Friday, December 9, 2011

Let's Talk Tresses Friday: Relaxed vs. Natural.... Let's End the Battle!

I was doing my weekly "natural hair" web search and I noticed a question from a young woman on Yahoo! Answers:

Why do black women argue over "relaxed vs natural" hair?

The biracial poster, asks why all these "natural women" with natural hair are preaching "black unity" and insulting her for relaxing her hair. I won't bore you with the details (you can click the link should you want to), but my first instinct was to post a reply with an eclipse-sized portion of shade about getting over yourself because this "natural woman" is not studying you. LOL

I decided against it, because I happen to agree with her on one thing: the debate and battle is pretty damn played out. I mean, wasn't Joie Lee, Tisha Campbell and 'em singing and dancing about this in 1988?!?!? I was eleven then, man!!!

With the popularity of natural hair on the rise, so has this "battle" that has been lived out between women with relaxed hair and women with natural hair. Even Dr. Drew had a recent "Good Hair" debate, which really brought the battle to the mainstream.

Photo Courtesy of

What's troubling about the argument, is that it seems to always escalate to a point where the debate turns into who has "good hair" and who has "bad hair"... and then we're stuck in front of Madame ReRe's again... and we all look like a bunch of trivial and superficial little girls for arguing about hair... when there are really far more serious matters we could collaborate and focus our attentions on.

How about we promise to be proud and feel beautiful about ourselves, and bunk who dares to tell us otherwise? How about we promise to treat our hair well and give it what it needs to be healthy? How about you relax away, honey... with pride... while I'll rock my braid outs with pride?!? How about you keep the Nicki Minaj quotes about "Perminator" to yourself (This actually happened to me recently.. the girl was all of 14, so I just shook my head and kept it moving! LOL ) and I won't accuse you of wanting to be anything other than happy? How about we ALL get over this debate and focus our attention into something positive... like feeding the hungry, educating our youth, and instilling in our sons and daughters a degree of self love that will ensure we never have to entertain the masses with arguments over our hair again? Who's with me? Sound off and leave a comment!


  1. I am with you!  

    It seems that every other week, when I do my blog browsing, there is at least one post about this very topic to be found.  OVER IT!  

    Everybody should just rock their hair how they want and call it a day.  Also from experience,everyone should  watch what they say because you never know when you'll find yourself in the bathroom mirror with creamy crack in hand after being natural for over a decade only to shave the straight tresses off a few months later because you miss your fro or the reverse... I'm just saying...I found myself there once.

    I realized years ago, like India Arie, that I am not my hair so it doesn't matter what I do with it... I mean give me the potion that rids us of bad hair days (relaxed or natural) and then I won't stop talking...  Do with your hair what makes you feel fierce!  

  2. Yes exactly! I love how you say "do with your hair what makes you feel fierce"... I include the addendum, "just don't rob me to do it... or I'll cut you!" LOL

  3. There's always going to be some type of battle, whether relaxed vs natural, curly vs kinky, weave vs real hair, etc.  There's something underlying all this that I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe a lot of Black women still feel "less than," so they have to step on someone else.  There's just this jockeying for position that I see.

    Also, that chick on Yahoo does need to get over herself, who asked if she was a quarter this and a teaspoon that?! She's not even Black so what does she care? It just seemed a little shady to me.

  4. You really hit the  nail on it, Aisha... for a lot of women, the battle fuels this need to show just how much better they are because they wear their hair natural or because they have long relaxed hair down to their backs. 

    I hope that in time everyone will understand and will see that recognizing the beauty in each other essentially empowers us to recognize the beauty in ourselves.

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