Hair Shaming: Is It a Thing?

Naturalistas vs Relaxed vs The Texture Police

Whew chile…I never knew how touchy this subject was until I asked this question on social media. “Hair Shaming: Is It a Thing?” Now when I talk about hair shaming, I am specifically addressing black women because we have the biggest stigmas when it comes to our hair and how we decide to wear it. Natural vs. Relaxed vs. Semi-Natural vs. Weave vs. Wigs vs. Braids vs. Textures. All of these things are praised and looked down on by at least one person or another; which is really shameful if you think about it.

I polled my audience to get their perspective on it and I received some great feedback and insight. Here are some of the quotables from that post on Facebook.

“Yes and it’s so unfortunate. I’ve had girls tell me they wish they had my texture meanwhile I be drooling over my daughters 4C. Is so bad that I don’t even like talking about hair with ppl that I don’t know. Natural hair was a movement at one point but someone found away to create a divide again amongst women. I hate that textures have labels too.” – Chevy Kent

I never understood the curl pattern system and why it exists but I think that is mainly because I first heard about it as a divide. As a cosmetologist, I get knowing that information to understand how to handle the hair and product choices (and really that depends on porosity and density) but it definitely seems more divisive than anything.

“My mom’s hair was always a kinkier texture than her sisters. She has some serious hair issues because of it. I’ve gotten in trouble (at work) multiple times for my hair being “messy and unruly” even though it’s just frizzy. Before everybody else went natural I was constantly made fun of. Now that everybody else has gone natural, Im told I don’t really understand being natural because of my curl pattern. ?? – Johnelle Duncan

I am certain we all have heard those arguments about 3B vs 4C and so on. Natural curls are just that; no one should be faulted for their curl pattern that grows out of their head anymore than they should be judged by the color of their skin. First, people complain when you aren’t natural and then complain with your hair isn’t “kinky” enough. Chile…the ghetto!

Then the comments came from the relaxed hair crew about how they are shamed for not being natural – but we already knew this was a thing.

“People are always telling me to stop getting a relaxer for whatever reason they have. It’s less time consuming and more manageable for me. I don’t care what people say though. Hence, I’m freshly relaxed at the moment.” – Shannon Hartley

Of course the relaxed girls shame the naturals as well…

“I don’t think any less of those who relax their hair but I find it ironic that some women who are relaxed with damaged hair will always find a way to tell me I need to do something with mine ? – Amber Anderson

The truth of the matter is, they all can flourish the same and have the same struggles because the texture of your hair is irrelevant; it is all about how you take care of it. Relaxed hair can be healthy and natural hair can be damaged. Natural hair is not easier to maintain for everyone just like it can be easier to maintain for a lot of people. When it comes to chemical treatments, a relaxer is NOT where that ends. The truth of the matter is, once you color that “natural” hair, you are no longer natural because hair dye is for sure a chemical service (especially if ANY lifting is involved). You are just a girl with curls and color.

All in all, hair shaming is a thing – that needs to end. People are way too concerned with things that have nothing to do with them. Mind the business that pays you and the strands that grow out of your scalp. Life is so much better on this side.

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