The Bible says that a woman’s hair is her “crown and glory”. India Arie says “I am not my hair”. Celebrity stylist, Gabrielle Corney, says that “Hair is the ULTIMATE accessory”! Why do we put so much emphasis on our hair?
I tend to agree with Gabrielle, hair IS the ultimate accessory. Regardless of if you wear your hair in its natural state, if you chemically straighten your hair, or if you wear hair extensions and/or wigs, your hair is a reflection of you and when it looks good you feel good.
What does it mean to have natural hair? There are two commonly accepted definitions of “natural hair”. Some believe that natural hair is not chemically straightened OR straightened with excessive heat. Others believe that hair can be straightened with heat as long as no chemical straightening methods are used.
What type of hair do you have? Andre Walker, Oprah Winfrey’s hair stylist, discusses the different categories of hair in his book, Andre Talks Hair. Andre says there are four categories and notes that it is important to know your hair type before you begin your natural hair journey. Type 1 is straight, type 2 is wavy, type 3 is curly-kinky, and type 4 is kinky.
Thinking about going natural? I spoke with people who have natural hair and I would suggest going natural only when you are fully committed to the upkeep and maintenance of your hair. Tiffany Young, a recent MBA graduate, states that she has been natural since December 2009. Tiffany says that “she is totally in love” with her hair now that she is natural. She adds that “anybody can be natural it’s just a tedious process, but it is so worth it!”
There are many celebrities who have natural hair. Singers, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Heather Headley, and Mya are natural and actresses Raven-Symone’, Keshia Knight Pulliam, and Karyn Parsons all opt out of the chemical straightening process as well.
In regards to going natural, I believe that you should do whatever you feel is best for you. Granted keeping all chemicals out of your hair is the probably the healthiest for our locks, I believe that chemically straightened hair can be reasonably healthy. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you choose to wear your hair in its natural state or if you decide to get it chemically relaxed and straightened because like Chris Rock says in his documentary Good Hair “the hair on top of your head isn’t nearly as important as what is inside your head”. So continue to do whatever is best for YOU!
A few helpful websites for those who are considering going natural are: