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The Great Hair Debate! From Rockin Your ‘Real’ Hair to ‘Good Hair’

BellaNaija.com

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Tyra Weave FreeThe great hair debate is raging right now.
When Tyra Banks announced that she was going extension-free, people of all races paid attention. Tyra – the self-proclaimed lace front queen was going to be filming the entire season of the Tyra Banks Show with no wigs or hair extensions. Just her hair. Call it a gimmick but it definitely sparked the debate.
Personally, I have had a love-hate relationship with my hair. For years, no one saw it, it was just weave-in, weave-out and it worked for me just fine. It is not as though I especially hated my hair, its just that with an extremely busy school, work and travel schedule; that was basically the easiest option.
Even in my predominantly white university, my classmates were so convinced that my weave was my hair that during a drive to donate hair – they tried to convince me to donate to Locks of Love. That gave me a hearty laugh!

Despite pleas from my mum to ‘let my hair breath’, I simply ignored those! – it is easy to let your hair ‘breathe’ when you have long locks flowing with the wind like she does. After relocating to Nigeria last year, I got a hair stylist who I trusted even though she told me that my sister and mum have ‘good hair’ while my hair is ‘too thick’. Even with my ‘too thick’ hair, she advised me to give the weaves a break and after months of badgering and pleading from her. I finally did it! – I stepped out ‘weave free’. Seriously, I have never felt more naked, I was tempted to run back and say ‘Kemi, please just fix a quick weave’ or go straight home but instead I went to a get-together with BN Beauty Editor, Azara and guess what? A couple of people actually complimented my hair! To say I was shocked and awed would be an understatement. Another thing surprised me, lots of my male friends and colleagues told me to stick with it. Most men claim they love the ‘real hair’ look…Not sure if I believe them but it’s their opinion.

After my first weave-free experience, I don’t think I will ever tick to just ‘my hair’ permanently so I still rock my weaves but now give it a break much more often.

Will love to hair your weave vs. real hair stories. Guys, we want to hear from you as well. Any preferences? Plus what do you think about the whole ‘good hair’ thing – what is ‘good hair’ anyway? Check out the trailer to the new Chris Rock movie on the topic below – looks hilarious!

Tyra Weave – Free in Motion: Think she looks much better with her hair but its her choice!

89 Comments

  1. jules

    September 10, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Rocking your real high is high maintainence to prevent breakage and for it to look nice

  2. Iya2

    September 10, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    I love my hair. Its 100% natural! THICK, Curly, hard to comb, but it is MINE. I went natural a few years ago and I really feel free from relaxers and curling irons. Yes it is extremely difficult to care for natural hair but I just love the feel of my hair.
    I braid it alot … and it just keeps growing thicker and thicker. I never liked weaves … I put in a weave maybe once a year if that … that was just me. Then for about ten years before going natural I wore a wave noveau (sp??). Thats just a more natural looking jerry curl. I liked it cuz it was natural and curly and I’ve always wanted that look. After ten years, igot tired of the creamssssssssssss and just cut it all off and it has grown back lovely and THICK! I love natural.

  3. BiafranPrincess

    September 10, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    lol! So getting Chris Rock’s ‘Good Hair’ movie. Bella, I’m with u. My mom and sis have beautiful long tresses and they keep telling me to go ‘natural’. Naw, not when u’ve got hair like mine. I learnt early to be an expert at choosing wigs. Before indian wigs and lace front became the rage, baby girl got them….(Couldn’t share my secret cos I knew mom, sis and friends would think me nuts for spending so much on ‘hair’). I can’t stand weaves though, so I just have like a gazillion human hair wigs. Funny, sometimes my sweetheart and the kids can’t tell when I’m rocking the real thing or my wigs….lol

  4. Rosie

    September 10, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    In the process of growing out my real hair. Scary but I am ready to be free of relaxers.

  5. remymartin

    September 10, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    I use weaves a lot and i go around with my natural hair quite frequently ..by natural hair i mean relaxed hair(does that count as natural)….It is easier to maintain weaves (from my experience)…but really i think rocking weaves(esp caucasian type weaves) is a lil fake because we are black and that is not our hair type, its like when black folks wear contact lenses…do we have blue eyes..HECK NO!!!I am thinking of going natural once i get rid of the current weave on my head…I dont know if i can do it sa…but i will try to stop using this fake thing called weaves…so help me God

    To answer your question, there is nothing like good hair…Society has only constructed standard of good hair…Hair is hair, we black folks have thick curly hair that is our hair…Even within Caucasian world there is what is still considered good hair, i was watching The View yesterday and Joy Behar was like when she was growing up, her hair was considered bad hair and she dreamt of having “Good Hair”.As whoopi Goldberg said even if we want to use weaves why cant we use Afro-looking ones, why do they have to be long and flowy caucasian looking hair???big question!

  6. rizzle

    September 10, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Yes I have no difficulty believing that other men in the world outside of Naija guys might appreciate the kinks, curls and naps- but as for Naija men- I am not so sure- A good 99.99% of the Naija guys that I know love that long, flowing-like-a-waterfall (read non-black) hair- even if it is fake, sef- they dont care- just sha cover up your naps…

  7. realitysurfer

    September 10, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Please take a moment to check out my documentary film BLACK HAIR

    It is free at youtube. 6 parts including an update from London, England.

    It explores the Korean Take-over of the Black Beauty Supply and Hair biz..

    The current situation makes it hard to believe that Madame C.J. Walker once ran the whole thing.

    I am not a hater, I am a motivator.

    Plus I am a White guy who stumbled upon this, and felt it was so wrong I had to make a film about it.

    self-funded film, made from the heart.

    Can it be taken back?

    Link
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p96aaTSdrAE

  8. Sugabelly

    September 10, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Relaxed hair doesn’t count as Natural hair.

    Relaxed hair has been PERMANENTLY chemically induced to deviate from its natural form and so no, it is not natural hair.

    You can say real hair for relaxed but if you say natural then people will assume you’re talking about kinky coily unprocessed hair.

  9. Sugabelly

    September 10, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    How can you say not when you have hair like mine? If you relax your hair you don’t know what your real hair is like. If when your hair is natural you treat it like Caucasian hair then it will behave like a stubborn child.

    Most Nigerians want to comb hair all day long and wash it every day. You can’t do that. Our hair was not meant for constant combing or constant washing, and it is PRECISELY because black people INSIST on treating African hair as if it where WHITE hair that they claim their hair is “unmanageable” which has to be the daftest excuse I have ever heard in my life.

    Go and treat your African hair like African hair first before you claim flat out that your hair is bad.

  10. Ink

    September 10, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    I know most guys don’t right. 🙁 It’s sad…
    but it’s definitely a good way to separate the wheat from the chaff.
    my boyfriend Loves my coily hair, he plays with it All the time. and I get picked up by men all the time, I think if a woman herself is pretty confident with her self (hair,body size etc.), it shines through, and a man won’t be able to prey on her insecurity to make her do something different.

  11. Elle Woods

    September 10, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Why is it a debate? Do what you want with your hair. Its yours. Natural or paid for.

  12. Kpakpando

    September 10, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    OMG, I can only imagine the comments this will bring forth.

    I have worn my hair every way under the sun (except dreads) & really it’s just hair. If it falls out, it will grow back. If you want to have flowing tresses, buy some. If you want a million braids down your back, get ready for a sore butt while you get them put in. If a man doesn’t like short hair, tell him to grow his own out and sharrap. If you have thick hair, be happy you won’t look as bald in your later years when everyone starts to thin out. If you like creamy crack, slather it on, if you like shea butter, slather that on too.
    It so sad that so many women have insecurities about their hair & will one day have daughters that will be forced to inherit these same insecurities.

  13. Kpakpando

    September 10, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Sugarbelly e biakwa! Everyone’s hair is different, even when you share the same genetic pool. My hair for instance, is meant for constant cleansing, otherwise it begins to show out; so except for when I wear weaves, I wash my hair at least 3 times a week. My sister, can get away with weekly washes. We have different hair & lifestyles.

    BiafranPrincess didn’t even say hair hair was bad, so abeg pump your brake o. If someone says their hair is unmanageable, how is that daft? It could means they don’t know how to manage it or it could mean they don’t have the time or resources to manage their hair in its natural state. Must it always result to high school insults with you?
    We get it, you’re black & you’re proud, white people are oppressors, wear an afro, tie wrapper & fight the power… Anyi nu go! But please stop shoving it down our throats, not everyone will have the same outlook in life as you do, but it doesn’t make them wrong, stupid or inferior to you, just different.

  14. Ola

    September 10, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Please can we not start with this old chestnut again?! Natural hair versus processed hair: I can see that the inferno is beginning! IT IS JUST HAIR – NOBODY GIVES A TOSS! DO YOU! ONCE AGAIN BELLA SAID THIS DEBATE IS ABOUT REAL HAIR VERSUS WEAVES/WHAT CONSTITUTES AS “GOOD” HAIR! NATURAL HAIR WARRIORS STAY AWAY! I AM NOT SHOUTING.

  15. Ola

    September 10, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    And the people said………..AMEN!

  16. silva

    September 10, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    fight go start for here now. like kpakpando said in summary, hair is hair, anyhw u choose to wear it, its ur choice. i dn’t thnk ur hairstyle defines who u are, bt its who u are dat defines ur hairstyle…

  17. jules

    September 10, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    Tell me how to treat african hair bi ko nu!

  18. Opium

    September 10, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    Thank you Kpakpando, I tell you this “Sugabelly” somebody just always dey fall my hand with her “holier -than-thou stance..my dear free yourself oo, u hear???

  19. Irun=Hair

    September 10, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    na wa o sugabelly calling people daft because you share different views? Sometimes it sounds like you are making sense but then you go ahead and mess it up with your diarrhea mouth…You may have valid points but no one will to listen to you, if you come at them all high and mighty and agressive…

    anywayz..i wear weaves sa and i never really thot anything about it, cos as a young child my hair was relaxed and i didnt know better i thot everyone relaxed their hair and hair was supposed to be sleek n straight…after high school i started weaves and all that…it never crossed my mind that having hair like that meant i was subconciously validating oyibo hair…we can say it is just hair..but really what we are doing is saying oyibo hair type is the standard..while i know a lot of us dont go around with weaves because we want to look like oyibo… it is the norm and we dont even think about it…but really i think we should start rocking our natural hair because that is the hair God gave us….but off course its all my opinion

  20. jules

    September 10, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Yes I am still watching your clip you have won me over black owned all the way even if it means my travelling more miles. Thank you for the awareness

  21. my hair

    September 11, 2009 at 12:02 am

    I agree.. it’s hair. If I perm my hair, it has nothing to do with me hating my hair, i just love it that way. i’m tired of all these natural hair people saying i don’t love my hair.

  22. my hair

    September 11, 2009 at 12:02 am

    I agree.. it’s hair. If I perm my hair, it has nothing to do with me hating my hair, i just love it that way. i’m tired of all these un permed hair people saying i don’t love my hair.

