while we (black women) try to change ourselves, and then, most
    of us do it for the men but then why would you want a man who claims to love you but
    hate what grows on your head and on his too (if he’s black)…it should say something
    about him, i just recently cut my hair which was relaxed and bra lenght…very long and
    believe it or not my house mate who is also my friend couldnt hold back tears cos
    she couldn’t believe i was cutting my long hair to go natural which she considers bad
    and would make me look unkempt, it’s funny cos i i laughed my eyes out
    too while she was crying but then it goes to show that we really do have issues with
    ourselves, we say its just hair and dead cells but then sit down for hours putting in extensions
    if we really dont care much about it then how about carrying our own hair, so we give excuses
    and reasons why our natural hair given to us by God is less than the “white hair”. Anyway
    whether we agree or not our hair and skin colour is what distinguishes us as africans and the same
    with the whites. Well, i really dont care what anyone does with their hair cos at the end of the day
    its your life but i have to say that if we keep denying such as colonization, self esteem and what is
    considered beautiful has not played a role with most of the decisions we have made about our hair and body generally then we are really just leaving in self denial about some things period.

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