April 25, 2012

Let Your Hair Down?

Summer conjures up images of flowers blooming, family vacations and more importantly, freedom! With these warmer months approaching, many naturals are starting to think of ways to alter their hair care regimen. In addition to product changes, the tropical months open up more styling options for our coils that will allow for that same freedom. Soon the cement paved streets will be flooded with more naturals rocking wash and go’s and allowing those winter protected ends to roam free. But does this hold true for all naturals? Or is the wash and go hairstyle limited to certain natural hair types?

There was a time when you would hear women congregated in the bathroom saying “I wish I had that wash and go type hair”. As each woman fought for mirror time and coifed her mane, she would quickly co sign that statement with a disappointed “I know, me too!” There are still individuals within the community of naturals who believe the wash and go option should be reserved for certain hair types. You still hear comments such as these:

“my hair doesn’t have much of a curl pattern and it looks too much like an afro.”
“my hair will dry into a kinky fro if you don’t do a twist or braid out.”
 “it looks unkempt and unprofessional”. 

The general consensus seems to be that the afro like result of a wash and go on certain hair types is undesirable. By definition, the term “natural” refers to freedom, something that is inherent. “Present in or produced by nature”, “Not produced or changed artificially”,” An Afro hairstyle”, “spontaneity and freedom from affectation, or inhibitions”. “Expected and accepted”. * This definition encompasses everything someone who decides to take the natural route hopes to incorporate in their lives. Exercising the freedom to rock your natural hair in whatever manner you desire is the very essence of being natural.

A wash and go is simply that – you wash your hair and then you go! There is no one look for this hairstyle. It’s called a “wash and go”, not wash, twist, braid, curl and then go. There is no absolutism surrounding natural hair. Every wash and go is different, within hair types and even on the same woman. The word “curly “is not synonymous with “natural”. In the hair world, naturals are considered the minority and as such there is a need for cohesiveness and acceptance. This type of exclusion or hair type rivalry is counterproductive. The thing that is supposed to bond us has become the source of conflict and only further divides what is supposed to be a sisterhood.

Do you shy away from certain hairstyles because of your hair type?

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