  23. Sugabelly

    September 11, 2009 at 12:18 am

    You and Kpakpando are missing the point.

    I never called her daft.

    I said that many black people insist on treating their hair like caucasian hair and then turn around to claim that it is unmanageable when it doesn’t respond.

    I meant that the excuse of “my hair is unmanageable” which is often parroted is a daft excuse.

    I never said the girl was daft.

    Also, I never said Biafran Princess specifically said her hair was bad. Look at my opening statement.

    She said her parents kept telling her to go natural but she thought “not when you have hair like mine!”.

    That is what I was referring to.

    You’re both missing the point. I think just because you saw the word ‘daft’ there you immediately jumped on the idea that I must be insulting her.

    Go and read my response again.

  24. Sugabelly

    September 11, 2009 at 12:21 am

    Kpakpando you didn’t read my response properly. Or if you did, you didn’t glean my meaning from it.

    I never insulted her. Stop putting words in my mouth.

  25. wordsmith

    September 11, 2009 at 12:46 am

    all i know is i have natural hair and although it is not thin, it is not thick either and not as curly as most. in short. hair is hair… classifying black hair again as thick and curly is another exaggeration. just as not all white ppl have straight hair, not all black have that ideal afro texture. that’s life.

  26. rizzle

    September 11, 2009 at 1:12 am

    I did not read your comment about being “daft” to specifically refer to Biafran Princess so I am with you on that.

    But your comment that she must not know what her real hair is like because her hair is relaxed makes no sense- was she born with relaxed hair?

    My hair is relaxed and I do know what my real hair is like because before I relaxed it, believe it or not, it was on my very own head, growing out of my very own scalp.

    So chances are Biafran Princess knows what her real hair is like too. And maybe, just perhaps, that’s even the reason why she opted for the creamy crack. Just saying…

  27. Kpakpando

    September 11, 2009 at 1:15 am

    Sugabelly, you’re quite right. Your use of the word daft is what is causing the noise in your attempt to communicate your feelings about natural hair & it’s manageability. Even you have to see how using that word, in direct response to the original comment can be seen as insulting. I mean, I know in my village referring to anything as daft is meant as an insult alone, is it different in yours?

    Perhaps you should reread your comments prior to hitting that add comment button, so you make sure you’re not inadvertently insulting anyone. No matter how valid your point is, it will never come across clearly, when the tone is so angry, condescending and rude. You’re allowed to have and express your opinion, especially those that you are passionate about, but you also are responsible for the manner in which you deliver these opinions to others.

  28. Sugabelly

    September 11, 2009 at 1:32 am

    Kpakpando, my tone was neither angry, condescending, nor rude. I was simply surprised that she should think that it was okay for her family members to have natural hair but not herself because perhaps, of the texture of her hair.

    I put the word daft in the right place in the sentence. Anyone reading what I wrote should be able to see that daft refers to the excuse that is often make to defend relaxing hair and not to Biafran Princess herself. Anyone that miraculously sees otherwise is choosing to assume I meant to insult for whatever reasons unknown to me.

    It’s clear as day there. I wasn’t insulting anyone and I wasn’t angry, rude or condescending.

  29. Sugabelly

    September 11, 2009 at 1:35 am

    @rizzle: Sorry if what I said about that was confusing. What I mean is, yes, people have some natural growth before they relax their hair of course, but at the same time, like I mentioned before, people also tend to treat that natural hair as though it were Caucasian hair (excessive combing, flat ironing, etc etc) and so most people that do this never get to see what the true curl pattern/texture of their hair is like (i.e. if they would just leave it alone and let it grow out a bit without the combing – they never get to see that it begins to coil up and spiral and stuff because they don’t allow it to)

    And that is what I meant when I talked about not knowing what your real hair texture is like.

  30. KayBayBay

    September 11, 2009 at 2:08 am

    My hair situation since i’ve been old enough to take control of it has been like 35% weave and braids, the rest its usually natural becoz i cant be bothered with the expenses of doing hair all the time. I personally love to have it natural theres nothing better than a fresh relaxer, wrap and set to keep you going! But ive noticed during school weaves work better for me because i can leave it in for longer and the cold weather down ere doesnt do much for natural hair sometimes so breakage is a bitch. But all in all i dont mind both but natural is always better!
    oh and i think tyra should go back to her lace wigs her hair looks so lifeless and damaged, going natural isnt really doing her any favors. i guess its not her fault really being a model and all im sure her hair has seen HELL….xx

  31. Ink

    September 11, 2009 at 2:14 am

    When certain abrasive opinions cloud this debate, it becomes a battle of words and judgment on personal decisions.
    Anyone up for a real debate?
    Then help me answer these questions on:
    ~cost, ethics and flexibility.~
    Cost, as in, what do you guys think about spending hundreds of dollars/pounds/thousands of naira funding private companies whose main motivation is profit and advertising/marketing and have no interest in advising black women on proper ‘real’ hair care?

    Ethics as in these companies receive millions of every currency in profits every year while the people who donate their hair receive little to no compensation (whether monetary or in infrastructure)?

    Flexibility as in the high cost and maintenance put into maintaining a hair piece often takes precedence over beneficial physical activities that will damage the hair piece, i.e. going to the gym, swimming (I know we’ve all been there!).

    Most people seem to be concentrating on the ‘image’ issue so far, but unfortunately it is becoming redundant.
    I Do wish to add my 2 cents though!
    I wish I could say it is ‘just hair’, but as an aspiring media personality, I have observed that MOST women in this field do not sport their hair in its natural state. No doubt, personal decision is a factor, but we cannot deny that straight hair has been tied with sophistication and good grooming in our society.

