Our natural hair is not a political statement. We wear our natural hair as an expression of our creativity. It expresses who we feel and want to be on that day. A lot of naturals who wear their hair curly, straight, braided, in afro or with a sew in are judged on a daily basis just because of their appearance. For example, a new employee to an organization who chooses to wear her lace front wig for a month, then her natural hair the next month may get comments like, “I really see you or I feel like I know you’. However, she just changed her hair, not her personality.
I understand why natural hair is deemed as an opposition to the standard or the status quo that Europeans hair is better. The influence of Europeans has played a major role in the beliefs that we have conditioned our minds to accept. Whether our hair is in a protective style or not the only opinion that should be of great concern to us is our own. Yes, wearing my natural hair is different but my views on social causes and issues have not changed. Europeans, Arabs, Asians and Hispanics throughout history have enslaved and mocked our skin tones, and hair. Even still in Brazil which is 60% Black, people are marginalized like us here in the United States. It’s not what is on our head but what is underneath it.
Wearing our natural hair freely does not mean we as a collective people are politically against or for every social cause in the world. Because I chose to be all natural why I am associated with being more ‘down-to-earth’, ‘real’ and aware of social issues? Only Afros are routinely stereotyped as the negative rebellious image – its just a hairstyle! Our coils naturally stand up straight and there should be no reason I or anyone else should be shamed over a hair pattern. I understand when people associate Afros with being more confident in my Blackness because they mean since I decide to wear my natural hair freely it means I have truly accepted myself for who I am. However, can’t I have relaxed hair and still be screaming spoken word, conscious living and proud to be Black?
We should accept all hair textures whether curly, straight, wavy, or locks because everyone’s hair is different. We are not the same person therefore our curl pattern will never be the same. Some naturals wear their hair merely as an expression of who they decide to be that day. Maybe I want to slay like Beyoncé one day or empower like Angela Davis on the next. My hair does not define my political alignment or the ‘real’ me. I am not my hair; therefore, I should be able to wear it however we see fit without being judged.