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Jennifer Obiuwevbi: Are You Undercover or Openly Proud of Your ‘Fro? 6 Types of Naturalistas I Found

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BN Beauty - BellaNaija - April2015About 2 years ago I tried going natural. It wasn’t to join the growing movement or anything, I was just curious. I wanted to see what my natural coil looked like. I had read so many articles about the beauty of natural hair, and was so inspired by a #NaturalHair search on Instagram; that I decided to stop using relaxers on my hair and try the natural way for once.

I realized I could not get started without seeing what the natural hair life was about. So, I talked to 2 of my natural-haired friends to get some advice.

While hanging out with them and discussing the highs and lows of natural hair, I realized these ladies were very different when it came to their relation to natural hair. One was very enthusiastic, and kept talking about how she likes to style her hair in different ways, and always goes for workshops; while the other, who is a connoisseur of wigs, made only a point to care for your hair, protect it and make sure it’s healthy.

This made me curious as to how different naturalistas view being natural. From what I gathered, there are some women who take their hair seriously, and would do anything to enhance & improve it; while others are more about the lifestyle and the #TeamNatural movement.

I asked myself – are all naturalistas the same or are there different types? Do they all take their natural hair seriously or do some of them just sit at the back of the class, hoping they don’t get asked any questions?

To get the answers to my questions I researched all my natural friends to find out the kind of naturalistas there are out there. Here are the 6 personalities I found.

Please remember that this post is just for fun. Enjoy!

The Accidental Naturalista
You know that one girl who has been keeping her hair natural way before it became a huge trend? Yeah, she’s who I call the accidental naturalista. She started growing out her natural hair not because of trends or to be part of the movement, it was just something she did. She prefers her hair that way.

A friend of mine, who this personality describes, actually couldn’t care less if natural hair is a movement or not. She misses the days where she would walk out the door, and not have people come up to her asking how long she’s been natural, or if she has a vlog. I absolutely love the fact that she makes it more about her and what she wants, than what she is ‘supposed’ to be doing to her hair.

The Barbie Naturalista
This is the naturalista everyone loves to hate. She is the perfect poster girl for natural hair – she always has her edges sleek, coils coiled and ‘fro perfectly puffy. She’s also most likely the one who made you love natural hair and want to be natural. This girl is the one you repost on Instagram and beg to create a Youtube page where she can show you how to get gorgeous hair like her’s.

The thing I’ve learned about this type of naturalista is, not everything that shimmers is expensive. They wake up with messy edges, have bad hair days and even go without wash days for weeks. But when it comes to getting ready, they go all out. So, if there’s one thing you should take away from this post, it’s that you don’t have to be perfect to put your best foot forward.

The Undercover Naturalista
This is the girl who is natural but nobody knows it. She rocks a lot of weaves and wigs, so her hair is always covered and you hardly get to see what’s underneath. It’s not that she’s not proud of her hair, she just hasn’t gotten the hang of it yet. So till she can get her ‘Solange’ together, she’ll just keep fixing weaves.

I discovered one thing I like about this naturalista – she is a perfectionist. This is a plus in my books. She wants to be sure of how she looks when she goes out. I can be like that sometimes; I want to be certain my hair looks good and I’m comfortable with it, so even if I get one wrong stare from someone, I know it’s not because of my hair.

The Product Junkie Naturalista
I like this girl – she’s the Youtube vlogger that tries everything first. She follows the latest natural hair blogs and brands to find what product is hot on the market. You’ll find her at workshops, exhibitions, seminars, sales, you name it.

Even though she spends a lot of money on what claims to get curlier hair, smoother edges or a softer mane, she’s someone you can go to for hair advice. If you are a newbie to the natural world and want to get information on what products you should be using, she’s a friend you need. When I go natural, I hope she’s there guiding me through.

The Obsessive Compulsive Naturalista
She is very much like the #TeamNatural Leader, except she takes all that energy meant to win you over, and channels it to herself. She is very concerned about her hair and is very inquisitive about the natural hair world. She wants to know why her hair curls up and not down, checks labels on products, watches what she eats, reads reviews, is very active on forums and would take notice of every change her hair undergoes.

I like this naturalista because she cares – hard! She is dedicated to her tresses, has a bond with it and wants to make sure she gives her hair the best care always. I can definitely learn a thing or two from her.

The #TeamNatural Leader
I run when I see this type of naturalista. This is the girl who would see you getting your hair relaxed at the salon, and try to hand you a pamphlet for the weekly “I Am Naturally Fabulous” meetings she hosts in her house. 🙂 She is very pro-natural hair and would try to win you over every chance she gets.