    Once this is acknowledged, I think that the insistence by ‘natural’ haired ladies to be accepted the way they are AND their strive to convince others to revert to their natural hair texture can be understood, for we face a paradox where the natural has become subversive/rebellious/abnormal and where the chemically altered has become the normal.

    It is not ‘just hair’ when you take a second glance when someone keeps their hair in an unprocessed state.

    It is not ‘just hair’ for Black women, when wavy haired Asian women and curly haired White women can walk in to get a job interview worrying only about their qualifications, whereby a Black woman’s locks(dreads),plaits/cornrows,natural hair(afros) and sometimes braids impede her confidence. Where some black women press their hair for the first few months of working somewhere and only leave it natural after they have received their benefits.

    It’s a valid debate, and I hope other people’s childish fascinations for riling up drama has not turned you all of to answer my questions.

    Thanks!

  32. Obi-talker

    September 11, 2009 at 2:38 am

    I just left ur site like two minutes ago…just for me to come here and see that you are already involved in another debate. Do you sleep at all.

  33. soupasexy

    September 11, 2009 at 3:15 am

    I’ve been in the US for a few years now and I never let my real hair out cos I have one of those nappy hair kinda. I rocked it all, wigs, cheap and expensive weaves, and lace wig. I was the queen of fake hair. Last month, I decided to cut my hair really short, almost scalp level and I am currently rocking a mohawk. I love it and I get hit on all the time…lol..I don’t know how long this will last but for now I’m just happy to be free of weaves.

  34. Mel

    September 11, 2009 at 3:16 am

    Omg!! this is the best topic ever!! we have all been waiting for this topic!! it’s tru people should not relax their hair all the time, but it is soo hard to main natural hair. It’s hard to put a comb through natural hair and you have lots of breakages. Maintaining natural hair is waay more expensive than getting it relaxed or permed.That’s why It’s nice to go the salon and get your hair done so you can put a comb through it, but it’s not healthy for the hair. i stoppped and stuck with braids, but it’s not working out either. If i keep my braids in for two or more months i feel like i should perm it before i get it done the next time, I usuallly dont so i get my braids done while my hair is coarse and virgin. It’s the worse thing ever because it hurts like B—- when the hairstylist is doing it. I dont know what should be done about black people’s hair anymore. it’s too much work!!!! There has to be reason why God gave us this type of hair lol..

  35. Tammy

    September 11, 2009 at 6:11 am

    i’m sad to say i have gone without my hair on the top of my head sense i was 17 when it started. do to symptoms of lupus. i have to wear bandanas or hat because i’m embarrassed. people treat you like your a lepor once the find out. you self esteem. you don’t want to do anything outside, because if your hat falls off, or your bandana slides back you feel worse

  36. MiaJadore

    September 11, 2009 at 6:27 am

    Sugabelly, ever heard the saying:” Better To Remain Silent And Be Thought A Fool Than To Open Your Mouth And Remove All Doubt”.

  37. Nelly

    September 11, 2009 at 7:00 am

    mehn…Sugabelly,u need to take a chill pill oh,like seriously! i follow ur blog and all, and it’s cool to put whatever u want there, but coming to another site and being in people’s faces and practically shoving ur opinion down their throats ain’t cool at all…so chill babes,life is meant to be lived…so enjoy!!!

  38. tallchica

    September 11, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Teeheehee…too late, the ammunition has been flying for like two days already. Let everybody hash their issues out. I just cut all of mine off and I am rocking a tiny afro. Me sha, im happy nobody keeps saying “wow your hair is soooo long” when I have braids in. Actually, most people were shocked, but I’m loving it!! fresh air, no burns, relatively no pain (YOUTUBE people….the movement is rising…lol..I recomment RusticBeauty’s channel (she’s nigerian too)). But in the end, everybody has their choice to do whatever they want with their hair. Me i like mine natural, I always have others might not…to each her own…

  39. tallchica

    September 11, 2009 at 8:34 am

    recommend oo….proofreading will not kill me!

  40. uguysramazn

    September 11, 2009 at 8:59 am

    dont we ladies have issues..lol,all ild say is relaxed,natural,weaves,attchment,call it anything ,whatever suits you really,it shouldnt be a debate as we are different people.how about having natural hair n looking tacky?or an afro that dosent suit you?or washing your hair everyday and having a headache,so u see,one mans meat is another mans poison.

  41. Ejiro Kragha

    September 11, 2009 at 11:29 am

    like most black women, I have also had relaxer put into my hair since I was 14 and my once beautiful full thick hair became long silky shiny at first which looked really nice till I noticed that it was shorter by the moment…then I went on “gorimapa” LOL! then kept an afro, then bleached it, then dyed it, then cut a bob while braiding and having weaves between all of this….now I have dreads and I can tell you that having been through it all with hair, rocking my natural hair esp with the dreads is the best so far.
    However, as pointed out earlier, there is a lot of negativity when it comes to black women spotting their natural hair and even our own self esteem issues dont help matters. I have been told several times that if I have to practice as a Dr here in the UK, I wld have to lose the dreads because its too ethnic and guess my reply, I wont practice in the UK if thats what it means…
    Most people say oh its easier maintaining weaves, relaxed or straightened hair, well I beg to differ because you might as well go get your hair plaited, threaded and other things that are peculiar to us which are easy to maintain and very cheap..but believe you me if I stepped out with my hair threaded, its my very own Naija sisters and black women alike that would tell me how RAZZ and local I look..so I think somewhere deep down, self esteem has a huge role to play in how we wear our hair…That been said though, whatever works for anyone!

