The Curl-Pattern Debate: How Is Your Natural Hair Not A Good Fit for You?

Curly hairstyleWalking out of a busy beauty parlor one Saturday afternoon, I saw a gorgeous woman with waist-length, loose, bouncing curls emerge from the hair salon. She was met by a friend who exclaimed upon seeing her, “Wow, your hair looks amazing! Going natural was the best hair decision you ever made.”

The waist-length beauty thanked said friend and went on her way. Shortly after, another, equally gorgeous woman, this time with tightly coiled curls kissing the nape of her neck, made her way to the hair salon. The same woman who had greeted the waist-length beauty before also greeted this woman; notably with the absence of a hair compliment. She was joined by another woman who also stood and watched the woman with the nape-length curls disappear into the salon. Once she was out of earshot, they both hissed viciously to each other about her hair. “Why did she chop off the relaxed hair?  To resort to this? She looks terrible. a total disaster.”
Listening to the two women insult the nape-length lady’s hair choices, I stood in my shoes and I wondered what was the difference between the woman with the waist-length loose curls and the woman with the nape-length, tightly coiled curls? What, in these two onlookers’ opinions, made one woman’s hair lovely and the other woman’s hair a disaster? I came to a sad conclusion: it had to do with the obsession that some black people have with what is foolishly considered “good hair.” The first woman with the waist-length hair was clearly of mixed ethnicity, hence the loose curls, while the second looked to be a 100% sun-kissed Nubian goddess with tighter curls. Thus, in the onlookers’ minds, the first woman, mixed as she appeared to be, had “good hair” while the second woman, mainly of African descent, did not.

How many times have you heard one person say to another embarking upon a natural hair journey “the natural look isn’t for you?’ I even saw a meme going around on the internet depicting a man with waves and another with close-cropped curls, and the caption “bring back the waves in 2016 and leave that nappy ‘fro in 2015.” My question is, though, how could something you were born with, your hair texture, be “not the right look” for you? And not the right look by whose standards? Folks, the self-hatred is painful to watch. It really is. Are some of who are obsessed with “mixed” hair and straight hair even aware that you’ve been severely brainwashed into thinking that kinky hair is ugly?

Natural black hair, whatever the curl pattern, and whatever the texture, is gorgeous. And it’s exactly the way God intended for it to be. So no, we will not be leaving out natural curls, fros, locs and twists in 2015. Here’s to hoping that 2016 brings with it a lot more natural hairstyles.


By: Danielle Dixon

Follow her on Twitter: @tooprettydani

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