I know at least 2 people like this, and we always talk about my hair being relaxed whenever we meet up.

As much as they can be pushy, I think they are the ones that keep the engine of the natural hair movement running. They raise awareness when there is profiling of natural-haired young women & men in the work place, and act as the heart of this movement. In the end, they make it more of a community as opposed to a passing trend.

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I hope you had fun and a little laugh while reading this post. Share with your friends and tell us what type of naturalista you are.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime

Jennifer is the Beauty Editor & Style Representative of BellaNaija.com. Get in touch - Send an email to: beauty(at)bellanaija.com or style(at)bellanaija.com | Follow us on Instagram: @bellanaijabeauty OR @bellanaijastyle | Follow us on Twitter: @bellanaijastyle

32 Comments

  1. Scared homosapien

    September 3, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    I am team repented-naturalista. Been there, done that and I was saved. Welcome me back into the fold for relaxed hair, brothers and sisters.

    • TN

      September 4, 2015 at 4:28 pm

      I get you babe!, i’m seriously considering falling back to beign relaxed, my relaxed hair grew long, shiny and healthy!
      been transitioning for over a year now and presently I’ve got like 4.3 inches of natural growth and as much as i love the coils I can only honestly decribe it as a “thick-iron-spongy-rough-looking-4c”. I tried protective styling and all but even glue can’t keep this edges down for more than a few minutes, so my hair looks rough after a few days!

      And! Bfore I get it to look decent in the morning the sun is already out. It takes so much of my time!
      On the bright side, transitioning’s helped me get rid of some dandruff issues and I hate relaxer burn so that’s why I’m still on this path.

      I really appreciate my natural sistas and their “crowns” but this natural life don’t seem to be for girls like me! #teamTooLazy #teamRelaxedSoon #MightJustHoldOnAbitLonger #TeamAllHairIsBeautiful #FeelsGoodToVent

    • Jemima

      September 14, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      Team love-every-other-hair-that-isn’t-yours up here. The funny thing is how non naturals are so excited to share their views on how natural hair is so unmanageable and rough. Then they cry foul when naturals clap back. Thing is, naturals have more evidence and dignity on their side so it’s kind of hard to intimidate a natural who knows her thing…

  2. Ebun

    September 3, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    I’m definitely the Obsessive Compulsive Naturalista

    • PurpleiciousBabe

      September 4, 2015 at 2:00 am

      Me too The Obsessive Compulsive Naturalista…..
      I LOVE IT.
      I have inspired more than 5 people to go natural not counting the people on social media.
      26months natural and still counting…

      I love the versatility….
      xxx

  3. Natu

    September 3, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    No need to hide my crown because she is stunning !!!

    • onetallgirl

      September 3, 2015 at 5:49 pm

      Yes I agree absolutely beautiful!!

    • TN

      September 4, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      @teamnatural leader spotted!

    • Jmk

      September 4, 2015 at 5:40 pm

      I know right, I feel like these are labels used to categorise us, (for the sake of variety lol) I wear my halo proud…

  4. Gerry

    September 3, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    Proudly undercover! Ain’t got time for all that serenre. Used to be a product junkie, till I got fed up.

  5. Sky Blue

    September 3, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    Accidental and undercover… I stopped getting perms when I was 17; in 2005 when I started college because of perm damage. Used to wear them out in the earlier days, but they stay under weaves now because I can’t be bothered with maintenance. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

  6. The girl

    September 3, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Am carrying my hair retouched and don’t intend to go on my natural hair anytime soon. Thanks, but no thanks. By the way, is it coil or curl. Confused much.

    • PurpleiciousBabe

      September 4, 2015 at 2:04 am

      NO you are not confused.
      There is a huge difference between ‘coil’ and ‘curl’
      My hair is tightly coiled hence it tangles easily that is more kinky/4type hair
      Curls(hair strand is loose but still has density)more type 3 hair. x

      But please refer to Google. x
      I only just displayed the knowledge gathered.

  7. onetallgirl

    September 3, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    im the accidental natural, was natural before it became popular but I was not taking care of it the way I should so now I’m the obsessive compulsive natural, always looking at the ingredients on the side of the bottle and watching youtube videos for hair tips.

  8. kemi

    September 3, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Im a barbie naturalista. Everyone always asks how i get my hair so curly, defined & soft. I shape it out wt pins. Very pretty if i must say so myself..

    Never bn a product junkie. Just wash n go my 4c hair every 2 days wt apple cider vinegar or bentonite clay & shingle wt kinky curly curling custard or homemade okra gel (when i run out of d custard). Air dry for a while then use a diffuser wt cold air.