  42. Ejiro Kragha

    September 11, 2009 at 11:39 am

    colour of eyes is not peculiar to any race, its just more common with some! Medically, black people can have blue eyes,green eyes etc..Just a piece of info! God bless

  43. remymartin

    September 11, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    God go Bless you too…I obviously mean majority of people from a certain race have eye color that is peculiar to them…take 10 black folks and count how many will have colored eyes? abeg go n sleep before feeling like someone who is giving vital information

  44. Sugabelly

    September 11, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    I don’t know what all of you are on about. I didn’t insult the girl nor did I say anything offensive.

    You all need to take a huge chill pill. If you can’t be bothered to read my comments properly then don’t blame me if you don’t misinterpret what I say.

  45. Sugabelly

    September 11, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    *misinterpret not ‘don’t misinterpret’. Damn typos.

  46. sugary belly

    September 11, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    @sugabelly, i shake my head in disgust. Have you read what you wrote? ‘They should leave their hair alone and let it grow out a bit without the combing’? why aren’t you doing the same with yours? So now you are accussing the ‘naturals’ of trying to be caucasian by combing and flat ironing their hair.

    I mean where are you heading with all of this? you feel because you braid your hair with extensions, makes you better than the weave wearers?
    How has wearing your natural hair improved your self esteem and your manners, your quality of life even? has it led you into believing that you are more accepting of your ‘blackness’ or has it turned you into this defensive, agressive caucasian hair hater? you talk as though caucasian hair is something to be hated, like a skinny person hating a fat person.
    There are more important things that define a person, a soul, that goes beyond HAIR. Judging from your comments of old and your blog, your ‘HATE’ stems from issues deeper than the natural state of ones hair. One day you would look beyond that WEAVE WERAING, but confident, loving, compassionate, polite, self assrued black woman who does not define herself by the state of her hair but by the natural acceptance of what the world has to offer in all its variations.

    Take a chill pill, air your own opinions, love your natural hair and wear it wild and untamed, but don’t hate on those who don’t. Because no one hated on you when you where on a downward spiral threatening to kill yourself over a man that had forgotten you these 3 years gone by – and you want to rave about natural hair, when you treat your very existence with such disdain.
    I think you know not what you are talking about. Please go and sleep a little or rest awhile then ponder upon real issues affecting mankind beginning with your scary state of existence.

  47. Miss Fizzy

    September 11, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    You know what’s funny about that? Ask a black man if he prefers girls with real hair or fake hair, they’ll say real hair right? Now ask them to choose between a picture of Meagan Good or Beyonce and pictures of Erykah Badu or India Arie.

    I’m not saying all black men sha, but a lot of them. However, I believe that it’s whatever energy you put out that will be returned to you, your hair is not a deciding factor in how attractive you are. It’s your confidence and your pride in yourself.

  48. Miss Fizzy

    September 11, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Actually her hair looks really healthy. It’s always covered under all those protective styles and i think she looks as good with her hair out as it does with weaves and stuff. It’s long and thick and full and shiny, what’s damaged there? Relaxed hair needs special care because the chemicals weaken the structure, but it looks like her stylist knows what he’s doing. She really doesn’t need the weaves.

  49. anhanhhhhh

    September 11, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    haba sugary belly..even for an individual as obnoxious as sugabelly..dat was wayyyy below the belt…just stick to the topic at hand…

  50. Miss Fizzy

    September 11, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Sugabelly, I’m natural too but I’ve realized that talking at people will not make them see what they’re not ready to see. I have no problem with people who relax. I do feel some kinda way when I hear the reasons behind their need to relax though.

    If you say you relax because you prefer your hair that way or it’s less time consuming for you to style, it’s not necessarily about self-hate, it’s just what you prefer. However, I don’t understand it when people say they relax because their hair is too ugly, too unmanageable, too this that or the other. According to who exactly? If relaxers had not been invented, what would we have done? Does anyone remember why relaxers were invented in the first place?

    I’m natural because it’s easy for me. I like to play with hair so I took the time out to learn how to care for my hair and I don’t see myself ever going back. It’s not a political thing, I don’t feel blacker or more African, I’m not fighting for anyone else’s cause. I just like my hair that way and how it looks on me. I would like it if everybody decided to shun relaxers and go natural, that would be cool, but hey everybody has to do what works for them for whatever reason.

    Quick question: Relaxers are chemicals, and not even delicate chemicals at that. Heavy duty, eat away your skin, dangerous fumes kind of chemicals. You wouldn’t let it touch your skin right? If a chemical spilled on your arm and ate away your flesh you’d freak out right? Now the same chemicals eat away at your scalp and burn your scalp and that’s normal? Go figure.

    For all of you that say afros are ugly I want you to watch this video, all the girls in this video, but one, are African. The model is Nigerian and they all have afros (real ones, no wigs) and they’re all gorgeous. I’m just saying…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQSfsqHTuss

  51. Miss Fizzy

    September 11, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    I’ve just learned not to listen to what people say about the way I look. The ones that pick on you, are generally so uncomfortable in their own skin that they try to put their insecurity on other people. I’m natural too and I’ve always wanted to try dreads but I like playing with my hair too much to keep it tied down to one style. i know dreads are versatile, but I prefer my bushy hair. My mum is getting dreads though and I’m so proud of her for doing it. She doesn’t like dealing with her hair so this is a good route for her to take. I’m glad she chose dreads instead of weaves and stuff like that.

    And weaves are not easy to maintain. Sleeping on tracks is not fun and brushing every hour or so is ridiculous, then shedding, restyling, etc etc… too much maintenance for a lazy child like me.

    By the way, employers are not allowed to discriminate based on hair style. If your dreads are not interfering with your work, ie pulled pack or in updos and stuff, they have no basis. You should sue if it ever comes down to it. You have a good basis.

    I would love to have a doctor with dreads sha.

  52. mimi

    September 11, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    na wa o,this topic never ceases to cause arguments whether on the net or IRL. Anyway sugabelly i do agree with some stuff you say,the problem is the way you sometimes pass your message across that gets people all worked up..i also agree that we have to learn how to take care of our hair and not just keep complaining that its too unmanageable-yes its difficult to run a comb thru our dry hair but try it with lots of conditioner on the hair and with a WIDE tooth comb not rattail comb,moisturise daily with good products and not all that crap sold in ethnic haircare aisles thats chock full of mineral oil n other fillers,sleep with a stain scarf or pillowcase ..if you try all these you would be amazed by how versatile and nice our kinky-coily hair really is..our hair is different and requires extra care but its not ugly nor worse than caucasian hair..I sincerely think all black women should have natural hair for atleast a few months and see that its a blessing..its really worrying when women refuse to be seen without weaves n think thier hair is a curse..and for the people saying its just hair well maybe thats true for other races but for us natural/relaxed/fake hair is a very charged topic..a goos place to start if you are interested in growing YOUR OWN hair (and not relying on someone elses hair to look good!) is http://www.longhaircareforum.com..

  53. Omowa

    September 11, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Thank you. I agree, there must be a reason God gave us this hair!

  54. mimi

    September 11, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    i mean satin scarf!

  55. Kpakpando

    September 11, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    The beauty industry has never been about anything but making money. I don’t expect them to have any interest in advising women of any race about proper hair care, nor do I expect them to be more ethical than any other industry that shafts the little people just to turn over big profit.
    As far as flexibility/maintenance of weave as an excuse to not participate in physical activity, I think it’s just that, an excuse. No matter what state your hair (borrowed or scalp grown or chemically altered) is in, you have to put in some work after most vigourous workouts to keep it healthy and looking presentable.

    RE: Your points on image.
    Your points are very valid, however most of the issues you raised go deeper than just hair and are firmly rooted in racism.

  56. BellaNaija.com

    Bella

    September 11, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Stay strong Tammy! You are fabulous regardless of hair status, your health and keeping the lupus at bay is more important. If want to share your story with BN, please email [email protected]

  57. 2 gems (Dith)

    September 11, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    why did i just know this was going to turn into a natural hair debate!! lol
    I seriously doubt that was what the article was talking about. HAIR IS NO BIG DEAL. When u die, it rots away. So do you and let others do them.
    Carry that afroccentric and proud chant somewhere else abeg. I have rocked all types of hair..ranging from ur beloved afro to ur most dreaded weave…u see to some of us, it just isn’t that serious.

  58. John

    September 11, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    I’m a Nigerian guy based in the States and I can tell you ladies now – many of us have learnt to differenciate between a woman’s real hair and the fake bits they buy to add in. And most guys I know definitely prefer the real deal. One of my guys told me he has never seen his fiancee’s real hair, and he is worried that she may be bald underneath all the blond, green and red wigs.
    Why do you ladies think we like the fake things you put on? We can just about deal with make up and high heels. But then you wear fake hair, fake nails, false eyelashes, deceptive underwear, and the lot. It’s very scary. Imagine how a guy feels when you get to the bedroom and the fake things come off and you realise that the sexy babe was only looking that way because she had “help” from horse hair and plastic nails!

    Many of us prefer a confident, woman who is not afraid of showing her true self. The only reason why we don’t complain is because we know you will get riled up when we try to give constructive criticism about your hair and appearance in general. I know some guys have totally given up on the idea of meeting a babe with no fake bits.

    But I will say this: Try to take care of the body you have been given by God so you don’t need the fake stuff. Eat right, exercise, use good products, treat your hair and body with respect and let your natural beauty shine through.

  59. jbaby

    September 12, 2009 at 1:26 am

    that is so true. black men always think they prefer ur real hair. lol.

  60. Green

    September 12, 2009 at 3:42 am

    At the end of the day, to some people, myself included it’s just hair. I have have had my hair natural for a significant amount of time, I have permed it, I have rocked low cut, I have dyed it, I love my wigs not weaves or braids though, my point is that I enjoy playing with my hair and it is pretty much an extension of my wardrobe, I am as attached to my hair as I am to a pair of shoes, it’s really not that deep

  61. wth

    September 12, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    I do not think maintaining natural hair is way more expensive than maintaining relaxed hair. This coming from someone who has tried both, in fact I’m going back to my roots once again!!!

  62. wth

    September 12, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Jesu free the girl!! since when did it become wrong to voice your opinion, even if it is a million times a day?

  63. lilkunta

    September 12, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    First, Tyra showed her real hair as a copy of the mighty O: Oprah. Back in April when Oprah did an episode about twitter & joined twitter she wore her real hair for a few episodes: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/24/oprah-defends-her-hair-th_n_191287.html . . . Cant Tyra ever do anything original?

    As Tyra said, as the mighty O Oprah has said, RELAXERS KILL HAIR. Tyra’s broke off, and the mighty O’s beautiful afro fell out. If from childhood our mother’s didnt relax our hair, we would all know how to manage it. Bc of the work that Oprah & Tyra do, wigs and weaves are a must. & for so many professional ladies they feel the same.
    I hve no problem w ppl wearing wigs/weaves as long as they are realistic.

    For Tyra, I found her hypocritical bc many times she had episodes on hair when she would b wearing a long *ss weave!

    As far as the Chris Rock documentary, Im intersted to c it. Chris too needs to start @ home.
    – – –
    CNN QUOTE :Rock couldn’t figure out why his daughters wanted straight hair, and when Lola, [one of his daughters], asked him why she didn’t have good hair, it just “ignited something in me,” Rock recalls.
    – – –
    . . . His 2 daughters are crying over their hair & arent reassured as their mom Malaack stays in a weave. If Rock’s wants his daughters Lola & Zahra 2 b confident & self assured & love their hair, he needs 2 encourage his wife / their mother needs to wear her hair differently. Malaack shouldnt all the time be wearing those long long Anglo hair weaves that she does.

  64. llily

    September 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    exactly her point…if you go back to history because black hair is the most different hair texture of all textures….it was used as an instrument of prejudice…hence the different names white slave masters or the colonial masters called our hair…nappy, ugly, and so many other things….did you know that in the past white people used our hair and how nappy it is to judge our social acceptance….so when we as a people say it’s just hair that is plain ignorance….the saddest thing i think about Nigerian (not all obviously) is their refusal to read up on their history and see why they think the way they think…..

  65. mimi

    September 13, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Saw this comment on another blog and it pretty much sums up how I feel about this issue-
    ”The fact that black women are the only women in the entire world for whom such a large number DON’T wear their hair in its natural texture (for most of their entire lives!) is tragic. I don’t see how you all don’t see that or grasp the gravity of that. And the line “it’s just hair” is so disingenuous and the logic of it could easily be turned back on itself: if it’s just hair, why NOT wear it natural?”

  66. Quitwhining

    September 14, 2009 at 2:53 am

    Ah!!!black women…its almost like we actively seek anything that can divide us and run with it. Your hair is permed, natural, weaves, wig etc…SO WHAT. In the large scheme of things, there are bigger things to worry about. Our communities are rotting away and we find time to sit and talk about our lack of self esteem when our hair is “straight” or our Afrocentrism when our hair is in an afro. Give it a rest jo, focus this energy (sugarbelly & co…no hard feelings girl 😉 ) on the real issues of life. It surprises me how, a culture that is blessed with such versatile hair spends half the time bashing on each other. When our white sisters get perms to get curly hair or vice versa, no one shouts…when you see a white guy with locks, no one says anything…its only us that have to focus on something so trivial. Rock the style you like and live your life. Work to make sure our daughters grow up with good self esteem and they can love themselves with whatever hair they have. Teach our sons to appreciate women and seek for higher heights in life. Not to be a downer but AIDS, cancer and all sorts are ravaging our communities and we are spending time talking about natural vs permed hair. Let us really get it together, our priorities are out of wack.

    O and whatever hairstyle you rock…biko, take care of your hair…trim and wash that bad boy…natural hair does not mean it is low maintenance and permed hair does not mean you can just put it in a ponytail and just go o.

    God bless!!!

  67. Ejiro Kragha

    September 14, 2009 at 8:20 am

    lol @ wanting a Dr with dreads..lovely write up! trust me ur mum wld love the dreads..very easy to maintain!

  68. vivian o

    September 15, 2009 at 2:42 am

    I find it interesting that any black man wants to give black women “constructive criticism” about hair. Black men can never understand the challenges black women go through in society, especially western society, because of hair. All brothers have to do is get a low cut and that’s it. Imagine if your low cut was not enough and you were required to change your hair texture, length of hair, et cetera just to get a job, find a mate, or simply fit into the mainstream.

    I wore natural hairstyles in a white collar position and it was not well received. My fellow black female colleagues received similar treatment. When one of my colleagues switched to weave, the warm reception that she received was sooooooo astonishing. She was rewarded for wearing “fake” hair and punished for actually wearing the hair GOD put on her head. This is what black women face in many contexts: we are shunned for wearing our own hair and when we try to conform, we are admired by the hegemony and some of our own, but on the flip side considered “fake”. My rhetorical question is “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU ALL WANT FROM US?”

    Black men are busy talking crap about black women and how “fake” they are, yet they continuously demand that black women meet the beauty ideals of the hegemony. While black men are busy criticizing black women, I am sure that the natural white women with boob implants, botox, hair extensions, contacts, tans, porcelain veneers, nose jobs, lip injections, and butt injections are “real” to the average black men.

    The fact is that women of all races indulge in beauty enhancements and people should stop beating down on black women for partaking of the national moi moi.

  69. IFearBellaNaijaFollowers

    September 16, 2009 at 5:48 am

    LMAO MIA JADORE…Sugarbelly needs to hear this

  70. FirstIWantToDanceWithYouPere

    September 16, 2009 at 6:10 am

    you have issues sa!which one is deceptive undewear again!!! !!pls give your wife or GF this advice…if you like tell her not to brush her teeth all in d name of natural….

  71. Bukky

    September 16, 2009 at 7:09 am

    I dont think it’s bad if black women want to deviate from their natural hair…It is okay to experiment with different looks…I like to have curly,straight and any other type of hair when i choose to …The problem however, is that a lot of black women think their hair is bad and that caucasian hair is the standard hair type…this obviously means something is wrong somewhere…It isnt just hair when we think that only Caucasian type hair (weave n relaxed hair) is sexy!!!It’d be nice if we rocked our own hair as often as other type hair we rock.I blame our mothers sa…they just slapped chemicals on our hair and didnt let us know any different, while growing up i really thought everyone had to have permed hair…now that our generation knows better we should encourage our daughters …we should let them know that their natural hair is their own hair standard and it is even more beautiful than the other hair options they have.