    Its basically d updated maximum hydration method by [email protected] – No shampoos (except a sulfatefree shampoo once a month after deep conditioning, although if ur new to this method u have to use a sulfate shampoo first to get rid of all d junk dt are bad for afro hair), no conditioner, no combs.

  9. kemi

    September 3, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    im a barbie naturalista. Everyone asks how my hair is so curly, defined & soft.

    im not a product junkie. i just did some research b4 my chop abt natural hair. I decided d best bet was d updated maximum hydration method – dubaidee4c.blogspot.com. So all i do is wash my hair every 2 days wt an apple cider vinegar rinse OR a bentonite clay wash. Then shingle my hair wt kinky curly curling custard OR homemade okra gel & cool dry wt a diffuser. Curls are defined for up to 5days (when i cant be bothered).

    i deep condition once a month (wt natural conditioners like those approved in d mhm method OR do d cherry lola deep treatment OR use foods like avocado, banana, eggs, honey, yoghurt, shea, olive oil etc.- no food mayonaisse) & wash off deep conditioner wt sulfate free shampoo.

    I have 4c hair and was very surprised when i started seeing my curls so defined. The problem pple have dt go natural & give up is bcos theyre spending too much money & using too many products dt dry out our hair.

  10. Amara

    September 3, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    Am team curious naturalista. I was so overwhelmed by how gorgeous and easy them natural hair ladies looked and decided to try it out. Since then av been singing ‘ it’s not an easy road’

  11. Nahum

    September 3, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    I am definitely the barbie naturalista. Ain’t got time for all those products. But when I get it done, it is perfect.

  12. Lilo

    September 3, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Undercover naturalista here. I’m not here for walking around with a bird nest a.k.a 4c wash n go or twist out. #batshitcrazylook

    • lakey

      September 4, 2015 at 6:54 am

      lol, U got issues with your natural self. Too bad.

    • Amy

      September 4, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      Preach it sister!

  13. CB

    September 3, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    You forgot the naturalista that aint got no hair! hehehe…
    I feel like all of these are not types of naturalistas per se but stages in your natural ‘journey’ (journey in quotes cos I hate that term…where are we going? Kotangora or Lokoja? msschew..lol).
    I went through the whole thing…from accidentally becoming natural, to being a product junkie, to being the barbie naturalista (my favorite vain stage), to being a leader (I just never saw sense in having a perm). And then came the final stage of grief…my hair got too long to manage…I got fed up and chopped it all off 😀
    Now I have this huge bottles of KInky Curly and Giovanni conditioners, almost a gallon of castor oil, a huge tub of shea butter, with only have an inch of hair to ‘deep condition’…smh!

    • Uche

      September 4, 2015 at 6:37 am

      Can I have your bottles?

    • gbemie_o

      September 4, 2015 at 8:39 am

      Pls let us meet, you can “sow” them into my life ??

  14. E pele nibeyen eyin team barbie

    September 4, 2015 at 12:38 am

    Abegi! Go and put that bottle of gbogbo e in your hair

  15. zee

    September 4, 2015 at 8:03 am

    Undercover natural. forever in weaves. I want to be perfect when I eventually show the world. Till then…bless God for extensions.

  16. Yeancah

    September 4, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Well I’m not on the list. I’m the naturalista who chose to go natural even while the whole brouhaha is everywhere but I care less about them products or seminars and I’m not undercover. Just sticking to conditioner oils and Shea butter. And I leave my hair out sometimes and I don’t monitor length.. What category do I fall to @poster

    • YASSS!!!

      September 4, 2015 at 10:02 am

      Someone is like me!!! I’m a naturalista but I couldn’t care less about any so called ‘movement’ I enjoy my natural hair but I braid and wear weaves sometimes too…I even think I may get a perm next year, it’s been 3 years so why not? After one year of rocking a perm, I will do TBC and start all over again….

  17. hephie brown

    September 4, 2015 at 9:53 am

    sqeez me ma but i am not any so what am i? oh i think d laid back naturalista.. i like my natural hair, kept it for yearrrsss before uni pressure made me relax and now im back on that road cos i loved it then and i love it now..i dont care about the products and i dont even pursue it to grow..its just der on my head..some days even rough..no styling..sigh

  18. Jhennique

    September 4, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Iv been natural all my life, i dunno what you people are talking about.

  19. Jmk

    September 4, 2015 at 11:27 am

    My fro is my halo! Proud doesn’t even describe the joys of wearing my beautiful kinks lol

  20. Yue

    September 7, 2015 at 5:37 am

    Lol.

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