  72. Marian

    September 22, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    if it’s just hair, why NOT wear it natural?”

    Mimi will be a great line for going natural ad campaign!

  73. fingy

    September 23, 2009 at 3:40 am

    yes!why dont we do everything natural then…Lets not wear make-up, lets not use body lotions, mascara nko? let us stop trying to lengthen and thicken our eye lashes…Why do we GO NATURAL all the way!!!!why choose one over the other!!

  74. Miss Fizzy

    September 23, 2009 at 8:47 am

    You can’t compare wearing mascara or makeup to having natural hair. It’s not even close. Those things you mentioned fingy will only cause temporary changes and at the end you can wash them off. However relaxers are PERMANENT. It’s not like a cream you put in your hair to straighten it that you can wash off at the end of the day. It’s akin to bleaching your skin in that it is permanent and it damages and weakens your hair. Going natural is better for hair in the long run because when people get older and their hair starts to thin and fall off, and they start to suffer from pattern baldness like men, they’ll wonder why. I wish people could understand that. Besides, if you’re natural and want to have straight hair, there are flat irons and pressing combs. None of these will cause as much damage as relaxers. I mean when my hair was relaxed, I STILL had to flat iron to make it really straight. Why not just cut out the middle man and go from curly to straight, instead of from frizzy, neither straight nor curly to straight?

  75. z

    September 30, 2009 at 7:08 am

    God bless you…you’re an example of what a man should be

  76. Cici

    October 11, 2009 at 12:00 am

    I totally agree with John. I know the truth hurts, but he’s telling the truth.

  77. Naomi

    October 17, 2009 at 4:07 am

    Good 1 I like ur comment…

  78. oduffa

    October 17, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    I think how you choose to wear your hair should depend what makes you feel comfortable. Getting a perm does not make you less African unless going through pain every time you have to comb or restyle your hair is “African”. On the flip side, perms and weaves are convenient for a lot of women but personally i dont think it makes them anymore glamorous than the next person with natural hair. It’s just hair nobody should be judged by how they choose to wear it.

  79. sweethix!

    October 19, 2009 at 6:13 am

    uhhhhh….. iono about you but i hate waking up in the morning and i cant put my hair in a ponytail and have it look good. at least with a perm, i dont spend hours trying to put it in a bun. a perm is convenient and if you straightened your hair properly, youd only have to do it like once every two weeks.. which is what i do. unlike natural hair… you sweat.. its over.

  80. seun d

    October 19, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    I wear my hair natural and although I am in the growing stages, I have a wash and go method for my hair. I can wash it whenever I want (only conditioner though). with my natural hair I don’t hesitate to go to the gym, or that when rain is falling have to be like “oh my hair”. all the chemical straightening and weaves makes it difficult to just live like people of other races are doing.

  81. seun d

    October 19, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    I agree with you 100% I am not too attached to my hair because I cut it for the longest time but the minute I decided to grow my hair natural and use all my conditioners I realized how soft and beautifully curly my hair is that I can’t even take my hands off my hair. it’s now a bad habit how i touch my hair cause i just want to feel my tightly coiled hair

  82. seun d

    October 19, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    You say this but a lot of guys are more concerned with va va voom which means big hair, fake lashes they can’t help it.

  83. kenna

    November 24, 2009 at 1:13 am

    Yes its not if you are in the US!!!!!!!! However in the UK we dont have the same products nauturals in the US have so cheaply we have to pay $36- $40+ in shipping just for products and what happens if you dont like it or cant find someone to do a product swap with.

    In the US you dont really have much problems. Im natural too but to get cheaper products in the UK they would have to be filled with cones etc. I dont have the products I would love to have.

    If you have the money it wont be an issue if you dont then its not as easy. Being natural or relaxed isnt hard there are ways to take care of both hair textures in a healthy way regardless of whether the relaxer is harmful. If I can do both you can too.

  84. yvonne

    December 22, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    you guys are funny……lol

  85. Aybaby

    January 17, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Its sad that many women spend so much money on hair extensions et al at the expense of their hair. Do whatever you like but take good care of your hair. Buy good hair products for your hair, drink lots of water etc but whatever the case, look beautiful….

  86. ytee

    February 22, 2010 at 3:08 am

    i got tired of my relaxed hair a few months back when it started breaking. i had just removed a weave and was combing my hair when i noticed the breakage and realized my hair looked worse than it used to back in my secondary school days. That same evening, i was at the barbers and i have enjoyed carrying my natural hair ever since. I was pleasantly suprised when i got so many compliments. The good part is that when i get tired and desire another look, i wear wigs or as i did once, a lace wig. 🙂

  87. aminatu

    April 13, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    John said it correct natural is the way to go. I feel black women are more beautiful with natural hair we can do so much with it. by the way , i am natural no perm and no extension or wigs. Some one said that the western society make it difficult for black women to wear their natural hair at their job. Probably if black women worn it more it will be more acceptable. I get a lot of praise from other race about how my hair is so beautiful…..Also, the natural texture are different so everyone will not look the same and the texture range from 3a-3c and 4a-4c. Be proud of who you are……black women….

  88. Rebecca

    November 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    my hair is thinning out anyone pls suggest a product that can rescue my hair. thanks

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